Tennessee Code Annotated

Title 49: Education

Chapter 6: Elementary and Secondary Education

Part 40: Behavior and Discipline Codes

TCA 49-6-4016: Civil liability.

(a) In addition to criminal penalties provided by law, there is created a civil cause of action for an intentional assault, personal injury or injury to the personal property of students or school employees when the assault occurs during school hours, on school property or during school functions, including travel to and from school on school buses. A person who commits such an assault or injury shall be liable to the victim for all damages resulting from the assault, including compensatory and punitive damages. Upon prevailing, the victim shall be entitled to treble damages and reasonable attorney fees and costs.

(b) It is a defense against a civil action for damages under this section that a teacher, principal, school employee or school bus driver in the exercise of the person's lawful authority used reasonable force under SC 49-6-4107 that was necessary to restrain the student or to prevent bodily harm or death to another person.

History: Acts 1996, ch. 988, SC 7; 2012, ch. 687, SC 5.