Governor signs the “Protect Teachers Act” providing immunity for teachers intervening during fight on campus

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Governor John Bel Edwards has signed into law the “Protecting Teachers Rights Act” which provides teachers and administrators with civil and criminal immunity if they intervene in a physical fight on campus. Bill’s author, Denham Springs Representative Valarie Hodges believes this gives added protection to teachers and staff with no intent to harm students.

“I was very very excited that the Governor signed it. Of course, you know his wife was a teacher. And they know what goes on in classrooms. Then it had bipartisan support. It passed overwhelmingly.”

While current law provides protection for teachers if they need to step in and intervene during a fight between students, Act 56 goes on to provide immunity for school employees from civil liability and from criminal prosecution. Hodges says teachers are often in a no-win situation when a fight happens.

“It just makes our campuses a little safer because they know that teachers can’t intervene without being sued, being put in jail, losing their home, or whatever.”

Hodges says this will provide teachers assurance that if they intervene, they will be protected.

“I think classrooms have gotten more progressively a little more problematic. So if society changes, we just need to update our laws and protect our teachers. They do such an important job. So we just want to protect them.”

The bill gained support from the House of Representatives and Senate.

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