Teacher Liability Protection:
PTAVE's letter to Cal. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein
April 21, 2001
S.316, the so-called Teacher Liability Protection Act, intended to immunize teachers against parents' lawsuits is now part of the Elementary and Secondary School Education Act and is due to be voted on imminently.
"Teacher Liability" is a myth. Teachers, speaking through their professional organizations, have not asked for this "protection," nor do they need it. They are more than amply protected through their unions and the school districts. Furthermore, no one has been able to show an example of a "frivolous lawsuit" against a teacher for discipline-realted conduct. Probably none exist.
The real purpose this proposed legislation is to ingratiate the current administration with the teaching profession by creating the illusion that it is doing something pro-teacher. It isn't. It is doing just the opposite. It is degrading the entire profession to the level of its least competent members. It is saying, in effect, that the only way to address bad behavior by a tiny minority of unfit teachers--the ones whose actions could provoke lawsuits--is to immunize the perpetrators! In so doing, the bill's sponsors are demonstrating gross contempt for the safety of children, and a cavalier disregard for citizens' legitimate right to seek redress through the courts. Their bill will be perceived by certain teachers as an official sign of approval for the beating of children on their buttocks with sticks--a practice that is still legal in 23 states. Photographic evidence of injuries resulting from such abuse can be seen at nospank.net/whacked3.htm
This legislation is a cynical maneuver to distract the public and to give government a convenient way to avoid addressing real problems in American education. We urge you to act responsibly by opposing "Teacher Liability Protection."
Jordan Riak, Exec. Dir.
Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education (PTAVE)
P.O. Box 1033, Alamo, CA 94507-7033
Tel: (925) 831-1661; Fax: (925) 838-8914
Web site: "Project NoSpank" at http://www.nospank.net
HAVE YOU BEEN
TO THE NEWSROOM?