New Law Would Protect Louisiana Schools from COVID Lawsuits
Tentatively, the plan for Louisiana's public school system is to start classes in the fall as scheduled (with some serious consideration and adjustment to protect students and teachers) in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic. That being said, the specter of a "second wave" of new infections looms heavily over the entire state as Gov. John Bel Edwards announced earlier this week that Louisiana would not be moving into the final phase (phase 3) of reopening.
Everyone involved in this coming school year is concerned. Parents, students, and administrators alike are concerned with continuing our children's vital education and protecting our entire community from this devastating disease at the same time. The entire situation is balanced on the edge of a knife, and one false move could mean that a generation suffers from a lack of learning - or spreading an already dangerous pandemic even further.
Luckily, former Livingston Parish School Board member Buddy Mincey got himself elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives and was in a position to help. According to KATC, the republican representative authored a bill to protect schools from lawsuits that could result from transmission of Coronavirus that may occur on campuses during the 2020-2021 academic year. The bill states that schools would be protected from lawsuits unless the plaintiff(s) were able to prove by high legal standard “grossly negligent or wanton or reckless misconduct.”
The bill garnered the House's overwhelming approval and now will move onto the Senate for approval there before making its way to the governor for final approval. If it passes all of the legal hurdles, the new law would protect public and private K-12 schools, charter schools, as well as public and private colleges and universities.