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United States - Extracts from State legislation - Schools



Alabama: 1995 ALA Acts 95-5-39

Alabama law provides immunity for teachers who "use corporal punishment or otherwise maintain order when exercising such authority within his or her local board of education's policy". It requires boards legally to defend teachers against such civil charges and exempts them from application of Title 26 of the Code of Alabama regarding child abuse when exercising corporal punishment or maintaining order within the local board of education's policy. It also provides immunity for other duly authorized school personnel.


Arkansas: ARK. CODE ANN. Sec. 6-18-505

"Any teacher or school principal may use corporal punishment in a reasonable manner against any pupil for good cause in order to maintain discipline and order within the public schools."


Arizona: ARIZ. REV. STAT. Sec. 15-843

"If the governing board of a local school district authorizes the use of corporal punishment, the board shall prescribe rules setting forth means and procedures for the administration of corporal punishment consistent with the following: .... to be used when all other disciplinary measures have been exhausted ... will be administered by spanking the buttocks of the student to cause no more than temporary pain and not to inflict permanent damage ... only administered by educationally certified personnel ... witnessed by an adult employee.. parents to be notified promptly that corporal punishment has been administered".


Colorado: COLO. REV. STAT. Sec. 22-32-1 1 0

"The board of education of each school district shall adopt a discipline code which shall include, but not be limited to, provisions to deal with disorderly students in a manner which allows other students to learn in an atmosphere which is safe, conducive to the learning process, and free from unnecessary disruption".


Florida: FLA. STAT. CH. 232.27, 228.041, 230.23, 229.592

"The school board shall have the authority to prohibit the use of corporal punishment provided that the school board adopts or has adopted a written program of alternate control of discipline, which may include, but is not limited to, timeout rooms, in-school suspension, student peer review, parental involvement, and other forms of positive reinforcement, such as classes on appropriate classroom behavior."

[Each school board shall] "Adopt a code of student conduct for elementary schools and a code of student conduct for secondary schools and distribute the appropriate code to all teachers, school personnel, students, and parents or guardians, at the beginning of every school year ... Each code shall include, but not be limited to:
1. Consistent policies and specific grounds for disciplinary action, including any disciplinary action that may be imposed for the possession or use of alcohol on school property or while attending a school function or for the illegal use, sale, or possession of controlled substances as defined in chapter 893.
2. Procedures to be followed for acts requiring discipline, including corporal punishment.
3. An explanation of the responsibilities and rights of students with regard to attendance, respect for persons and property, knowledge and observation of rules of conduct, ....."

"Each school shall conduct an initial needs assessment.... based on data from the 1990-91 school year and shall address at least the following:
1. ...
2. ...
3. Student school participation characteristics including: attendance rates, the number of expulsions and suspensions, and the number of instances of corporal punishment; ... "

"Corporal punishment is the moderate use of physical force or physical contact by a teacher or principal as may be necessary to maintain discipline or to enforce school rule. However, the term "corporal punishment" does not include the use of such reasonable force by a teacher or principal as may be necessary to protect himself or other students from disruptive students."


Georgia: GA. CODE ANN. Sec. 20-2-730 and Sec. 20-2-731

"An area, county, or independent board of education may, upon the adoption of written policies, authorize any principal or teacher ... to administer, in the exercise of his sound discretion, corporal punishment on any pupil or pupils placed under his supervision in order to maintain proper control and discipline ... shall not be excessive or unduly severe ... shall never be used as a first line of punishment for misbehavior unless the pupil was informed beforehand that corporal punishment may be employed ... must be administered in the presence of a principal or assistant principal ... principal or teacher who administered corporal punishment must provide the child's parents, upon request, a written explanation of the reasons for punishment... shall not be administered to a child whose parents or legal guardian has upon the day of enrollment of the pupil filed... a statement from a medical doctor ... stating that it is detrimental to a child's mental or emotional stability."

20-2-215."Classroom aides and paraprofessionals shall have, while performing assigned duties, the authority of 'in loco parentis', except for the administration of corporal punishment ...."


