AUSTIN – A Texas lawmaker says it’s time to protect teachers who stand up to unruly students, but he’s filed a bill that would authorize deadly force.

“One of the concerns they have is the lack of discipline in their classroom,” said state Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Canton), who believes teachers already have enough to worry about.

He says unruly students don’t just endanger the learning environment, but teachers and other students as well, citing recent instances of teachers being physically assaulted in their own classroom.

“From time to time, they do attack our teachers, and if a teacher even raises up her hand to defend herself, or he raises his hand up and defends himself, he finds he could be either sued or lose their job,” Flynn said. “I want to be able to protect those teachers.”

Flynn is the author of House Bill 868, which states “an educator is justified in using force or deadly force on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored event in defense of the educator’s person or in defense of students of the school that employs the educator,” as well as “in defense of property of the school that employs the educator.”

“When a teacher told me to sit down and behave, we did it,” said Flynn. “We are living in a different age right now, and the teachers are reluctant to be able to do that because there is such an effort on the part of many to blame them.”

Some 80 Texas school districts have policies allowing either teachers or staff to carry firearms, but Flynn is emphatic guns have nothing to do with his bill. While it doesn’t mention them, it doesn’t exclude them either.

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