Assault Leave

Injuries Sustained as a Result of Physical Assault During Performance of Duties – An employee who is physically assaulted during the performance of his or her duties may be absent for the time necessary to recuperate from the injuries sustained as a result of physical assault not to exceed two years from the actual date of the assault. The time lost by the employee shall not be charged against the employee’s accumulated leave days.

Protection from Physical Assaults

The District shall take reasonable steps to provide a safe environment for its students and employees. An employee may use reasonable force as it is necessary to protect himself/herself from attack, to protect another person or property, to quell a disturbance threatening physical injury to others, or to obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects upon the person or within control of a student or other person. An employee of the District who is physically assaulted during the performance of his/her duties is entitled to the number of days of personal illness necessary to recuperate from all physical injuries sustained as a result of the assault. At the request of the employee, the principal/work location supervisor must immediately assign the employee to assault leave status, which means that the days of leave needed to recuperate from physical injuries sustained as a result of assault shall not be charged against the employee’s accrued personal illness days. The period provided shall not extend more than two years beyond the date of the assault. After investigation of the claim, the District may change the assault leave status and charge the leave against the employee’s accrued personal illness days, or against the employee’s pay if personal illness days are not available, if the District determines that the employee was not assaulted.

Legal Representation

The Board attorney shall represent any employee of the Houston Independent School District on a claim made against the employee based on an act or omission by the employee in the course and scope of his or her employment. The employee’s right to legal counsel will be non-revocable except (1) when the claim arises from an employee’s action that was not in accordance with official directives or established Board Policy, or (2) when the claim arises from an illegal act, official misconduct, or gross negligence on the part of the employee, or (3) when the Board attorney determines there is a conflict of interest between the employee and the District. This benefit does not apply to disciplinary or discharge actions recommended by the Administration. The employee shall make application for legal services. Forms are available in the Legal Services Department.

Physical Assault of HISD Staff Member by Student

Any student who assaults an HISD staff member shall be suspended from the time of the offense to the end of the school year, unless there are significant extenuating circumstances. If extenuating circumstances are present, the punishment may be any punishment authorized by these policies for student misconduct. Such student may be charged with violating applicable municipal, state, and/or federal laws. Administrative procedures shall provide for the immediate documentation, notice to parents, and hearing of the facts within three days of the alleged offense. In such instances suspension of regular students from the school environment for the remainder of the school year shall preclude consideration of alternative placement. Administrative Procedures shall provide for assaults by handicapped students.

For the purposes of these policies, an assault is the commission of an offense defined in Section 22.01, Texas Penal Code, which states:

(a) A person commits an offense if he:

(1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or

(2) intentionally or knowingly threatens another imminent bodily injury; or

(3) intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when he knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.