Idaho: IDAHO CODE Sec. 33-1224

"In the absence of any statute or rule or regulation of the board of trustees, any teacher employed by a school district shall have the right to direct how and when each pupil shall demean [sic] himself while in attendance at the school. It is the duty of a teacher to carry out the rules and regulations of the board of trustees in controlling and maintaining discipline, and a teacher shall have the power to adopt any reasonable rule or regulation to control and maintain discipline in, and otherwise govern, the classroom, not inconsistent with any statute or rule or regulation of the board of trustees."

"If the local school board permits the use of corporal punishment, we would recommend that a clear policy be written to meet the following legal standards to insure that: The teacher is not allowed to inflict corporal punishment on the basis of anger; The punishment is reasonable; The punishment is related to the age, sex, size and physical condition of the child; The punishment leaves no permanent effects; The punishment is not performed to enforce an unreasonable rule".


Indiana: IND. CODE ANN. Sec. 20-8.1-5-2, 20-8.1-5.1-3

Authority from Family Law, Sec. 31-6-4-3 (8) (e) "Nothing in this chapter limits the right of a person to use reasonable corporal punishment when disciplining a child if the person is the parent, guardian or custodian of the child."

3(a) Student supervision and the desirable behavior of students in carrying out school purposes is the responsibility of a school corporation and the students of a school corporation.

(b) In all matters relating to the discipline and conduct of students, school corporation personnel stand in the relation of parents and guardians to the students of the school corporation. Therefore, school corporation personnel have the right, subject to this chapter, to take any disciplinary action necessary to promote student conduct that conforms with an orderly and effective educational system.

(c) Students must follow responsible directions of school personnel in all educational settings and refrain from disruptive behavior that interferes with the educational environment.


Kentucky: KRS 160.290, KRS 158.48 and KRS 160.345 (2) (i) (7)

KRS 160.290 and KRS 158.48 give decision-making about disciplinary policies to local boards of education. KRS 160.345 (Site-based management law of 1990) gives decision-making to a site-based management "school council" when the school has adopted this alternative: "The school council shall adopt a policy to be implemented by the principal in the following additional areas... (7) Selection and implementation of discipline and classroom management techniques, including responsibilities of the student, parent, teacher, counselor, and principal;......"


Louisiana: LA. REV. STAT. Sec. 17:223

"Any teacher or school principal may use corporal punishment in a reasonable manner against any pupil for good cause in order to maintain discipline and order within the public schools."


Minnesota: MINNESOTA STATUTES 1966. Chap. 127.45

"Subdivision 1. Definition. For the purpose of this section, 'corporal punishment' means conduct involving:

(1) hitting or spanking a person with or without an object; or
(2) unreasonable physical force that causes bodily harm or substantial emotional harm.

Subd. 2. Corporal punishment is not allowed. An employee or agent of a public school district shall not inflict corporal punishment or cause corporal punishment to be inflicted upon a pupil to reform unacceptable conduct or as a penalty for unacceptable conduct. "


Missouri: MO. REV. STAT. Sec. 563.061 and Sec. 160.261

"The use of physical force by an actor upon another person is justifiable when the actor is a parent, guardian or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor or an incompetent person or when the actor is a teacher or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor for special purpose and ... the force used is necessary to maintain reasonable discipline ... the force ... is not designed to cause or believed to create a substantial risk of causing death, serious physical injury, disfigurement, extreme pain or extreme emotional distress ... force is administered with the consent of the patient or, if the patient is a minor ... with the consent of the parent, guardian."

160.261. 1. The local board of education of each school district shall clearly establish a written policy of discipline, including the district's determination on the use of corporal punishment and the procedures in which punishment will be applied. A written copy of the district's discipline policy and corporal punishment procedures, if applicable, shall be provided to the pupil and parent or legal guardian of every pupil enrolled in the district at the beginning of each school year and also made available in the office of the superintendent of such district, during normal business hours, for public inspection. All employees of the district shall annually receive instruction related to the specific contents of the policy of discipline and any interpretations necessary to implement the provisions of the policy in the course of their duties, including but not limited to approved methods of dealing with acts of school violence, disciplining students with disabilities and instruction in the necessity and requirements for confidentiality.

....

