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Sovereign Immunity for School Boards Left in Bill

State Senator Phil Berger, courtesy of www.ncleg.net.

By Peter Biello

Wilmington, NC – The sponsor of the bill the Brunswick County School Board openly opposed last week says he's rewriting it so it will pass through the General Assembly.

State Senator Phil Berger says the old version of the bill would take away the school board's ability to use immunity as a defense against lawsuits they're not insured for.

The new version allows school boards to use immunity, but Berger says it also allows injured parties to sue school employees, who are covered by the North Carolina School Boards Trust.

"And the School Boards Trust will not assert immunity on behalf of that person," says Berger. "That's probably the best we're going to get by the time we get out of the short session."

The Brunswick County School Board has used immunity as its defense in three cases of teachers having inappropriate relationships with students. Two of these cases are now in federal court. The third was dismissed.

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