Corporal Punishment Guidelines
Act 266 prohibits the administration of corporal punishment to students with exceptionalities, excepted gifted and talented students, and makes this law applicable to charter schools. Prohibits the use of corporal punishment with students who are eligible for services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and who have an Individual Accommodation Plan. Defines “corporal punishment” and provides that “corporal punishment” does not include:
- The use of reasonable and necessary physical restraint of a student to protect the student or others from bodily harm or to obtain possession of a weapon or other object from a student.
- The use of seclusion and restraint as provided in present law for students with exceptionalities. Amends R.S. 17:223(A), 416.1(B), and 3996(B) (2))
The State Legislature of Louisiana has enacted Act 688 which states:
“Every teacher is authorized to hold every student to a strict accountability for any disorderly conduct in school or on the playgrounds of the school, or on any school bus going to or returning from school, or during intermission or recess. Any teacher or school principal may use corporal punishment in a reasonable manner against any student for good cause in order to maintain discipline and order within the public schools, subject to the provisions of R.S. 17:416.1.”
The St. Mary Parish School Board established the following policy of corporal punishment:
School personnel have the authority to use reasonable force to maintain order in the school. Corporal punishment, when administered, shall be reasonable. It will be fairly and impartially administered and in the following manner:
- By the principal, assistant principal, or teacher (after having obtained permission from the principal) in the presence of a second school official.
- Paddle is to be applied to the buttocks area for a maximum of five (5) times.
- Parents will be notified when corporal punishment is administered to their child stating when, reason for, how many times paddle was applied and who was present when punishment was administered.
- Records will be kept in the principal's office.
- La. R.S. ACT 726 - 1975 (Section B) states that the local school board shall furnish legal defense to school personnel sued for disciplining students and will pay damages in such suit except, if the decree specifies that the action of the teacher or principal was malicious and willfully and deliberately intended to cause bodily harm.
Nothing contained herein shall be interpreted as prohibiting an employee from using physical force, reasonable and appropriate under the circumstances, to restrain a student from attacking another student or employee.