Can You Sue a School District?

While there are many limitations on the situations where you can sue a school district, it can be done under certain circumstances. Due to a legal theory called “sovereign immunity,” the government and government agencies like school districts are generally immune from lawsuits. Fortunately, most states have waived this immunity in some instances, allowing students and parents to pursue specific legal claims against school districts.  

Can you sue a school for not teaching?

Yes, you can sue a school for not teaching. The three most common claims made in these situations include violations of state law, educational malpractice, and breach of contract.

Violations of State Laws

Each state’s constitution requires some sort of a public school system. State legislatures can also pass laws about the required educational opportunities that must be provided to children living within its borders. While the specific details of these laws vary between the statesstate, they generally require that children be provided with free public education. 

The 1975 Supreme Court Case of Goss v. Lopez determined that Ohio’s statute promising children a free education granted students a right to that education that could not be terminated without due process of law. This means that if a school doesn’t teach your child, you may be able to sue the district for violating the relevant education laws in your state and your child’s constitutional right to due process. 

Educational Malpractice

You may also be able to sue a school for not teaching under the legal theory of educational malpractice, which argues that the school failed to live up to its obligation to provide students with an adequate education. 

Unfortunately, courts generally have been very reluctant to allow educational malpractice claims to proceed and often throw out lawsuits under this theory. However, depending on your state, you may be able to succeed in an educational malpractice case if you can prove that the school breached a specific duty to provide reasonable educational services and acted negligently in doing so. Make sure you consult with a local education attorney to determine whether you may be able to pursue this type of lawsuit. 

Breach of Contract

Another potential cause of action when a school doesn’t teach is a breach of contract claim. While these types of cases are not easy to prove, you may be able to sue a private school or university if it broke a specific contractual promise, such as the provision of a particular course or service. These types of claims will generally not succeed if the crux of the complaint is that the school didn’t provide a quality education to the student.

Can I sue my school for lying

In some circumstances, you may be able to sue your school for lying. For example, some students at for-profit colleges or vocational schools have been able to pursue fraud claims against their schools when they were convinced to enroll through lies. A high-profile example of this type of claim is the recent lawsuit against Trump University for lying about its status as an accredited university, where students received a $25 million settlement.

Some other lies that could lead to a successful lawsuit include:

  • The student’s ability to complete a specific course of study
  • The job prospects and salaries for graduates
  • How long a program would take to complete
  • The expertise and qualifications of instructors

Read More

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About & RMO Lawyers

RMO LLP serves clients in San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Orange County, and communities throughout California. Our founder, Scott E. Rahn has been named “Top 100 – Trust and Estate Litigation” by SuperLawyers, Trusts and Estates Litigator of the Year, and Best Lawyers in America for Litigation – Trusts and Estates.