APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County; the Hon.
EUGENE O. DUBAN, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE MILLS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Is a teacher immune from suit by a student for negligent injury?
Is a student also immune from such suit by a teacher?
The teacher-pupil immunity rule is a one-way street.
• 1 This case involves a dismissal on the pleadings. The facts which appear on the face of the plaintiff's complaint, and which must be taken as true (St. Joseph Data Service, Inc. v. Thomas Jefferson Life Insurance Co. of America (1979), 73 Ill. App.3d 935, 393 N.E.2d 611), are these:
During regular school hours, and in the course of his employment as a physical education teacher, James Phalen (insured), was struck and injured by a shotput thrown by Kevin Flynn, one of his students and the defendant in this case. American States became subrogated to the rights of the insured teacher by virtue of its payment of the expenses of his injury and, on August 14, 1980, filed suit alleging negligence on the part of the defendant student. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to section 48 of the Civil Practice Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 110, par. 48(1)(h)), stating in support of the motion that sections 24-24 and 34-84a of the School Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 122, pars. 24-24 and 34-84a) barred suits by teachers against their students.
The trial court dismissed and plaintiff appeals.
The question presented here is one of first impression. Section 24-24 of the School Code reads:
"Maintenance of discipline. Teachers and other certified educational employees shall maintain discipline in the schools, including school grounds which are owned or leased by the board and used for school purposes and activities. In all matters relating to the discipline in and conduct of the schools and the school children, they stand in the relation of parents and guardians to the pupils. This relationship shall extend to all activities connected with the school program and may be exercised at any time for the safety and supervision of the pupils in the absence of their parents or guardians.
Nothing in this Section affects the power of the board to establish rules with respect to discipline.
The board may make and enforce reasonable rules of conduct and sportsmanship for athletic and extracurricular school events. Any person who violates such rules may be denied admission to school events for not more than one year, provided that written 10 days notice of the violation is given such person and a hearing had thereon by the board pursuant to its rules and regulations. The administration of any school may sign complaints as agents of the school against persons committing any offense at school events." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 122, par. 24-24.)
Section 34-84a, the companion to section 24-24, is essentially identical, except that it applies only to cities with populations in excess of 500,000. Gerrity v. ...