Law 101

Inside the Law: A lesson in law for parent volunteers at schools

May 21, 2018 - 3:00 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Thousands of parents volunteer at their children's schools every year. They are there to help and protect students, but they probably never pondered whether they'd be protected against frivolous lawsuits. 

In February, a parent in a North Carolina school district who filed more than 50 lawsuits in the past against landlords, business associates, and other individuals, filed lawsuit because her son, who has food allergies, was given M&Ms. 

But she didn't just sue the school. She also sued the parent volunteer in the classroom despite the fact that the volunteer was not the one who gave out the candy. 

While the school's insurance covers legal fees for attorneys to represent the district, the policy doesn't cover non-employees, so the volunteer will have to pay to defend herself. 

This is a rare case and not one that should stop parents from volunteering. But it doesn't hurt to ask about the district's policy on coverage for volunteers at the time the school is asking for you to volunteer.