California Penal Code 243.6 PC makes it a misdemeanor to commit battery against school employees. If injuries result however, then battery on a school employee can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.
The full language of the code section reads as follows:
243.6. When a battery is committed against a school employee engaged in the performance of his or her duties, or in retaliation for an act performed in the course of his or her duties, whether on or off campus, during the schoolday or at any other time, and the person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a school employee, the battery is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment. However, if an injury is inflicted on the victim, the battery shall be punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for 16 months, or two or three years.
For purposes of this section, “school employee” has the same meaning as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 245.5.
This section shall not apply to conduct arising during the course of an otherwise lawful labor dispute.
Under California Penal Code 243.6 PC, a defendant can be convicted of committing battery on a school employee when:
- the defendant inflicts unlawful physical force against a school employee;
- the employee was on-duty or the defendant was acting in retaliation to the employee’s actions as a school employee; and
- the defendant knew – or reasonably should have known – that the victim was a school employee.
It makes no difference what time of day the battery occurred or whether the battery happened on- or off-campus. The school employee can be either a:
- administrator, or
- any other type of full-time, part-time, or substitute staff member.
Example: Tom is angry his son’s math teacher Mr. Smith gave him a failing grade. After school, Tom accosts Mr. Smith in the parking lot and punches him.
Here, Tom could be convicted of violating PC 243.6 for knowingly battering a school employee.
Battery on a school employee is typically a misdemeanor in California carrying:
- up to 1 year in county jail, and/or
- up to $2,000 in fines.
If the victim sustains an injury, however, then the prosecutor can file charges as either a misdemeanor or a felony (a “wobbler“).
A felony conviction for battery on a school employee carries a California State Prison sentence of:
- 16 months,
- 2 years, or
- 3 years in prison.
Defendants also face a fine of up to $10,000.1
See our related article assault on a school employee (PC 241.6).
- California Penal Code 243.6 PC – Battery against school employee in retaliation for performance of duties; Injury; Punishment. See, for example: In re B.L. (Cal. App. 1st Dist., 2015), 239 Cal. App. 4th 1491, 192 Cal. Rptr. 3d 154; In re Fernando C. 227 (Cal. App. 1st Dist., 2014) Cal. App. 4th 499.