Are schools liable for bicycle theft that occurs on school property?

Generally speaking, schools are not liable for student property stored on
school grounds. One thing that could prevent theft would be to distribute tips to bicyclists on ways to secure bikes on school property. The tip sheet could include the following topics:

  • Encourage students to park their bikes on the racks, instead of other school infrastructure (railings, sign posts, etc).
  • Encourage students to lock up their bikes, rather than leaning them against the bike racks.
  • Show students the most effective ways to lock up their bikes. Use a lock to lock the frame of  the bike to the rack, ideally also including the front wheel.
  • Where appropriate, indicate alternative parking locations if bike racks are full.
  • Teach students about the risks of leaving their bikes at school overnight.

Other actions that the school can take to reduce liability would be to install bike racks that are mounted in concrete (rather than moveable racks), and to choose the location in a place that is clearly visible from the school administrative office.

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