8. Spanking, when administered by certificated personnel of a school district in a reasonable manner in accordance with the local board of education's written policy of discipline, is not abuse within the meaning of chapter 210, RSMo. The provisions of sections 210.110 to 210.165, RSMo, notwithstanding, the division of family services shall not have jurisdiction over or investigate any report of alleged child abuse arising out of or related to any spanking administered in a reasonable manner by any certificated school personnel pursuant to a written policy of discipline established by the board of education of the school district. Upon receipt of any reports of child abuse by the division of family services pursuant to sections 210.110 to 210.165, RSMo, which allegedly involves personnel of a school district, the division of family services shall notify the superintendent of schools of the district or, if the person named in the alleged incident is the superintendent of schools, the president of the school board of the school district where the alleged incident occurred. If, after an initial investigation, the superintendent of schools or the president of the school board finds that the report involves an alleged incident of child abuse other than the administration of a spanking by certificated school personnel pursuant to a written policy of discipline or a report made for the sole purpose of harassing a public school employee, the superintendent of schools or the president of the school board shall immediately refer the matter back to the division of family services and take no further action. In all matters referred back to the division of family services, the division of family services shall treat the report in the same manner as other reports of alleged child abuse received by the division. If the report pertains to an alleged incident which arose out of or is related to a spanking administered by certificated personnel of a school district pursuant to a written policy of discipline or a report made for the sole purpose of harassing a public school employee, a notification of the reported child abuse shall be sent by the superintendent of schools or the president of the school board to the juvenile officer of the county in which the alleged incident occurred. The report shall be jointly investigated by the juvenile officer or a law enforcement officer designated by the juvenile officer and the superintendent of schools or, if the subject of the report is the superintendent of schools, by the juvenile officer or a law enforcement officer designated by the juvenile officer and the president of the school board or such president's designee. The investigation shall begin no later than forty-eight hours after notification from the division of family services is received, and shall consist of, but need not be limited to, interviewing and recording statements of the child and the child's parents or guardian within two working days after the start of the investigation, of the school district personnel allegedly involved in the report, and of any witnesses to the alleged incident. The juvenile officer or a law enforcement officer designated by the juvenile officer and the investigating school district personnel shall issue separate reports of their findings and recommendations after the conclusion of the investigation to the school board of the school district within seven days after receiving notice from the division of family services. The reports shall contain a statement of conclusion as to whether the report of alleged child abuse is substantiated or is unsubstantiated. The school board shall consider the separate reports and shall issue its findings and conclusions and the action to be taken, if any, within seven days after receiving the last of the two reports. The findings and conclusions shall be made in substantially the following form:

(1) The report of the alleged child abuse is unsubstantiated. The juvenile officer or a law enforcement officer designated by the juvenile officer and the investigating school board personnel agree that the evidence shows that no abuse occurred;

(2) The report of the alleged child abuse is substantiated. The juvenile officer or a law enforcement officer designated by the juvenile officer and the investigating school district personnel agree that the evidence is sufficient to support a finding that the alleged incident of child abuse did occur;

(3) The issue involved in the alleged incident of child abuse is unresolved. The juvenile officer or a law enforcement officer designated by the juvenile officer and the investigating school personnel are unable to agree on their findings and conclusions on the alleged incident.

9. The findings and conclusions of the school board shall be sent to the division of family services. If the findings and conclusions of the school board are that the report of the alleged child abuse is unsubstantiated, the investigation shall be terminated, the case closed, and no record shall be entered in the division of family services central registry. If the findings and conclusions of the school board are that the report of the alleged child abuse is substantiated, the division of family services shall report the incident to the prosecuting attorney of the appropriate county along with the findings and conclusions of the school district and shall include the information in the division's central registry. If the findings and conclusions of the school board are that the issue involved in the alleged incident of child abuse is unresolved, the division of family services shall report the incident to the prosecuting attorney of the appropriate county along with the findings and conclusions of the school board, however, the incident and the names of the parties allegedly involved shall not be entered into the central registry of the division of family services unless and until the alleged child abuse is substantiated by a court of competent jurisdiction.


New Jersey: N.J. PERMANENT STATUTES. Title 18A:6-1.

