By Danni Ybarra |Staff Writer|
The bill, HB 868, also known as the “Teacher’s Protection Act”, would give an educator the right to use deadly force against a student in either self defense, in defense of other students, or in defense of school property.
An educator who uses justified brutal or deadly force would be entitled to the civil immunity, or not liable for their actions, according to the Bill.
“I do think if they can prove it was in self-defense, they should go easy on the teacher,” said student Katharine Hall.
“But they should not be given full immunity for using deadly force,” continued Hall.
Created by Rep. Dan Flynn and introduced to Texas Legislatures in January, the bill also states that an educator must be on school grounds, school buses, or at an outside school sponsored event when the forceful action occurs to be protected by the bill.
“Flynn’s proposal wouldn’t actually change much since the Lone Star State already lets adults kill one another if done in self-defense,” stated rt.com.
“Teachers in Texas are already granted immunity if they assault a student and ‘the use of force, but not deadly force, against a (student) is justified’” continued rt.com.
CSUSB Professor Cecilia Julagay believes deadly force is never okay, and force may be acceptable if in self-defense or in defense of others but not in defense of school property. Julagay added that a person is not equal to property.
Defense of school property is clearly defined in the bill. An educator is justified in using force or deadly force in defense of property of the school that employs the educator, as stated in the Bill.
As the Houston Chronicle Online pointed out, the bill was announced just days before a video of a 9th grade student body slamming his teacher on to a table for taking his cell phone away during school went viral.
“It’s clear that the teacher is avoiding fighting back or touching the student,” stated the Houston Chronicle.
Some students do not agree to the full terms of the bill.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea. There are to many ways to define self-defense, it will create too many holes,” said Hall.
“I believe the lawmakers are on the right path, but as a student I would not support this bill,” said student Alfonso Cano.
“It would lead to more problems than it would do good,” continued Cano.
Other students find it fitting that the bill comes from Texas.
“I can definitely believe it came out of Texas. They’re all about that kind of stuff,” said student Michael Wubker.
Flynn believes the proposed bill “will require our Texas Judicial System to only allow American Law on American Soil in our Texas Courts,” according to rt.com.
The Teacher’s Protection Act will take effect if it receives a two-thirds of the vote from all members of each house.
If the bill to protect teachers achieves the necessary amount of votes from each house, it will take effect on Sept. 1, 2015.