Visitor Question

Kindergartener Injured After Teacher Refused to Tie Her Shoelaces…

Submitted By: Let (Texas)

My niece asked her teacher to tie her shoe on the way to lunch.

She is in kindergarten and doesn’t know how to tie her own shoes yet.

The teacher refused saying my niece needed to tie them herself.

As my niece was throwing away her tray to go to recess, she tripped on her shoelace and hit her face on the cafeteria table causing: a busted lip, bloody nose, gash on tip of nose, bruising on her cheek and dental problems.

Her teeth now hurt so bad she can’t chew anything.

Was the teacher negligent in not helping my niece tie her shoelace? Does my sister have a case against the school? Thanks for any perspective you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Let,

It depends. For the moment presume your daughter was in her kindergarten class and her shoe was untied. And we will also presume your daughter wasn’t injured at all that day.

Let’s then presume again her shoe was untied and the teacher had already taught your daughter how to tie her shoes… or you taught her to tie her shoes, or the teacher was doing her job helping your daughter to learn for herself how to tie her shoe.

And later that day your child came home with her shoes tied by herself.

It would seem under those circumstances the teacher did a great job by helping your daughter to learn to tie her laces.

As a matter of fact it is altogether feasible if your daughter was unable to tie her shoes and part of her kindergarten class was teaching the students how to lace their own shoes, you might have been quite pleased with your daughter and her teacher.

In the same breath presume your daughter’s shoes were untied and each day her teacher enabled her by not teaching her or properly prompting her to tie her own laces. If that were the case you might have wondered why her teacher hadn’t taught her to tie her shoes.

The question comes down to whether the teacher was negligent and breached her duty of care to your child, or if the teacher was just doing her job and your daughter accidentally fell and hurt herself.

There are arguments on both side of this scenario.

Learn more here: Claims for School Injuries & Accidents

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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