Mom: Playground Accidents are School's Fault

Parent says school ignored problems with playground equipment until injury

A Dallas mother says school officials should be responsible if children are injured on poorly maintained playground equipment.

Jermetra Allmon's 12-year-old daughter broke her ankle when a swing at Dealey Montessori Academy on Royal Lane snapped in December.

"Mid-air, the swing seat broke from under her," she said.

Allmom said the Dallas Independent School District should pay her daughter's medical expenses.

But Texas law exempts school districts from lawsuits and liability for accidents on their property, according to attorney and former State Rep. Domingo Garcia.

"Unfortunately for them, the Texas law is very clear, that you can not sue a school district basically for the negligence of their employees," he said.

Garcia said the law is likely intended to protect educators from frivolous lawsuits.

"So you can file a claim -- you can ask the school board to hear your issue and indemnify you for your damages, but they don't have to, under the law," he said.

Allmon said the school's principal knew about the broken swings before her daughter's injury.

"She did inform me that she had put in a request to have the swings repaired two weeks earlier, but the repair still hadn't been made yet," she said.

DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander said Thursday the district is reviewing the "unfortunate incident."

"I’m really not trying to sue them, I just want my medical bills," Allmon said. "No other parent should have to go through this."

The swingset has since been repaired. But the district would not tell her what, if any, private company did the repairs or supplied parts, Allmon said.

"No other parent should have to go through this, and I didn't find out this information until it happened to me," she said.

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