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Montana Corporal Punishment in Public Schools Laws

Causing minor and short-lived pain as a means of discipline -- without causing lasting injuries -- is called "corporal punishment." This typically takes the form of spanking or paddling and was once the primary means of discipline in U.S. schools. But corporal punishment has fallen out of favor among many parents and state lawmakers, and has thus been prohibited by a number of states.

State corporal punishment in public school laws either ban corporal punishment, expressly permit it, or allow districts in the state to come up with their own policies. Regardless of state law, discipline may not cause injuries or extreme fear.

Corporal Punishment in Montana Public Schools at a Glance

Montana's statute covering public school disciplinary standards prohibits the use of corporal punishment as a means of discipline. However, "physical restraint" is permitted in extraordinary situations, such as to protect one's self or other students. Most states allow physical force under such circumstances, even if the use of corporal punishment in general is prohibited.

See FindLaw's School Discipline section for related articles and resources, including School Discipline History. You may also want to check out FindLaw's Child Abuse section.

Code Section 20-4-302
Punishment Allowed No school district employee may inflict corporal punishment on a pupil.
Circumstances Allowable

A person who is employed or engaged by a school district may use physical restraint, defined as the placing of hands on a pupil in a manner that is reasonable and necessary to:

  • Quell a disturbance;
  • Provide self-protection;
  • Protect the pupil or others from physical injury;
  • Obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous object on the person of the pupil or within control of the pupil;
  • Maintain the orderly conduct of a pupil including but not limited to relocating a pupil in a waiting line, classroom, lunchroom, principal's office, or other on-campus facility; or
  • Protect property from serious harm.

Note: State laws are subject to change through the enactment of newly signed legislation and other means, such as decisions from higher courts. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these page, you also may want to contact a Montana education attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Laws on Corporal Punishment in Montana Public Schools: Related Resources  

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