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Governor gives teachers more legal protection

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Hoping to curb frivolous lawsuits against teachers and schools, Gov. Mitch Daniels signed into law today legislation that he describes as being the strongest in the nation on protecting teachers from student discipline litigation.

With Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett nearby, Daniels held a ceremonial signing of House Enrolled Act 1462 this morning that put the new student discipline law into place starting July 1. It grants educators a qualified immunity status for a disciplinary action taken in "good faith," creates a process to ensure teachers are afforded state legal defense when sued, expands the authority of teachers to remove disruptive students from their classrooms, and establishes a national criminal background check for potential educators.

Teachers don't feel comfortable disciplining students because of possible lawsuits, Daniels and Zoeller said. Teachers would essentially be given the same qualified immunity status as state police or government officials, they said.

"Quality education cannot start until order prevails, and as of today Indiana has the strongest law protecting teachers against unruly students, unreasonable parents, and lawyers of all kinds," Daniels said. "This essentially eliminates the ability to sue a teacher or school acting in good faith, and ends the threat of legal harassment, except in the most extreme of circumstances."

Daniels described "good faith" as anything that doesn't involve a personal vendetta against a child. With this statute, the Attorney General's Office will also offer a hotline for teachers to use for assistance on legal issues. They will be referred to a deputy attorney general in the litigation division who will evaluate their case.

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  1. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  3. Don't believe me, listen to Pacino: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6bC9w9cH-M

  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  5. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

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