What legal rights do teachers and school authorities have to regulate student conduct?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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In general, a schoolteacher, to a limited extent, stands temporarily in a parental capacity (in loco parentis in legal terms) to pupils under his or her responsibility. A schoolteacher may need to exercise reasonable powers of control, restraint, and correction so that the teacher may properly do his or her duties and accomplish the purpose of educating the students.

The school’s authority over a pupil may continue even after classes end and the student leaves the school premises. Misconduct by students on the way home from school or on the way to school may properly be within the scope of the school’s authority. Conduct outside of school hours and neither on school functions or school property may subject a pupil to school discipline if it directly affects the school.

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