HB 134 - Educators; discipline of students; liability

Georgia House of Representatives - 1995/1996 Sessions

HB 134 - Educators; discipline of students; liability

Page Numbers - 1/ 2/ 3
Code Sections - 20-2-1000
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1. Walker  141st          2. McKinney  51st          3. Smith  175th
4. Godbee  145th          5. Royal  164th            6. Stephenson  25th

House Comm: Ed / Senate Comm: Ed / House Vote: Yeas 170 Nays 1 Senate Vote: Yeas 44 Nays 3 ---------------------------------------- House Action Senate ---------------------------------------- 1/11/95 Read 1st Time 2/20/95 1/12/95 Read 2nd Time 3/13/95 2/15/95 Favorably Reported 3/13/95 Sub Committee Amend/Sub 2/17/95 Read 3rd Time 3/14/95 1/17/95 Passed/Adopted 3/14/95 CS Comm/Floor Amend/Sub FA 3/15/95 Amend/Sub Agreed To 3/29/95 Sent to Governor 4/18/95 Signed by Governor 372 Act/Veto Number 4/18/95 Effective Date ---------------------------------------- Code Sections amended: 20-2-1000
HB 134 HB 134/AP H. B. No. 134 (AS PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE) By: Representatives Walker of the 141st, McKinney of the 51st, Smith of the 175th, Godbee of the 145th, Royal of the 164th and others A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT 1- 1 To amend Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of 1- 2 Georgia Annotated, relating to elementary, secondary, and 1- 3 adult education, so as to provide that certain educators 1- 4 shall not be liable for any civil damages for, or arising 1- 5 out of, any act or omission concerning, relating to, or 1- 6 resulting from the discipline of any student, except for 1- 7 acts or omissions of willful or wanton misconduct; to 1- 8 provide for a definition; to provide for the imposition, 1- 9 collection, and payment of court costs, attorneys' fees, and 1-10 other expenses in certain circumstances; to provide for 1-11 actions and counterclaims; to provide for duties of county 1-12 and local boards of education concerning the provision of 1-13 counsel to educators and practices, procedures, hearings, 1-14 testimony, and other matters related thereto; to provide for 1-15 the payment of the costs thereof; to provide for other 1-16 matters relating to the rights of educators; to provide an 1-17 effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other 1-18 purposes. 1-19 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1. 1-20 Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia 1-21 Annotated, relating to elementary, secondary, and adult 1-22 education, is amended by adding, following Article 18 of 1-23 said chapter, a new Article 18A to read as follows: "ARTICLE 18A 1-24 20-2-1000. (Index) 1-25 (a) As used in this Code section, the term 'educator' 1-26 means any principal, school administrator, teacher, 1-27 guidance counselor, paraprofessional, school bus driver, 1-28 volunteer assisting teachers in the classroom, tribunal 1-29 members, or certificated professional personnel. 1-30 (b) No educator shall be liable for any civil damages for, 1-31 or arising out of, any act or omission concerning, H. B. No. 134 -1- (Index) HB 134/AP 2- 1 relating to, or resulting from the discipline of any 2- 2 student, except for acts or omissions of willful or wanton 2- 3 misconduct. 2- 4 (c) If a judgment or finding is rendered in favor of a 2- 5 defendant educator in any action, complaint, disciplinary 2- 6 proceeding, or other administrative proceeding brought by 2- 7 a student, a parent or guardian of a student, or any other 2- 8 person on behalf of a student and arising out of or 2- 9 resulting from the discipline of such student or if the 2-10 complaint is found to be nonmeritorious, frivolous, or 2-11 without just cause, all reasonable court costs, reasonable 2-12 attorneys' fees, and reasonable expenses incurred by the 2-13 defendant educator in defending such action or complaint 2-14 shall be assessed by the court, agency, or other tribunal 2-15 against the plaintiff and shall be paid by the plaintiff. 2-16 Any educator shall have a right to bring an action or a 2-17 counterclaim against the plaintiff in any such action or 2-18 proceeding for any damages suffered by the educator as a 2-19 result of the actions of the student or the filing of any 2-20 frivolous or nonmeritorious action, complaint, or report. 2-21 Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to apply to 2-22 any educator filing a complaint as required by the rules, 2-23 regulations, or code of ethics of the Professional 2-24 Practices Commission; any child abuse reporting statute; 2-25 any applicable local board of education rule, regulation, 2-26 or policy; or any State Board of Education rule, 2-27 regulation, or policy. 2-28 (d) If any civil action is brought against any educator or 2-29 any report or complaint is made or filed against any 2-30 educator with the county or local board of education, the 2-31 Department of Education, the Professional Practices 2-32 Commission, or any other regulatory agency or tribunal by 2-33 a student, a parent or guardian of a student, or any other 2-34 person on behalf of a student and arising out of or 2-35 relating to the discipline of such student, it shall be 2-36 the duty of the county or local board of education 2-37 employing such educator to provide counsel for the 2-38 educator, if requested by the educator, unless such board 2-39 of education determines, after an independent 2-40 investigation of the report or complaint, that the act or 2-41 omission of the educator constituted willful or wanton 2-42 misconduct or constituted gross misconduct in violation of 2-43 the express written policies of the board of education. 2-44 Neither testimony given in such independent investigation 2-45 nor the results of any such independent investigation by H. B. No. 134 -2- (Index) HB 134/AP 3- 1 the board of education shall be admissable in any other 3- 2 proceeding. The provision of counsel to such educator 3- 3 shall be for an educational purpose and any funds 3- 4 available to the board of education may be expended for 3- 5 such purpose. Any attorneys' fees recovered pursuant to 3- 6 subsection (c) of this Code section attributable to the 3- 7 services furnished by any counsel provided to an educator 3- 8 by his or her employer shall be paid to the employer." SECTION 2. 3- 9 This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the 3-10 Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. SECTION 3. 3-11 All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are 3-12 repealed. H. B. No. 134 -3- (Index)

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