Warrington v. Tempe Elementary School District No. 3

In Warrington v. Tempe Elementary School District No. 3, 187 Ariz. 249, 928 P.2d 673 (App. 1996) the Court considered a school's affirmative duty to students using school bus transportation concerning the placement of bus stops. 187 Ariz. at 250, 253, 928 P.2d at 674, 677. There, a school bus dropped off a seven-year-old student near a busy intersection and, while walking home from the bus stop, the child was seriously injured after he ran into the street and was hit by an automobile. Id. at 250, 928 P.2d at 674. The court's analysis focused on whether school bus stop placement involved a fundamental governmental policy determination and therefore was subject to absolute immunity under A.R.S. 12-820.01(B), which bars tort liability for public entities. Id. at 253, 928 P.2d at 677. Because placement of bus stops was part of the day-to-day performance of the school district's transportation supervisor, the court concluded such a responsibility was an operational function rather than a determination of policy. Id. Having found no immunity, the court determined that the school district "had a duty not to subject its students to an . . . unreasonable risk of harm." Id.