In loco parentis

Teachers and administrators in the Pennsylvania public schools are given authority by § 13-1317 of the School Code to have the same authority over the conduct and behavior of their pupils as that exercised by any person in a parental relationship to the pupils, which includes parents and guardians. This authority may be exercised by school authorities while the pupils are "going to and from their homes" as well as while they are attending school. In Abremski v. Southeastern School District Board of Directors, 54 Pa. Cmwlth. 292, 421 A.2d 485 (1980), the Commonwealth Court stated:

The appellants assert that the Board was without authority to impose sanctions in this case because the activity in question took place on a school bus during the trip home after school had been dismissed for the day. Section 1317 of the Public School Code of 1949, 24 P.S. - 13-1317, clearly gives school teachers, principals, and vice principals the right to exercise authority over pupils "during the time they are in attendance, including the time required in going to and from their homes." (Emphasis added.) This language would be without meaning if the Board did not also have the power to impose sanctions for the improper conduct of students during the same period of time. Therefore, we find that the Board did have the authority to impose sanctions in this case.

This authority is over conduct and behavior and does not include making decisions regarding medical matters.


School Code 24 PS S 13-1317


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