(a) For the purpose of this section, "employee" shall mean any teacher, helping teacher, librarian, principal, supervisor, superintendent of public schools or any full-time employee, city or county, superintendent of public instruction, or any full-time employee of Department of Public Instruction, president, dean or teacher, or any full-time employee in any educational institution supported by and under the control of the State: Provided, that the term "teacher" shall not include any part-time, temporary, or substitute teacher or employee, and shall not include those participating in an optional retirement program provided for in G.S. 135-5.1. In all cases of doubt, the Board of Trustees, as defined in G.S. 135-1(7), shall determine whether any person is a teacher as herein defined.
(b) Any employee who while engaged in the course of his employment or in any activities incidental thereto, suffers any injury or disability resulting from or arising out of any episode of violence by one or more persons shall be entitled to receive his full salary during the shortest of these periods: one year, the continuation of his disability, or the time during which he is unable to engage in his employment because of injury. An episode of violence shall be defined to mean but shall not be limited to any acts of violence directed toward any school building or facility, or to any employee or any student by any person including but not limited to another student. These benefits shall be in lieu of all other income or disability benefits payable under workers' compensation to such employee only during the period prescribed herein. Thereafter, such teacher shall be paid such income or disability payments to which he might be entitled under workers' compensation. If the employment of a substitute is necessitated by the disability of the injured employee the salary of such substitute shall be paid from the same source of funds from which the employee is paid. This section shall in no way limit the right of the injured employee to receive the benefits of medical, hospital, drug and related expense payments from any source, including workers' compensation: Provided, further, that this section shall not apply to any employee who is injured while he participates in or provokes such episode of violence except as is incident to the maintenance or restoration of order or classroom discipline or to defend himself: Provided, further, that this section shall be given liberal construction and interpretation as to any and all definitions, conditions, and factual circumstances set forth herein.
(c) Any employee claiming the benefits of this section shall file claim with the board of education employing such employee within one year after the occurrence giving rise to his alleged injury. That board of education shall, within 30 days after receipt of such claim, decide whether and to what extent that employee is entitled to the benefits of this section and shall forthwith transmit its decision in writing to such employee. That employee shall, however, have the right to appeal the decision of that board of education to the North Carolina Industrial Commission by serving that board of education and the North Carolina Industrial Commission with written notice thereof within 30 days after receipt of the board's written decision. In determining all appeals under this section the North Carolina Industrial Commission shall constitute a court for the purpose of hearing de novo and passing upon all claims thereby presented in accordance with procedures utilized by the Commission in determining claims under the Workers' Compensation Act. The decision of the Industrial Commission in each instance shall be subject to appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeals as provided in G.S. 143-293 and 143-294. (1971, c. 640, ss. 1, 2; 1973, c. 753; 1979, c. 714, s. 2; 1981, c. 423, s. 1.)