Should you demand a physical for a student after a security officer physcial encounter

Schools get sued for everything, from sexual harassment to free speech violations and even doing the right thing.  So when the proverbial stuff hits the fan and security has an altercation with a student what do you do? You know there is going to be H E double hockey sticks to pay.

In a perfect scenario, your security staff never have to lay hands on a student and fights magically break up.  As you and I both know that’s a fairy tale.  Whether hands are placed or words spewed, rumors and lawsuits are what follows.  So, let’s look at a question that deserves more introspection: should you require a doctor’s assessment of the student involved in the altercation?

Short answer – absolutely.

But how we do that is a whole other story, which starts in chapter one entitled legality.

Yes, you can legally take the student for an evaluation with your school’s doctor.  It should start right there on campus with the school nurse looking over the student for any obvious bruises, bumps and other injuries.  This is similar to school accidents where a student is injured; the only difference is that the potential injuring was performed by your staff member.  If proper school paperwork was completed before the start of the school year, then you have the parent’s permission, and if there are any DNR’s on file, those can be given to the medical team during the evaluation.

The next question that usually arises is what if we find that the student is injured.  While not good news, a good outcome can be had.  The student can receive immediate medical treatment and attention thereby hopefully preventing any long term damage or even death.  That’s a win for the District because it was proactive in its treatment of the student.

Following that question is what if there is no damage.  No harm no foul the saying goes.  Now you have a legal defense when the lawsuit does come.

Lastly, who pays.  Simple, the school district does or their insurance.  It is a simple mindset of better safe than sorry, and an ounce of prevention is worth a million dollars in legal fees…..



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