Yesterday, it was reported that a 10 year-old boy in England was hospitalized after being assaulted on a soccer field by some of his classmates in the middle of a soccer game. Apparently, after knocking him to the ground, a few of the boys continued to kick him in the head.
The sad truth is, that chances are if a school negligence claim were brought in New York, the case would probably fail.
Because from the account of this accident that has been reported, it appears that this child was not a known target before the soccer game began, and this was a spontaneous assault.
Here's why those facts are significant: Under New York law, it would be the parents' burden to prove that the school, in the proper exercise of its duty to the child, knew or should have known of the threat to the child, yet failed to act appropriately to prevent this assault from occurring. (For more on how to prove a school assault case under New York law, please see "Why this School Assault Case, Which Left Girl in a Coma, Would Fail in New York").