It’s Toolbox Tuesday! Can a person get “assault leave” for just one day?

We like to highlight the Toolbox on Tuesdays. The Toolbox is a full day training program that focuses on the legalities and proprieties of serving students with disabilities who may be disruptive or even dangerous.  Today, we take on a tangential issue—employee assault leave.

Let’s assume that you have a student with a disability who physically attacks a teacher or aide.  There are various tools in the Toolbox that might be appropriate in that situation.  You may need to contact law enforcement (Tool #10).  Depending on the severity of the injury, you may be able to declare “special circumstances” (Tool #5). A short term removal might be proper (Tool #7 or #8).  You might seek a change of placement as a punitive measure (Tool #6).  You probably should consider a BIP, or revising the existing one (Tool #1).

But what about the employee?  Let’s assume that the employee suffers physical injuries that require a few days off of work.  Sick leave?  Personal leave?

I think you will find that most employees would prefer to get “assault leave” for this.  That way they are paid for the time they miss, but they do not have to use sick leave or personal days.   Assault leave is authorized by Texas Education Code 22.003(b):

In addition to all other days of leave provided by this section or by the school district, an employee of a school district who is physically assaulted during the performance of the employee’s regular duties is entitled to the number of days of leave necessary to recuperate from all physical injuries sustained as a result of the assault.

Notice that there is nothing in the statute that limits assault leave to situations where an employee misses a large chunk of time at work.  It could be one day, if that’s all it takes to recover from the physical injuries.


File this one under: ASSAULT LEAVE

Tomorrow: Some thoughts about school choice and fair competition.