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  1. #1
    poonkey67 is offline Junior Member
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    What is schools responsibility for items stolen on their property

    What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? Michigan

    My daughter had several items (purse, phone, $$, binder, books) stolen out of her "school issued combination locked" locker at school while in Marching band class. She reported it as soon and see noticed it. School never called, we heard from tear struck daughter when she got home. My husband met with principal and he said "they would keep an eye out" and to file for loss through our homeowners insurance. No happy with principals words and no action we went to Sheriff's and filed a stolen property report.

    This is not first time our daughter has been victim to theft and I am tired of feeling like there is nothing we can due and they should take some responsibility to cover the loss. Her purse was not allowed at Marching Band and had to go in locker. The lockers are school issued with "adhered to locker combination lock style". Kids cannot bring their own padlocks or they will be cut. There are no security cameras, guard or hall monitors. It doesn't seem right that we were told to file on homeowners insurance for something that wasn't stolen at our home. It seems as if we should have some rights and not left victim everytime this happens, even if it means making them financially responsible on their part so they will be forced into looking into theft issues, instead of let off the hook.

    Can they be held liable for stolen property or do they have insurance to cover theft of childs stolen property at school? Do we need to get a lawyer to get reimbursed or take them to court?

    Any help or input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
    Last edited by poonkey67; 09-20-2004 at 10:59 PM. Reason: mispelling
  2. #2
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by poonkey67
    What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? Michigan

    My daughter had several items (purse, phone, $$, binder, books) stolen out of her "school issued combination locked" locker at school while in Marching band class. She reported it as soon and see noticed it. School never called, we heard from tear struck daughter when she got home. My husband met with principal and he said "they would keep an eye out" and to file for loss through our homeowners insurance. No happy with principals words and no action we went to Sheriff's and filed a stolen property report.

    This is not first time our daughter has been victim to theft and I am tired of feeling like there is nothing we can due and they should take some responsibility to cover the loss. Her purse was not allowed at Marching Band and had to go in locker. The lockers are school issued with "adhered to locker combination lock style". Kids cannot bring their own padlocks or they will be cut. There are no security cameras, guard or hall monitors. It doesn't seem right that we were told to file on homeowners insurance for something that wasn't stolen at our home. It seems as if we should have some rights and not left victim everytime this happens, even if it means making them financially responsible on their part so they will be forced into looking into theft issues, instead of let off the hook.

    Can they be held liable for stolen property or do they have insurance to cover theft of childs stolen property at school? Do we need to get a lawyer to get reimbursed or take them to court?

    Any help or input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    My response:

    No, no, no, and most emphatically, no.

    The school is immune from liability for personal items. The lockers are for convenience, and not meant as 100% protection. Next time, leave money, telephones, and other personal objects at home.

    IAAL
  3. #3
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Have you made a theft report to the police as well?

    My guess is that the school is not liable for the loss unless they choose to be. And they probably will not choose to be. And if the schools in MI are insured like they are here, the deductible is so high that the amount of the loss would not come near what their insurance might cover even if they were covered.

    You can sue the school ... but, unless the laws in MI are vastly different than they are in CA, you would be out even more money.

    Unfortunately, there is not likely any recourse.

    But, it might not hurt - or cost TOO much - to consult an attorney and see if there is some peculiarity in MI law that might make them liable.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  4. #4
    poonkey67 is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you all for your replies and input. It is greatly appreciated.

    Yes, we went reported it police right away and filed a report. Even though never mentioned as an option by school. We thought it would be good idea if items were retrieved and we would be able to claim them them back.

    My husband did bring up the point that some teachers do not allow students to take all their items (including books for the next class) into class and they are to put them in lockers. He did say, he was aware kids cannot take all their items to class and why they have the lockers are issued. He offered the safe in the office to store things if needed when asked about using personal lock from home to put on locker.

    Last year, she had shoes and shirt that she wore to school stolen from a locker room while she was playing a game for gosh sake. This time, I find it strange a thief would take a "literature binder" with all work to date that needs to be turned in at end of semester. It's just nuts!

    I just can't understand how a school can be set free from the laws. Why they cannot be held liable or have to take responsibility if this continues to be a problem not only for my kids but many others at school and they are doing nothing to protect their belongings. It seems as if someone took a stand, they would be forced to look into this on going problem and do something about it for once. Why my daughter cannot take her own lock to protect her belongings, if they do not take any precautions to prevent this from happening. No hall monitors, no cameras and kids are obviously unmonitored during class to have "stealing time". If they are set free from liability laws, I now see why they don't blink an eye when something is stolen, if all they need to say is "file on your homeowners insurance".

    It just plain wrong that we have no rights and kids left victim to a place that is "set free from laws". If this is true, It really makes you wonder to how safe our kids are on school grounds. If a child is killed on school grounds, all they would have to say is turn it into our "life insurance"? Just doesn't seem right!
  5. #5
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Schools, employers, and even shopping malls are not going to be responsible for personal property stolen while on their property. It just isn't going to happen ... unless it can be shown that they knowingly allowed theft to occur and took no action to stop it. And I doubt that they are going to look at a kid and tell him it's okay to steal from lockers in the hall.

    They are not going to be liable for the thefts.

    Parent pressure might be the only way to improve their monitoring of the hallways. But it won't make them civilly liable for the stolen property.

    Kids being hurt or killed on school grounds is a different issue. Schools DO have a legal responsibility to provide for the physical safety of the students. And even when nothing could legally be done to prevent the disaster, schools get sued into oblivion for tragedies ... Columbine is but one example.

    Unfortunately, I doubt you will find any state where the schools will generally be liable for the theft of personal property at the school.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  6. #6
    poonkey67 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks!

    Thank you, That is exactly what I wanted to hear. You explained it very well.

    It was never about the value of items. It was to get their attention and to get them to realize they have a serious problem that needs addressing. Take precautions to prevent even more theft or even bodily harm from happening in future. Instead of just letting it slide because parents can file on homeowners.

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