School employees will soon be protected from liability for acting in their official duty at school functions under legislation signed into law Tuesday. Senate Bill 5, by retired educator Sen. Ron Sharp and Rep. Josh Cockroft, will provide immunity from liability for teachers and other school employees for use of necessary and reasonable force to control and discipline a student during any authorized school function.
“This bill is about keeping both students and school employees safe. When there’s an altercation, be it in a classroom or other school function, school employees should be able to do whatever is necessary to stop it. Sometimes, physical restraint of a student is required to calm the individual down and stop the fight,” said Sharp, R-Shawnee. “Unfortunately, because of fear of lawsuits, some school employees won’t get involved but will simply call for help allowing more time to pass and the fight to escalate, which can be extremely dangerous for everyone involved. This bill will allow school employees to use reasonable force to stop an altercation without fear of being sued by the kids’ family.”
SB 5 provides liability protection to school employees for the use of necessary and reasonable force to control and discipline a student during school hours, in transit to or from the school, or any other function authorized by the school district.
The new law will go into effect November 1, 2015.