Teacher to student: Let’s do this

Okay, maybe that’s not exactly what a teacher in Indiana said to a student before physically disciplining her, but you know she was thinking it. Paula Fettig, a teacher at Beach Grove High School, was accused last year of slapping a student during gym class. Fettig stated she only grabbed the girl by her chin to get her attention. On April 15, 2008, The Indiana Court Appeals decided State of Indiana v. Fettig, and held that Paula Fettig’s actions fell short of being “cruel or excessive,” the standard in Indiana to convict for assault and battery. A few highlights from the decision:

The majority:

Our legislature has provided authority to school personnel to discipline students by stating in all matters relating to the discipline and conduct of students, school corporation personnel: (1) stand in the relation of parents to the students of the school corporation; and (2) have the right to take any disciplinary action necessary to promote student conduct that conforms with an orderly and effective educational system. I.C. § 20-33-8-8(b). Further, Indiana Code section 20-33-8-9 provides that teachers “may take any action that is reasonably necessary to carry out or to prevent an interference with an educational function that the individual supervises.”

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