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State Laws

The majority of states have banned corporal punishment of school children while maintaining the rights of school authorities to use reasonable force and restraint to quell a disturbance threatening physical injury to others, to obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects upon or with the control of the student, in self-defense or for the protection of persons or property. In states where corporal punishment is allowed, local districts can ban corporal punishment as well as establish conditions beyond those established by state laws and regulations for its use. Where state law permits, courts generally uphold the "reasonable" application of corporal punishment and have been reluctant to find that such punishment violates student due process rights or rights to be free from "cruel and unusual punishment".

For information relating to the data below, please visit the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights website.

The below list includes the state and year in which corporal punishment was banned.

  • Alaska–1989
  • California–1986
  • Connecticut–1989
  • Delaware–2003
  • Hawaii–1973
  • Illinois–1993
  • Iowa–1989
  • Maine–1975
  • Maryland–1993
  • Massachusetts–1971
  • Michigan–1989
  • Minnesota–1989
  • Montana–1991
  • Nebraska–1988
  • Nevada–1993
  • New Hampshire–1983
  • New Jersey–1867
  • New Mexico–2011
  • New York–1985
  • North Dakota–1989
  • Ohio–2009
  • Oregon–1989
  • Pennsylvania–2005
  • Rhode Island–2002
  • South Dakota–1990
  • Utah–1992
  • Vermont–1985
  • Virginia–1989
  • Washington–1993
  • West Virginia–1994
  • Wisconsin–1988
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