The federal Teacher Protection Act (TPA) applies to teachers, instructors, principals, administrators, school board members, and other educational professional or nonprofessional employees who work in a school and are called upon to maintain discipline or ensure safety.
The TPA does not apply to school districts. In other words, a school district is not immune from liability under the TPA.
Under the TPA, a school employee is immune from civil liability in a state court when a student is injured as a result of the employee’s attempt to discipline or control the student. Specifically, the TPA applies to actions taken by a school employee for the purpose of controlling, disciplining, expelling, or suspending a student or maintaining order or control in the classroom or school. When a school employee acts for any other purpose, and a student is injured as a result of the employee’s act, then the employee is not immune from liability under the TPA.
In addition, the TPA applies only if:
The TPA does not apply to cases in which the school employee has committed a crime of violence, terrorism, or sexual misconduct. The TPA does not apply if the employee has violated a federal or state civil rights law. The TPA does not apply if the employee was under the influence of intoxicating alcohol or any drug at the time of the harm.
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