Republican Floor Leader
Senator Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward
State Capitol Room 519
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: May 12, 2008
Sen. Owen Lauglin
State Senate Sends
Another Lawsuit Reform Bill to Henry
The Oklahoma Senate voted 26 to 22 today to pass the School Protection
Act, a bipartisan lawsuit reform bill providing teachers and schools
protections from lawsuits. Last month the House of Representatives
passed the bill by a 94 to 0 vote. It now goes to Gov. Brad Henry.
The School Protection Act, Senate Bill 1024, is authored by State
Senate Co-Floor Leader Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward, and State Rep.
Dan Sullivan, R-Tulsa.
“The School Protection Act protects teachers and principals
from lawsuit abuse, giving school professionals the tools they need
to maintain order, discipline, and a positive educational environment,”
“Too many teachers and schools are fearful that if they take
common sense steps to maintain or restore order in the classroom,
they will be subjected to lawsuits. Defending a lawsuit is expensive,
even when the school wins,” Laughlin said.
Laughlin urged Henry to sign the bill.
“I’m a little concerned because the governor’s
knee-jerk instinct is to veto any meaningful lawsuit reform bill
that provides protections from lawsuit abuse. But we hope this time
he will join the Legislature in helping our teachers and schools.
I encourage him to sign SB 1024 into law,” Laughlin said.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SCHOOL PROTECTION ACT:
• Provides liability protection for losses or claims resulting
from the use of “necessary and reasonable force” by
a school district employee to control and discipline a student during
the time the student is in attendance or in transit to and from
the school, or at a school function.
• Provides liability protection for actions taken in good
faith by a school district employee for the out-of-school suspension
of a student pursuant to applicable Oklahoma Statutes.
• Awards attorneys’ fees and court costs to school
districts that successfully defend a lawsuit against the district
or an education employee.
• Makes it a crime for students to falsely accuse education
employees of criminal activity.
For more information contact:
Sen. Laughlin's Office: (405) 521-5626