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Discipline: State Laws on Corporal Punishment

Many states have outlawed corporal punishment in public schools, as theories of discipline have shifted away from the external, punishment/reward focus of the past. In states where corporal punishment is prohibited, teachers and administrators who spank or paddle their students could be held liable for assault and battery. In the remaining states, thousands of students nationally are subjected to some form of corporal punishment.

For information about school discipline, student codes of conduct, and bullying, see FindLaw's Student Conduct and Discipline section. 

The following list indicates those states that have banned corporal punishment.

ALASKA: The state banned corporal punishment in 1989.

CALIFORNIA: The state banned corporal punishment in 1986.

CONNECTICUT: The state banned corporal punishment in 1989.

DELAWARE: The state banned corporal punishment in 2003.

HAWAII: The state banned corporal punishment in 1973.

ILLINOIS: The state banned corporal punishment in 1993.

IOWA: The state banned corporal punishment in 1989.

MAINE: The state banned corporal punishment in 1975.

MARYLAND: The state banned corporal punishment in 1993.

MASSACHUSETTS: The state banned corporal punishment in 1971.

MICHIGAN: The state banned corporal punishment in 1989.

MINNESOTA: The state banned corporal punishment in 1989.

MONTANA: The state banned corporal punishment in 1991.

NEBRASKA: The state banned corporal punishment in 1988.

NEVADA: The state banned corporal punishment in 1993.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: The state banned corporal punishment in 1983.

NEW JERSEY: The state banned corporal punishment in 1867.

NEW YORK: The state banned corporal punishment in 1985.

NORTH DAKOTA: The state banned corporal punishment in 1989.

OREGON: The state banned corporal punishment in 1989.

PENNSYLVANIA: The state banned corporal punishment in 2005.

RHODE ISLAND: The state banned corporal punishment in 1977.

SOUTH DAKOTA: The state banned corporal punishment in

VERMONT: The state banned corporal punishment in 1985.

VIRGINIA: The state banned corporal punishment in 1989.

WASHINGTON: The state banned corporal punishment in 1993.

WEST VIRGINIA: The state banned corporal punishment in 1994.

WISCONSIN: The state banned corporal punishment in 1988.

 

*Important Notice and Disclaimer: State laws on corporal punishment in school are constantly changing -- contact an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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