There is NO liability in Ohio against a school district if your child is molested, raped, or assaulted on a school bus. It doesn't matter if these school children can't even protect themselves because they're six years old, or are special needs students with a physical or mental disability. This comes courtesy of a March, 2009 Ohio Supreme Court case known as Doe v. Marlington School District.
According to the Court, a school district's liability for the negligent "operation" of a school bus does not include supervision and oversight of the students on the bus. So here's the bottom line: school districts have blanket immunity no matter what happens on the bus, as long as the driver doesn't negligently crash it. If a school child was repeatedly molested or assaulted, and bus driver knew about it, no liability. If parents complained about an injury or assault to their child and the school district did nothing and it happened again, no liability.
So let's review the shameful breadth of the wall of immunity in Ohio for school districts. If your child is raped or molested in the restroom, locker room, gym, bus, or on a field trip, there is immunity--even if the offending school employee was a convicted child molester, as I wrote about here. And if the school district punishes children by repeatedly sending them to a "seclusion room" where they later hang themselves, no liability under Ohio law, as I wrote about here.
This is what our Ohio Legislature has done for the protection of Ohio school children. The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld these laws on more than one occasion. It's disappointing to say the least a civilized society that is supposed to be based upon principles of legal responsibility and accountability for your actions. You've heard of the axiom "let the buyer beware?" For Ohio school children, it's becoming "let the youngsters beware."
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