1. An employee of a public school district, accredited nonpublic school, or area education agency shall not inflict, or cause to be inflicted, corporal punishment upon a student. For purposes of this section, “corporal punishment” means the intentional physical punishment of a student. An employee’s physical contact with the body of a student shall not be considered corporal punishment if it is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances and is not designed or intended to cause pain or if the employee uses reasonable force, as defined under section 704.1, for the protection of the employee, the student, or other students; to obtain the possession of a weapon or other dangerous object within a student’s control; or for the protection of property. The department of education shall adopt rules to implement this section.

Terms Used In Iowa Code 280.21

  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • following: when used by way of reference to a chapter or other part of a statute mean the next preceding or next following chapter or other part. See Iowa Code 4.1
  • Nonpublic school: means any school, other than a public school, which is accredited pursuant to section 256. See Iowa Code 280.2
  • person: means individual, corporation, limited liability company, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership or association, or any other legal entity. See Iowa Code 4.1
  • property: includes personal and real property. See Iowa Code 4.1
  • Public school: means any school directly supported in whole or in part by taxation. See Iowa Code 280.2
 2. A school employee who, in the reasonable course of the employee’s employment responsibilities, comes into physical contact with a student shall be granted immunity from any civil or criminal liability which might otherwise be incurred or imposed as a result of such physical contact, if the physical contact is reasonable under the circumstances and involves the following:

 a. Encouraging, supporting, or disciplining the student.
 b. Protecting the employee, the student, or other students.
 c. Obtaining possession of a weapon or other dangerous object within a student’s control.
 d. Protecting employee, student, or school property.
 e. Quelling a disturbance or preventing an act threatening physical harm to any person.
 f. Removing a disruptive student from class or any area of the school premises, or from school-sponsored activities off school premises.
 g. Preventing a student from the self-infliction of harm.
 h. Self-defense.
 i. Any other legitimate educational activity.
 3. To prevail in a civil action alleging a violation of this section the party bringing the action shall prove the violation by clear and convincing evidence. Any school employee determined in a civil action to have been wrongfully accused under this section shall be awarded reasonable monetary damages, in light of the circumstances involved, against the party bringing the action.