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Court Invokes Little-Used Statute to Bar Student Claim

Although not frequently cited by courts, the Coverdell Teacher Protection Act of 2001 provides legal immunity for teachers in certain enumerated circumstances. The federal court in Kansas recently invoked the statute to bar a student’s claim against a school administrator. The case arose from alleged physical and emotional abuse of a student by his classmates. Some of the alleged abusive acts were performed at the direction or under the observation of school administrators. Claims against the school were permitted to move forward, but the court invoked the Coverdell Teacher Protection Act and barred any claim against individual representatives of the school. A copy of the opinion is available here. This case is one of few published decisions providing relief under the Act and serves as a good example of the protections available to individual educators in certain circumstances.