Opinion needed on consequences

<p>My next door neighbor's 16 yr old daughter was carrying an instrument at school when she tripped and fell. The instrument broke and the school is saying that although insured, that the girl needs to pay about $1,500 out of her own pocket. They are not charging the entire amount since it was , in their own words, an accident.</p>

<p>Now, I am always in favor of paying for your own mistakes, but this seems a bit much to me. Any opinions?</p>

<p>I don't see enough information on which to base an opinion. $1,500? That's a lot more than Goldman Sachs was fined for helping to crater the world economy ... so on the face of it yeah, it seems excessive.</p>

<p>The school has insurance...is that the deductible? Seems like a little much, especially if an accident.</p>

<p>Depending upon the instrument and the damage, here are some things I would think about:</p>

<p>Ask to see the insurance policy. Is there really a $1500 deductible, or is the school looking for some way to profit?</p>

<p>Take the instrument to a respected repair place yourself and get an estimate. Ask the school to give you the names of several repairman they use.</p>

<p>Check your own homeowners' policy - it may be covered.</p>

<p>Schools tend to buy rather cheap instruments, and they often suffer extreme wear and tear even without accidents. I would look into what the original condition was, etc. (Any proud parents photographing student with instrument before this happened?)</p>

<p>Did the student sign a contract before receiving the instrument? When my daughter took music (a zillion years ago), there was a very clear contract spelling out responsibilities.</p>

<p>My son left his rental trumpet on the basement stairs some years ago. I stepped on it and landed pretty hard on top of the darn thing. I am not a petite woman. My bruise was not in a nice place. The horn was BENT. </p>

<p>I was so embarrassed by the whole incident that it took me a couple of weeks to work up the nerve to take it back to the music store. It was insured. No Charge. The guy said that the bend was in the wrong place if I was going for the Dizzy Gillespie look. I would encourage the parents to read the agreement. An accident is an accident.</p>

<p>What school rental instruments are even worth $1500. Was it a bassoon?</p>

<p>I wonder if someone at the school does not believe that the instrument was damaged by a "trip and fall" and perhaps believes the student mistreated or otherwise broke the instrument. Was the incident witnessed by others? $1500 is pretty pricey; but depending on the instrument, could be a valid assessment.</p>

<p>I know I sure wouldn't pay that amount without doing a little more investigation, especially since it is insured.</p>

<p>"What school rental instruments are even worth $1500. Was it a bassoon? "</p>

<p>That's what I was thinking! D1 played the bassoon one year. There is no such thing as an inexpensive bassoon.</p>

<p>So what would the school have done if the student was on FRL?
Don't they carry their own ins?</p>

<p>At most, I expect the ins deductible is about $250.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Ask to see the insurance policy. Is there really a $1500 deductible, or is the school looking for some way to profit?

[/quote]
That's a good suggestion. Yes, the amount the student is being asked to pay is supposedly the deductible. School claims it's 30% of the cost.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Did the student sign a contract before receiving the instrument?

[/quote]
No. It was during music class with an instrument available during class. </p>

<p>
[quote]
I wonder if someone at the school does not believe that the instrument was damaged by a "trip and fall" and perhaps believes the student mistreated or otherwise broke the instrument.

[/quote]
No. The music teacher was there and witnessed. The student was not misbehaving. Just an accident.</p>

<p>
[quote]
"What school rental instruments are even worth $1500. Was it a bassoon? "

[/quote]
My neighbor said it was a "bass". I know absolutely nothing about instruments. She just told me this poor kid's problem and I thought it was excessive. The family is debating whether they should help the kid out or make her pay.</p>

<p>I would think that the school insurance would cover it- if the school does not have insurance that covers their equipment, then they should not ask students to transport or maintain it.</p>

<p>I definitely think they should see a copy of the insurance policy before they pay anything.</p>

<p>
[quote]
No. The music teacher was there and witnessed. The student was not misbehaving. Just an accident.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>All the more reason to fight this, imo. Seriously, accidents and wear and tear are expected in the life of a school owned musical instrument. I can't believe this school is holding the family responsible for the deductible without a prior signed agreement by the parents. Seems very very unreasonable.</p>

<p>I agree with the others that the amount seems excessive - if $1500 is 30%, then the total is $5000!

[quote]
She just told me this poor kid's problem and I thought it was excessive. The family is debating whether they should help the kid out or make her pay.

[/quote]
But in any case, if MY child were not misbehaving and fell, there's no way I would make him responsible for the damages any more than I would make him pay for his own broken ankle if he fell.</p>

<p>This seems very, very wrong. If during gym class a kid is shooting baskets and the backboard shatters the student doesn't pay for it. I received a bill for floor hockey sticks after my son broke the 5th or 6th one, but that was clearly the result of foolishness.</p>

<p>I would fight this one all the way to the week prior to graduation.</p>

<p>If it ends up that the school refuses to pay, then I believe the family (not the student) needs to cough up the funds. It was a simple accident and I see no reason why the parents would make the child pay.</p>

<p>What did she trip on? Maybe they should sue the school because their daughter tripped on their property. Well I'm being sarcastic. But I agree it sounds excessive and would want to see the insurance policy and detailed cost of repair, how old the instrument was etc.</p>

<p>While I agree that $1500 sounds excessive, I don't necessarily agree that the girl isn't responsible for the repairs or replacement. What if it had been a friend's instrument that she had accidentally damaged? Would those of you who would refuse to pay, do the same in those circumstances? Just because something is an accident doesn't mean that you're not responsible for damages caused.</p>

<p>A string bass perhaps? I would not pay it under these circumstances, i.e. in a class, an accident, no written agreement. If she does not pay, what will they do? Good luck.</p>

<p>What if it had been a friend's instrument that she had accidentally damaged</p>

<p>Im not a lawyer- but I assume homeowner ins- would have been in place if there were items that were so expensive that the deductible was well over $1K to repair them.
However, this seems much different than damaging something of a neighbor or friends.</p>

<p>A school district, assumes liability for students while on their campus or traveling to/from events- is this not correct?
Isn't this why school rules are in place while on campus or during the school day/field trips?
If they are liable within reason for students behavior- it seems that the fee is unreasonable- especially since it was a classroom instrument, not one that the parents had accepted responsibility for and had been informed of the parameters of that responsibility.</p>

<p>Whatever you do, don't take responsibility for it. The world would end if someone actually took responsbility for their actions.</p>

<p>If she doesn't pay, it would be the same as though she did not return a text book or library book or complete any other requirement to close out the year. The school can hold her records. That happened to my son in middle school. He did not return something and his final transcript did not get sent to the private high school where he was accepted for the following year. Oh what a pain that was! His fault entirely, but, yes I paid. Those who could set the whole matter straight were gone by the end of the year, so getting the situation resolved was not easy. So yes, there are consequences to not dealing with this situation.</p>

<p>I agree that there needs to be some discussion about this. Perhaps a sit down with the teacher, principal, a call to the district office to get info about the insurance, etc. </p>

<p>My son broke many, many things while he was at school. We didn't get charged for any of them, because they were all accidents. Windows broken while throwing within the prescribed zone was a specialty of his. None of the schools our boys attended charged for breakage of anything other than damage to books beyond wear and tear. Yep, if you wrecked a book, you paid. If you lost the book, you paid. Doesn't matter whose fault, it's your responsibility to return that book at the end of the year in the condition such a book should be after another year of use. But no one charged us a dime for anything else broken. And I have 5 boys who broke and damaged a lot of things.</p>