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Can i sue the school district or the teacher and principal?

Columbia, SC |
Filed under: Education law

My son has autism so he is in a class of 8 students with a teacher and teacher's aide. His teacher has been gone since november of 2012. We received a call from the principal march 28, 2013 that she witnessed his teacher poking forcefully her finger in my son's head and saying foul mean things to him and the other students. SO the teacher is no longer at the school nor is she coming back. I was not informed of the matter in a promptly matter 5 months later is not acceptable. They are suppose to fill out a incident report and inform the parents but they did not. I did a background check on the teacher nothing bad on report but she does have 4 different ways she spells her name for different things. Can i sue for negligence?

Attorney Answers 3


How was your son injured. You might be able to sue but the real question is, is it worth it. Lawsuits are expensive to bring. If your son was not really injured either physically or emotionally your recovery might not cover your expenses.

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He is not injured physically at this time as far as emotional he does not talk so we would not really know.


You will need to consult personally with a skilled and experienced attorney on this question, but be prepared for a conclusion that this is not a sound basis for a lawsuit. Your sole source of info is the principal, and the info is very limited. Most likely it will not be voluntarily fleshed out and you would need to expect significant issues of proof and liability based on your very limited knowledge. Your son does not seem to have suffered any actual injury. Lawsuits against public schools and districts are very difficult and often do not result in a recovery that makes the litigation cost-effective. Talk with an attorney for a more thorough evaluation of your legal rights and options.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

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I am addressing a side issue rather than the main question.

You are not being informed of what transpires in your son's class in a timely manner and your son is particularly vulnerable because he has difficulty communicating concerns. Therefore, you need to establish a means of daily/weekly communication between yourself and the school district. Consider the following questions/suggestions:
1. Do you have a daily log/communication book that goes back and forth between you and the new teacher?
2. Does your son have an in-class aide that can also keep a daily log? If so, why did the aide not keep you informed as to the inappropriate behavior? Maybe this is sufficient reason to have an emergency IEP and find a concerned and compassionate para-professional to assist in-class should your son's needs warrant such assistance.
3. Perhaps you need to take some time and schedule several in-class observations.

Further communication between yourself and the school district should be evidenced by a writing. If the principal calls you and drops a bombshell on you over the phone, I would suggest following-up with an email or letter clarifying what transpired. The email would probably include the phrase "I am writing to you regarding the phone conversation that occurred on DATE between PARTIES about INCIDENT..."

Best of luck.

While I am an attorney and I practice in the area of special education the answers that I provide in this forum should not (should never) be construed as "legal advice." If you wish to receive "legal advice" I suggest that you contact me at The Law Office of Janina Botchis. Website: Email: Free Consultation: (818)253-9444 Blog:

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