Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Court of Appeals Dismisses Battery Case Against Teacher

Generally speaking, I do not write about criminal matters unless the defendant is a business. I made an exception when I read COA: teacher within rights in striking student from The Indiana Daily Lawyer.

Judges Patricia Riley and Melissa May agreed with the trial court in State of Indiana v. Paula J. Fettig, No. 49A02-0709-CR-807, that gym teacher Fettig was protected from prosecution because state statute gives authority to school personnel to discipline students. Citing Indiana Code Sections 20-33-8-8(b) and 20-33-8-9, Judge Riley wrote these sections state 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."
Reading the article and skimming the case, my initial reason for including this report here remains unchanged. This could easily have been a civil case as much as a criminal one. I think the reasoning for dismissing the criminal information would apply to a case for civil battery under the same fact pattern: teacher uses force in her capacity as a teacher.