Under the federal Teacher Protection Act (TPA), a school employee may be immune from civil liability when a student is injured as a result of the employee's attempt to discipline or control the student. However, the TPA does not apply if:
- the employee was not acting within the scope of his or her employment when the harm occurred;
- the employee's actions violated a federal, state, or local law;
- the employee engaged in misconduct that violated a federal or state civil rights law;
- the employee engaged in misconduct that constituted a crime of violence or an act of international terrorism for which the employee has been convicted in any court;
- the employee engaged in misconduct that involved a sexual offense for which the employee has been convicted in any court;
- the employee was not properly licensed or certified for his or her job;
- the harm was caused by willful or criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless conduct, or a conscious and flagrant indifference for the rights or safety of the person harmed by the employee;
- the harm was caused by the employee's operation of a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft, or other vehicle for which the state requires a license or insurance to operate the vehicle;
- the employee was under the influence of intoxicating alcohol or any drug at the time of the harm.
In addition, the TPA does not apply to misconduct during background investigations or other actions involved in the hiring of a school employee.
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