Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Health, Physical Education, and Recreation
The Utah Tort Liability law was defined and a teacher understanding of the law and their liability was determined.
Physical Education teachers do not have a good knowledge of the state's liability law, nor are they aware of the liability they are open to.
Where opportunity was afforded, teachers were anxious to place the responsibility for their actions on someone of a higher position. This could be attributed to the fact that district and state administrators have not made an awareness of our new law.
The area of liability least understood is inadequate use of professional knowledge and skills. Sending a boy into a ball game not recognizing he has an injury, or letting a student participate With a letter of permission from home when it is obvious that he should not be allowed to participate are examples.
Teachers do seem to be aware of safety practices and the need to make students more aware of them; however, their reluctance to accept liability for neglecting to follow those practices would tend to overshadow the response to this section.
Physical educators must become more and more aware of the safety of pupils and provide the necessary supervision to make this possible.
Much more confidence and discretion needs to be employed in making professional decisions; and if the teacher's knowledge doesn't merit a decision, then additional professional advice should be sought when a student's well-being is in danger.
Louder, Eldon C., "Implications of Tort Liability in Utah and Physical Educators Understanding of Their Liability" (1969). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 3010.
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