The school-student relationship is a special relationship imposing on the school a duty of care to avoid foreseeable harm to the student. Colleges are “schools” within the scope of this rule but only in the context of school-sponsored activities over which the college has some measure of control. Students are comparatively vulnerable and dependent on their colleges for a safe environment. Colleges have a superior ability to provide that safety with respect to activities they sponsor or facilities they control. Here, UCLA owed its student a duty of care to protect her from foreseeable harm from another mentally troubled student in the classroom during a college course.
California Supreme Court (Corrigan, J.; Chin, J., concurring); March 22, 2018; 2018 WL 1415703