Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department / School



The purpose of this study is to investigate teachers’ liability in the fields of physical education and athletics, causes of liability and preventive measures; also, to make recommendations concerning liability in order to relieve the pressure on physical education teachers and athletic coaches concerning personal liability charges. It has been stated that the teacher’s fear of being sued has done more to weaken our physical education programs than any other single factor. Teachers feel they cannot afford to teach correctly an activity which might results in an injury to one of their pupils. Consequently, the programs have been so modified and restricted that many of the worthwhile program outcomes we should expect are not achieved. What the teacher fails to realize is that if he has taken every reasonable precaution and used every reasonable safety device and practice, he will not be held liable in a suit for injury. The participant of a class assumes what is termed a normal risk. It is when negligence, either direct or contributory, can be proved that the teacher may be held liable. The manner in which a person executes a program will make it either reasonably safe or unnaturally hazardous. Based on the results of this study, the researcher concluded that the college training physical education instructors and coaches should somewhere in the curriculum make the student aware of the most frequent danger spots of tort liability.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Liability for school accidents
Physical education and training


Includes bibliographical references




South Dakota State University