Fla. Legislature Yanks Teachers’ Liability Insurance Program

August 10, 2007

Florida’s public school teachers are returning to their classrooms this month with one less protection from the state.

Since 2001, Florida has provided all public school educators with professional liability insurance. The legislature decided to discontinue the insurance program because of its high cost. This is the first year teachers will not have coverage.

“Due to the nature of their jobs, educators are constantly at risk of being sued,” said Bob Boyd, general counsel of the Professional Educators Network of Florida. “It’s important that educators protect their careers, just as they would for their health, homes and vehicles.”

The Professional Educators Network of Florida serves as an advocate for educators and is concerned about the lack of information that has been given to educators regarding the cancellation of the insurance program.

Over the past decade, the number of lawsuits against schools and teachers has risen dramatically. Students frequently taunt teachers and school officials with the fact that their parents can sue them. Nearly half of teachers report that at one point in their careers they have been accused of unfairly disciplining students.

“Teachers need to be able to focus on educating students, not worrying about lawsuits against them,” Boyd said. “I encourage anyone who works in an educational institution, especially those who work directly with children, to find adequate liability coverage.”

Source: Professional Educators Network of Florida

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