UNLOCKING the gates: Implementing Shared Use Agreements

In 2013, the State of Indiana enacted House Enrolled Act 1159 – Liability for Use of School Facilities. This bill limits the liability of a public school or an accredited nonpublic school that opens up school property for community physical activity. The General Assembly recognizes that schools are a great community resource. 

With any resource there must be some protections for those who use it and for the entities providing it. This law allows schools to open up or share their property to the community for purposes of physical activity. The general public can have access to playgrounds, gymnasiums, pool, tennis courts, and fitness centers. The law also provides protections to schools by limiting the liability for providing physical fitness activities. A school is not liable for the death or injury of a participant that results from an inherent risk of a physical fitness activity. A participant or the representative of a participant may not: (1) make a claim against; (2) bring or maintain an action against; or (3) recover damages from; a school for injury, loss, damage, or death of a participant that results from the inherent risk of a physical fitness activity. Schools opening their doors are required to post a warning sign informing the public of the inherent risk of fitness activity and that schools will not be held liable for any injury that results from the activity.

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