Can a student lead his teacher

School Law FAQ: Discipline Issues

The answers to the questions are provided by Dr. jur. Hoegg, our school law expert, whom some of you know not only as the author of our school law cases but also from his nationwide training courses that he conducts for the Cornelsen Academy. Dr. jur. G√ľnther Hoegg is a lawyer specializing in school law, but also knows practical problems through his many years of work as a teacher.

A head of department once told me that I was not allowed to send a disruptive student out of the classroom because this would violate my duty of supervision. Is that correct?

No, that's wrong! You may send out any student who disrupts your class and who does not change their behavior despite your admonitions. However, the following should be noted: Normally disruptive students can expel you from the roomand close the door. However, you have to instruct the student that he has to stand in front of the door and not be allowed to walk around the building. There are stricter regulations for primary school students and students who are disturbed (ADHD or similar). These students are to be guided or controlled more closely. You can send them out of the room, but don't leave them unchecked. You need to send such students to the secretary's office or a training room, or you need to leave the door half open to see if they are still standing (or sitting) there.

What do I do if a student does not follow my instructions and does not leave the room? What can or may I do in such a case?

First you should repeat your instruction in a sharp tone ("metal in the voice") and if he still does not move, you are allowed to touch him and even with yougentle violence Maneuver out of the room to enforce your order. The LG Berlin already issued a groundbreaking judgment in 2009 (Hoegg: The 55 most important school law judgments, Scriptor 2016, judgment no.50): Even if the student gets a (small) bruise, it is not yet a criminal assault , because theynot with the intention of chastisement have acted, but to actually enforce your instruction. In the opinion of the court, teachers are left alone in such situations by the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs because it does not comment on what teachers are allowed or should do in these cases. If the student does not follow your instructions, you cannot put your hands on your lap, but have to act somehow and therefore have what lawyers call an "express authorization". Because (in comparable cases) to call the school management or even the police first would mean an enormous loss of authority. According to the court, the unfortunate impression would arise that a teacher could not even assert himself against an underage student.

Can I actually enter such and other disciplinary violations in the class register in order to document them for later?

No, you are not allowed to do this because it violates data protection. Because then, for example, students in your class could show the discriminatory entry in the class register to students from other classes. Such an entry would only be permitted if you have a course booklet for your study group that does not come into the hands of students. But what you can or should do: Make a note of the incident in the - usually located in the secretariat -Student file. Some schools already have an "insert" in it, a sheet on which such incidents can be quickly recorded with the date and time.

At our elementary school, we impose a break ban on disruptive students. This means that these students are not allowed to play with the others in the playground, but have to stay and work in the classroom. That works very well. But is it also permissible?

Well, let's take a closer look at the ban on breaks: In many situations, students are treated like employees, so they have the same rights and thus also oneEntitlement to the statutory break times (a total of at least 30 minutes per day, including a break of at least 15 minutes). So you can't completely take a 20-minute break away from a student. But as long as he has another break of at least 15 minutes, you can shorten a break, e.g. to half. In the remaining time, the student must have the opportunity to relax, have something to eat or drink, and use the bathroom. If the student does not have lunch or a drink with them, they can stock up on them in the cafeteria. Eating these things and relaxing can just as easily take place in the classroom.

What do we actually have to consider if we want to send a student back from a school trip because of a serious violation?

First, you need the parentsin front Inform at the beginning of the journey that you must expect your child to be sent back as soon as the child commits a serious offense. Also get a signature stating that the parents agree to bear the costs of a possible early return journey. Second, you are required to contact the school management, who must approve the return. However, if you and other colleagues have repeatedly had the bitter experience that the school management is not backing you up with such a measure, but leaving you out in the rain, you should consider whether you will still go on school trips in the future. I know several schools where colleagues (for precisely this reason) refused to continue driving. Lo and behold: The school administrators then agreed to support the sending back of problematic students. Third, you need to give parents the opportunity to save costs by picking up their child. If the parents refuse this offer, send the student back home by another route and bill the parents for the costs.

In summer, many of our students wear sexy clothes. They wear crop tops so that you can marvel at the pierced navel, they show large cleavages, preferably without a bra. Can we forbid that?

Yes, you can. However, such a dress code cannot be set up by individual teachers, but must be legitimized by the democratic bodies (school board, general conference, school conference). Student and parent representatives must therefore also agree. The reason for such a dress code is the so-called "school purpose". Because every institution has a purpose for which it is built. And as soon as this purpose is endangered, the school (institution under public law) may take measures to prevent this. The school purpose is the (concentrated) learning of the students. However, irritating clothing distracts, not only the male colleagues, but also the classmates. This jeopardizes the achievement of the school's purpose, which is why you can forbid such clothing in school. In order to be credible as a school, however, the female colleagues should also adhere to this dress code. It is important to make it clear to the students and their (perhaps just as relaxed) parents:The time at school is not free time! Even the school break times are not leisure time in the traditional sense.

What do I do if I catch a student taking drugs and he asks me not to tell his parents about it because he'll have huge problems at home?

I hope so that he gets serious problems because of this dangerous behavior at home. But now to your question. Of course, you have to inform the parents about this so that they have the opportunity to prevent the dangerous behavior. As a teacher, you have no duty of confidentiality like a priest, a doctor or a lawyer. It is true that information about their children is fundamentally the parents' obligation to collect. Butat important events - and drug use is hugely important - school hits oneObligation to deliver. You are therefore obliged to inform the parents about this serious event.

If you continue the topic from above, the following question arises: Are there actually things that I should or even have to inform the youth welfare office?

The KKG (law on cooperation in child protection) has existed since 2012, an important law that is hardly known. It is aimed at all people who work in education and training, including teachers. In the past, prior to the enactment of this law, there was only an educational obligation to take action if there was suspicion of neglect, mistreatment or abuse. With the creation of the KKG there is now onelegal obligation to take action. The first step is to inform the parents. If the abnormalities do not disappear afterwards or there is a reasonable suspicion that the parents would neglect contact by the school on their child as a punishment, then the youth welfare office must be informed. And in this context, you should know: several courts have already classified the repeated skipping of students as a sign of neglect.

And what does the youth welfare office do then?

Well, they start out very sensitively by giving advice. But if that doesn't work, then the screw is tightened more and more. The parents are checked; their custody can only be partially withdrawn, and later even completely. I do not know whether you have heard of the case of a Hessian mother. In 2011, she not only supported her boy with truancy, but even encouraged him to do so. The youth welfare office was turned on, but the mother remained resistant to advice. And at the end of the (long) process, this Hessian mother was sent to prison for 6 months. Just so that we don't misunderstand each other: She did not receive a suspended sentence of 6 months, but actually went to jail for 6 months. What do I mean by that? Youth welfare offices and public order offices are now much more tough on such negligent parents than they did 15 years ago.

Can a student who is threatened with a disciplinary measure actually bring a lawyer to the conference?

Yes, he can. While such a disciplinary conference is not a judicial process, similar principles apply. And every citizen basically has the right to be represented by a lawyer if he thinks he can protect his interests better than himself. it would speak in favor of its client. But then get out! Because after the taking of evidence and the pleading, the meeting / voting of the conference participants takes place, and it is secret. The student, his parents and the lawyer have to leave the room and only find out the result afterwards.

SchulRecht for practice
Hardly any teacher is given practical training in their professional law. Nevertheless, important decisions have to be made on a daily basis that can be checked externally in terms of school law. The associated uncertainty is countered by the advanced training.