Across the country, teachers are facing an unprecedented level of stress and burnout. Those stressors are leading to a mass exodus of teachers. As reported in the New York Times, many are deciding to leave the profession altogether. Those who are continuing on, however, are often finding themselves in overcrowded classrooms with unmotivated students.
As a teacher, you know that discipline, when applied appropriately and justly, can help you keep your classroom in order. It can help your students focus, cooperate, and, ultimately, learn the vital information required for them to progress to the next level. But many parents may not understand what is required to run a successful classroom, especially in today's chaotic school climate. Far too many teachers are finding themselves accused of abuse for merely trying to discipline students.
The Line Between Discipline and Abuse
As you are likely aware, the state of Pennsylvania has a law against the use of corporal punishment in public schools. 22 Pa. Code § clearly states that corporal punishment, or physically punishing a student for failing to follow directions or school policy, is prohibited. That said, the same regulation also gives exceptions to the rule. The code holds that teachers, administrators, and other school authorities may use “reasonable force” to quell a disturbance, for the purpose of self-defense, to take possession of weapons or other dangerous objects or for the protection of persons or property. You may notice the wording is fairly vague. After all, what kind of disturbance merits a “reasonable force” response? What kind of force is “reasonable”?
You became a teacher to inspire students – and help them reach their full potential. If you are facing an allegation of abuse for a disciplinary action, it's important to understand that your ability to define “reasonable” and explain the circumstances behind your actions is paramount. This is why retaining a trusted and experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney is so important. They can help you mount a strong defense – and show why your actions remain inside the law.
A Trusted Advocate
If you have been accused of abuse in the classroom, you may be angry, frustrated, or even just full of disbelief. You may think it's something that will blow over on its own – certainly, your school and your colleagues will go to bat for you. But you shouldn't leave anything to chance. When you engage Joseph D. Lento and his Criminal Defense Team, you can rest assured that you have a strong advocate on your side. They will ensure that the authorities are aware of any mitigating circumstances – and why your actions fall into the “reasonable force” exceptions.
Joseph D. Lento and his Criminal Defense Team understand how the classroom has changed over the past few years – and the incredible stresses that today's educators face on the job. They will stand by you during the entire investigation process – and make sure your rights are protected every step of the way.
If you are facing an allegation of classroom abuse, contact Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm immediately to discuss your case – at (888) 535-3686 today.