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Churches Not Liable for Safety of Students When They Leave Premises

Church’s duty to protect ends when a child leaves the physical custody of the church.

KEY POINT 10-11 A church may be legally responsible on the basis of negligent supervision for injuries resulting from a failure to exercise adequate supervision of its programs and activities.

* A New York court ruled that a school has no legal duty to protect students against criminal assaults after they leave school property, and as a result a school was not responsible for injuries suffered by a high school student who was assaulted by another student while on his way home. A 15- year-old high school student was on his way home from school when he was assaulted by a fellow student on a subway platform. The victim sued his school, claiming that it was negligent in failing to provide "adequate security and to protect students from foreseeable criminal activity." The court noted that when physical custody and control over a child ceases because the child has "passed out of the orbit of its ...

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  • May 1, 2008