A Legal Analysis of Litigation Against Alabama Local School Boards and Teachers under the Alabama Sovereign Immunity Law
Description: As American schools moved into the twentieth century and beyond, they encountered an increasingly litigious society. While many school districts and their employees have enjoyed protections from tort liability via some form of state tort claims act or exemption, this immunity varies from one state to another. The variations in these laws have made it difficult for educators and school districts to understand how state legislation impacts their daily activities inside and outside the classroom. In this environment, it has become imperative for educators to understand state and federal laws related to tort liability. By focusing specifically on tort claims filed against school boards and educators in the state of Alabama under the Alabama Sovereign Immunity Act, this dissertation adds to a growing body of research on state tort laws as they apply to local school boards and their employees. From over one hundred cases reviewed, fourteen were selected for in-depth analysis of the ways in which Alabama courts have interpreted sovereign immunity statutes and the specific limits on those protections. This study found that courts in Alabama have recognized local boards of education as state agencies and their employees as state agents, making them subject to the doctrine of sovereign immunity so long as they are operating within the scope of their assigned roles and responsibilities.
Date: August 2021
Creator: Warfield, Alphonso B
Partner: UNT Libraries