Law Limits School Liability

Tennessee schools have one less obstacle to opening buildings and sports fields to their communities, thanks to a law change being applauded by child fitness advocates, according to the Tennessean.
State code signed into law in June and being explained to schools this fall frees schools from liability when they sign agreements to allow athletic leagues, churches and community groups to use school grounds.
“Our taxpayers pay for this equipment, whether it’s tracks or gyms. Meanwhile, communities are looking for low-cost solutions. It’s really a win-win,” said Chastity Mitchell, a senior director with the American Heart Association, which pushed for the change.
Counties surveyed by the association said “loud and clear” that they were afraid of being sued for accidents, Mitchell said.
Now, liability should be less of a concern (in cases of gross negligence, a school could still be liable). And because the association found that existing joint-use agreements vary in their formality, the law includes a phrase encouraging agreements to be written out and to address security, supervision, hours and maintenance policies.

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