Student Interactions: Respect the Boundaries or Pay the Price
The (school) world is truly different today when it comes to student interactions. Well meaning conversations, promised confidentiality, looking the other way, pool parties, overly enthusiastic hugs, and the friendly squeeze are all ingredients that would not have caused a second look ten years ago.
Today, those same actions can lead to student claims that may result in a range of actions, from the loss of career, to the defense of a lawsuit, or the facing of criminal charges. Add social networking, texting, and cell phones, and the situation becomes toxic. The recent Penn State allegations and issues have had many schools reaching for their handbooks to check their procedures and thinking about their own school cultures.
Debra Wilson, NAIS general counsel, and Suzanne Bogdan, a partner at Fisher & Phillips LLP, presentd a webinar that will addressed several different boundaries scenarios and the legal liability that could result from well meaning activities. Participants gain an understanding of why perceptions have changed and receive concrete guidelines on how to change behavior in their school to avoid liability.