Indiana News

Teachers Return to Classroom With New Lawsuit Protection

8/17/2009

Teachers returning to school in the last week have found a letter waiting for them, advising them they now enjoy new protection from lawsuits.

A new law took effect last month giving teachers immunity from being sued over reasonable attempts to keep order in the classroom. Last week, Attorney General Greg Zoeller sent all teachers a letter required by the law, advising them of the change and urging them to discipline students appropriately without fear of legal repercussions.

Zoeller says he expects the number of suits to plummet, because the new legal presumption that a suit is without merit puts would-be plaintiffs more at risk of being ordered to pay a school's legal costs.

A judge could still rule a teacher's actions unreasonable, but the law tilts the playing field heavily toward the teachers.

Zoeller's letter does remind teachers to make sure they know their own district's disciplinary policies.

Zoeller says he hasn't had any feedback from teachers on the letter, but notes they've been busy getting their classes up and rolling.
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