Can a College or University Be Sued for Negligence?

As families learn more about student educational rights, support for suing academically or physically negligent schools is growing. Since colleges and universities are not exempt from this threat, those who work in higher learning should review educational expectations to avoid college negligence and educational malpractice. 

Examples of Negligence 

Educational malpractice refers to the failure to provide adequate schooling, but negligence has a broader application. Non-academic issues, such as on-campus physical or sexual assault, fall under the umbrella of college negligence. For example, a student who is assaulted on campus can sue the college or university for failing to provide a safe learning environment, resulting in life-changing emotional and physical damages. 

Proving direct negligence, however, is challenging. Students must demonstrate that the institution could have prevented the attack or failed to respond to it appropriately to have a viable case.

Public vs. Private Schools 

Both public and private institutions can be sued for educational malpractice or negligence. Generally, it’s easier to sue a private school since public schools belong to the government. Nevertheless, families can pursue legal action against any kind of academic institution as long as no state or federal laws, such as charitable entity exclusions, prohibit it. 

Every student, regardless of age, is entitled to a safe, high-quality education. Therefore, reducing instances of negligence is vital to creating optimal learning environments for students and keeping educators out of legal trouble.