"No person employed or engaged in a school or educational institution, whether public or private, shall inflict or cause to be inflicted corporal punishment upon a pupil attending such school or institution; but any such person may, within the scope of his employment, use and apply such amounts of force as is reasonable and necessary:

(1) to quell a disturbance, threatening physical injury to others;
(2) to obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects upon the person or within the control of a pupil;
(3) for the purpose of self-defense; and
(4) for the protection of persons or property;

and such acts, or any of them, shall not be construed to constitute corporal punishment within the meaning and intendment of this section. Every resolution, by law, rule, ordinance, or other act or authority permitting or authorizing corporal punishment to be inflicted upon a pupil attending a school or educational institution shall be void. "


New Mexico: N.M. STAT. ANN. Sec. 22-5-4.3 and N.M. SBE. REG. 81-3, Sec. III B.3

"Each school district discipline policy shall establish rules of conduct governing areas of student and school activity, detail specific prohibited acts and activities and enumerate possible disciplinary sanctions, which sanctions may include corporal punishment..."
"Each local school board shall determine whether to permit the use of corporal punishment and shall publish and distribute a written policy either authorizing or prohibiting its use. Where corporal punishment is authorized, the written policy shall specify the allowable forms of punishment, the conditions under when it may be used and the procedures to be followed in administering it".


North Carolina: N.C. GEN. STAT. Ch. 122, Para. 24; Ch. 115c-390, 391

"Except as restricted or prohibited by rules adopted by the local boards of education, principals, teachers, substitute teachers, voluntary teachers, teacher assistants and student teachers in the public schools of this state may use reasonable force in the exercise of lawful authority to restrain or correct pupils and maintain order."

North Carolina law requires that each local board of education adopt policies governing the administration of corporal punishment. This legislation lists the minimum components to be included in a local policy.

The local board may consider expansion of requirements to ensure that any exercise of corporal punishment will not be excessive.

The board should require that -
the policy be communicated to all personnel, and
a copy of the policy be accessible to all personnel.


Ohio: OHIO REV. CODE ANN. Sec. 3313.20

Prohibits corporal punishment in school districts which do not follow certain procedures (including a community task force study and recommendations) and formally adopt policies expressly permitting its use. Additionally..."A school district which permits corporal punishment shall permit a child's parent, guardian or custodian to request that corporal punishment shall not be used as a means of discipline on their child".

Also: Ohio Statutes Section 3301.0714 (effective October 1996) requires the state board of education to have an education management information system containing data that includes, for each grade in each school district, the annual percentage of students receiving corporal punishment.


Oklahoma: OKLA. STAT. Title 21, Sec. 643 and Title 21, Sec. 844

"Provided, however, that nothing in this law shall prohibit a parent, teacher, or other person from using ordinary force as a means of discipline, including but not limited to spankings, switching, or paddling."
"Each school district and each school will have policies, rules, and regulations regarding the administering of corporal punishment".



South Carolina: SC CODE OF LAWS Sec. 59-63-260

"The governing body of each school district may provide corporal punishment for any pupil that it deems just and proper".


Tennessee: TENN. CODE ANN. Sec. 49-6-4103

"Any teacher or school principal may use corporal punishment in a reasonable manner against any pupil for good cause in order to maintain discipline and order within the public schools."
"Corporal punishment is the moderate use of physical punishment or physical contact by a teacher or principal as may be necessary to maintain discipline or enforce a school rule".
"Within the framework of the school district code of conduct, teachers and other instructional personnel have the authority to undertake any of the following actions in managing student behavior and ensuring the safety of all students in their classes and school: ... (j) Use corporal punishment according to school board policy........"


Utah: R277-608.

"3A. Corporal punishment, as defined under 53A-11-801(2), shall be prohibited in public schools in Utah.
B. Local school districts shall adopt policies and sanctions for implementing Subsection A, above.
4A. Each school district shall incorporate in the district plan submitted to the USOE annually, the prohibition of corporal punishment.
B. A district policy shall incorporate a prohibition of corporal punishment, appropriate sanctions and appeal procedures for district employees disciplined under this rule and the corresponding state statute."


blob See also:




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