Can my principal legally make untrained teachers act as guards?

I’m a school teacher. Since the last school shooting, my middle school principal has mandated that all teachers take turns sitting by the front entrance of our school, during our personal planning as security guards. We are a small school system with 4 schools. The high school has a resource officer. I am told that the central office will not supply a resource officer for any other school. As far as I know, the 2 elementary schools are not making the teachers guard the front door. We are suppose to be tutoring our students during our planning and were told that guarding the front door took precedent.

Asked on January 15, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

This question is fraught with issues: is there a contract in place with the teachers and the school or district?  Are you employees at will? Does the request violate that contract?  Does your state law deal with the training of security or regulate security guards and does this action make the request itself against the law?  By the phrasing of your question it would seem that you have some form of contract that requires you tutor children, no?  Besides the answers to the questions that I have posed I believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with what he or she is asking of you.  You are licensed teachers not licensed security guards or resource officers as you term them.  You need to seek help in your area to deal with this.  It is an employment issue.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.