Officials Report Increase in School-Related Accidents in Palm Beach County

School can be a dangerous. Every day, there are students and teachers injured from accidents at school in Palm Beach.

A new campaign from Palm Beach County school officials, called “Safety Matters,” is trying to reduce the risks of these accidents. Through the campaign, school officials are urging educators to perform regular fire drills and playground inspections — it also seeks to report all accidents, according to the Sun Sentinel.

Schools report that they don’t provide compensation for claims that can’t prove that the school’s negligent behavior caused the accident. Parents across the county are concerned for their child’s safety and want to be ensured that their student is learning in a safe environment.

“Parents have said, ‘If it leaves a mark, I probably need to know about it,’” said Linda King, the risk and safety manager for the school district.

Our Palm Beach child injury lawyers understand that parents expect school teachers and administrators to provide a safe learning environment for their children. Educators should be trained in not only how to prevent school-related injuries, but also how to effectively handle them should one occur. The new campaign was launched after local schools reported an increase in the number of campus injuries from the previous school year.

The most school accidents ever were reported in 2010. These accident reports are now kept on an online system, whereas before they were kept on paper and filed away unless they were needed to file legal claims.

An accident can happen anywhere. There are ways teachers can help keep students and themselves injury free. Floors should be free of debris and trip hazards, sharp objects should be removed from the classrooms and all children should be supervised at all times.

Recently, the Sun Sentinel looked through the student accident reports and workers’ compensation information from eight schools from 2010 and 2011.

Accident reports at local schools:

-J.C. Mitchell Elementary School: Nearly 130 accidents.

-Boca Raton Middle School: 70 accidents.

-West Boca Raton High School: 60 accidents.

-Eagles Landing Middle School west of Boca Raton: More than 20 workers’ compensation claims.

In the 2010 and 2011 school year, the school district spent nearly $15 million on workers’ compensation claims. Student-related accidents resulted in 170 insurance claims during the same year. This is seven more than the previous school year. The school district has roughly 174,000 students.

Accidents involving students don’t always result in a compensation payout, according to King. The school district will only provide compensation for the accident if it can be proven that it happened because of the school’s negligence.

There were more than 40 schools built in the area since 2000 and another 50 modernized since then. Many of these buildings reported safety violations. However, reports indicate these violations have dropped by nearly 95 percent.