THOMAS V. BEDFORD, Ct. of Appeal of LA, 2nd Circuit, 1980, 389 So. 2d 405

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THOMAS V. BEDFORD, Ct. of Appeal of LA, 2nd Circuit, 1980, 389 So. 2d 405 Powered By Docstoc
THOMAS V. BEDFORD, Ct. of Appeal of LA, 2 nd Circuit, 1980, 389 So. 2d 405 History: Plaintiff appeals from a district court judgment rejecting her demands Facts: Bedford was standing outside a classroom talking to two other teachers when Goff, student (14), came up and struck Bedford a light blow w/the back of his hand; Goff then picked up a rubber band and flung it at Bedford from around two feet; Goff then turned and ran into his classroom, Bedford chased him and threw a 2’ long 1x2 board at, but missed him; Bedford left and went to his classroom for 10 or 15 minutes; He then went back to Goff’s classroom and pulled him into a vacant “project” room where the altercation in question took place—Bedford gave Goff a severe shaking or struck him three or four times w/his fist Issue(s): Was corporal punishment meted out by Bedford unreasonable? Holding: Reverse the judgment of the trial court and render judgment for Plaintiff Analysis: In LA, reasonable corporal punishment is permitted for teachers “Aggressor doctrine” contemplates an altercation provoked by the aggressor against a party who defends himself; Bedford waited ten or fifteen minutes, so it was a separate incident and not a spontaneous reaction to Goff’s actions; aggressor doctrine is not applicable Bedford, his employer, and insurance are liable for Goff’s injuries Corporal punishment may be administered in a reasonable manner as a measure, rational response to serious acts of misconduct