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TITLE PAGE: Student Drivers EDUC525 Danielle DiPalma, Jennifer Elmore,

Morgan Marek, and Kristina Powell October 17, 2017

In our opinion, the following people are liable on the grounds of negligence for
the damages to Prim Jasmin: Lisa Waterman, Peter Lougheed High School, and the
Okotoks School District.
We believe Ballard cannot be at fault based on two grounds of defense. (1) Jasmin
was aware of the risks as she entered Ballard’s vehicle; knowing the seatbelt was
inoperable puts the onus on herself, as “it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that all
passengers under the age of 16 are properly restrained in the vehicle” (Alberta Occupant
Restraint Program, n.d.), and Jasmin is 17 years old. Considering this, Jasmin could be
held some percentage liable on the grounds of Contributory Negligence; knowingly
getting into the vehicle with an inoperative seat belt, she could have easily chosen to sit
in the backseat of Ballard’s vehicle, or taken an alternative mode of transportation.
However, the root of the issue stands with the second ground of defense, and protects
Jasmin from being fully liable as well. (2) The incident at hand would not have occurred
had not the teacher, the school, or the school district, been negligent from the beginning.
When determining if the following defendants were guilty, we analyzed the five
points of negligence: (1) Duty of Care, (2) Standard of Care, (3) Foreseeability, (4)
Causality, and (5) Damages.
In the case of Waterman, the girls’ supervising physical education teacher, her
Duty of Care was to provide care to the standard of a prudent parent, which with the
information provided is not in question. In terms of the Standard of Care, the gauge was
heightened due to the field trip taking place off school property, making the students
Waterman’s sole responsibility. Waterman was placed in charge of establishing safe
transportation for all students, and following school policy off-site. Due to her failure to
recognize the location was not within town limits, Waterman allowed students to drive in
private vehicles despite the fact that this was not only against school policy but unsafe, as
indicated by Administrative Procedure 553: “No school student, irrespective of age, may
drive a private vehicle transporting other students on an approved co-curricular or
extracurricular trip” (Foothills School District, 2015, p. 2). Had Waterman known that the
location of the golf course was out of town limits, she would have been able to provide a
proper permission slip indicating that the students would be leaving town and thus
transported the students in a safe manner. When planning a field trip, it is expected that
the facilitator must establish proper “planning, study, [and] follow-up” (Foothills School
District, 2016, p.1). Since Waterman was not aware of the location of the golf course, she
was not properly prepared for this particular field trip. Therefore in terms of
Foreseeability, Waterman did not take the proper precautions or steps to prevent such an
incident from occurring. Thus, had it not been for Waterman’s neglect to properly
research the location, provide accurate permission slips, and follow school protocol on
off-site field trip transport, the students would not have been on the road in a private
vehicle. Due to Waterman’s points of neglect, Jasmin now has to face life as a
In the case of Peter Lougheed High School, the Duty of Care was to protect their
students and ensure that staff followed protocol. Again, the Standard of Care was
heightened due to the fact that students were off-campus as representatives of the school.
However, the school did not take foreseeable precautions to match their duty and
standard of care. According to Foothills School Division field trip policy, “principals are
responsible for reviewing and approving off campus activities” (Foothills School District,
2016). Therefore, once Waterman had submitted this field trip proposal, the school
administration should have caught the error surrounding student transportation and
mistaken location. Furthermore, the school should have properly trained Waterman in
field trip policy and proposal so that she would not have missed this factor. Thus, even
though parents signed a consent form stating “the school and it’s teachers would not be
held liable for accidents if their children were injured”, this form does cover the acts of
negligence on behalf of Waterman and the school. Moreover, this form was void as soon
as the field trip information was inaccurate. As seen in Bain v. Calgary Board of
Education (1993), when there is a breach from the detailed agenda of activities during a
school field trip, any form that a parent signs becomes void. When injuries occur as a
result of this breach from the authorized activities, those involved violate their duty of
care and become liable. Overall, had the school been more diligent in their teacher
protocol, in reviewing the proposal themselves, and then taking the proper steps for the
trip, the students would not have been on the highway that fateful day, which would have
prevented the harm to Jasmin.
In the case of negligence against Okotoks School Division, a similar story arises
to that of Peter Lougheed High School. The Duty of Care on the part of the division was
to ensure student safety, make sure teachers and individual schools followed policy
protocol, and make sure proper provisions were made for field trips. Once more, the
Standard of Care was higher than that of a prudent parent because the activity was
occurring off school property. However, the Division’s staff did not follow division
protocol for field-trips - no staff member caught the error on the permission slip, or made
anyone aware of the mistaken location of the activity, and no effort was made to provide
Division regulated transportation to the location. Therefore, the division becomes at fault
for their employees negligence and failure of their own procedures. Had the division
properly educated, and followed through with Waterman’s proposal, or had enforced
review policies more stringently at a school-level, the girls would not have been in a
private vehicle, on a road outside of town limits, which again, would have been enough to
prevent Jasmin’s life-altering injury.
With the above knowledge, Waterman, Peter Lougheed High School, and the
Okotoks School Division can be found guilty of negligence.

Works Cited
Alberta Occupant Restraint Program. (n.d.). Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act and the
federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Retrieved from:
Bain v. Calgary Board of Education, CanLII 7301 (AB QB). (1993). Retrieved
EDUC 525. (2017). Student driver case. [Learning Task Handout]. Retrieved
Foothills School District. (2015). Administrative procedure 553: Co/Extra-
curricular transportation and charter school bus activities. Retrieved from: documents/general/553-Co-Extra-Curricular-Transportation-
Foothills School District. (2016). Administrative Procedure 260: Field trips.
Retrieved from: