The headline is catchy, but the story is deeper than it appears at first glance. WHO is responsible for an injury sustained while you're at work? Multiple choice:
A. Your employer, the school, because it forced you to work in a dangerous environment with 80-pound speeding objects, occasionally wet floors, germs and bothersome children.
B. Your insurance company, because hey! that's what insurance companies are for. If you paid the premium, you need to try to soak 'em for all they've got. You deserve it. Some restrictions apply as outlined in your policy. Better get a lawyer for maximum gravy effect.
C. You, for being a very old doofus by working in this environment if you have a serious pre-existing condition. You KNEW a little kid could accidentally injure you permanently if he careened into you and guess what? Schools have a lot of 'em. You shoulda been a Wal-Mart greeter because no one stampedes for those smiley face stickers.
D. An eight-year-old kid in a hurry for ice cream. He was bratty, not listening to the "don't run" instruction from teachers. We all know it's common for eight-year-old boys to both listen to and remember all instructions when they're preoccupied. So he needs to payyyyy. Well, and plus his parents have a bit of money. Wait. That has nothing to do with it, because we all know that this woman would sue the kid even if he were homeless, right? It's the principle of the matter, RIGHT??
What do you think? I'd choose A. You work in a school environment. The injury happened while you were on the job. Or perhaps a combination of A and B.
No. I take that back. It has to be C. I know that kids can be a real pain in the back, and I work with them all the time. Sometimes they're even intentionally malicious. Knowing the public school would place you with too many kids to reasonably care for (just being realistic here), it would have to be your own stinkin' fault for trying to be Little Miss Mama to a class of 30-something kids at the old age of 62.
But then there's option D. I'm telling you, I've taught Sunday School. I know that other people's children are even more evil than my own can be sometimes. :] Gotta be D. It's entirely possible that the child wasn't really looking for ice cream at all. It's possible that the old worker lady kept harping on "you rotten little kids, watch out for my back or you'll ruin everything" (say that with old Scooby-Doo episode voice, please) and the kid was just waiting for his chance to tackle.
No. I take that back. It has to be C. If an average eight-year-old can hurt you so bad that you need some spinal fusion surgery, your pre-existing condition was probably pretty bad. You were probably pretty inflexible to begin with that you couldn't fall correctly.
The point being that it sure seems that the schools want to control children's behaviour while the kiddos are in school. Wouldn't that mean that they should be responsible for *whatever happens* while those kids are in the building? I mean, obviously they make some rules that some parents wouldn't AND they enforce them. Therefore, they're reasonably responsible for the children's behaviour. Um, for that matter, the aide HERSELF was probably responsible for the children's behaviour. Was she a special-needs aide, or someone hired to help with a crowded classroom? I guess the school couldn't "discriminate" against her in its hiring practices, though.
But I'm thinking there are common sense limits to that line of thinking. SIXTY two years old, and a pre-existing condition. Ok, I'm going back to the Wal-Mart greeter idea.