By the end of this week, most students in public and private schools in Middle Tennessee will be back to school. Whether you are happy or sad about that, here are some tips for keeping children safe this year and to also make sure you do not violate Tennessee law.
- Tennessee school buses transport roughly 700,000 students per day on 8,700 bus routes. And while the State does have licensing and background check requirements, accidents can happen. Did you know because of governmental immunity laws that if a government-owned and operated school bus has a wreck the maximum amount that can be recovered per person is $300,000 and $700,000 is the maximum for the entire school bus of children regardless of how many students are hurt. While you can’t actually drive the school bus yourself, you can report any bad driving you witness even if it is not your child’s bus. With all that precious cargo, bus drivers should definitely not be speeding, using their phone, rolling through stop signs, etc.
- Parents, please remind kids to stand away from the curb while waiting for the bus and talk to them about walking directly to the curb when exiting the bus and the dangers of darting back to get a dropped item, etc.
- Drivers need to respect the school zone speed limit and, for the love, put down your phone and pay attention to your driving.
- Tennessee has mandatory reporting of even suspected physical or sexual abuse or neglect of a child. Anyone who reports in good faith has immunity from suit even if the suspicions turn out to be unfounded. Reporting can be done anonymously to either law enforcement or the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. Reporting must be done immediately if you have suspicions and the failure to report can be a misdemeanor.
- Pay attention to food allergies that may be present in your classroom. In dealing with this issue in the past, we can tell you that parents of kids with severe food allergies endure a lot of anxiety because they cannot fully protect their child but instead must depend on others to help them keep their child safe. So please respect other student’s allergies.
- If you drive your children to school, please ensure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up. Don’t speed or run red lights and, again, put down your phone.
We wish everyone a safe and happy school year. And, as always, if you have questions about a possible accident case, you can call our office for a free consultation. We will review the facts of your case with you, answer your questions and explain your legal options. Our award-winning lawyers handle all accident cases on a contingency basis so we only get paid if we get money for you and your family. To see if you have a case that we can help you with, give us a call at 615-742-4880 or 615-867-9900 or 866-812-8787.