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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 164011 Find in a Library
Title: Physical Seizures of Public School Students: How Far Can Teachers Go?
Journal: Children's Legal Rights Journal  Volume:16  Issue:2  Dated:(Spring 1996)  Pages:2-5
Author(s): K Terry
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 4
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Public school teachers must often make immediate disciplinary decisions, and students increasingly seek reparation when they feel a teacher has disciplined them inappropriately.
Abstract: It is common for students to sue their teachers in court, arguing that physical seizure violates their fourth amendment right to be free from unreasonable seizure and their 14th amendment right to be free from the use of excessive force against them. Teachers face the challenge of disciplining students without violating constitutional rights. An analysis of court cases indicates that student discipline in public schools is a difficult issue. As schools are increasingly affected by drugs and violence, teachers are forced to take affirmative steps to maintain classroom control. Some minimal physical contact with a student may be necessary to guide the student out of the classroom or to intervene in a physical altercation. Federal courts have attempted to balance the need to protect students from excessive force while in school against the need of teachers to control the classroom and discipline students. An objective reasonableness standard has been upheld by the courts--teachers can physically seize students when absolutely necessary but such a seizure must be an objectively reasonable response to the surrounding circumstances. 39 endnotes
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Courts; Crime in schools; Public schools; Rights of minors; School discipline; Students
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