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New Hampshire Corporal Punishment in Public Schools Laws

The use of spanking, paddling, or other forms of physical force for disciplinary purposes is referred to as corporal punishment. While schools in most U.S. states used corporal punishment at one time, behavioral studies and the concerns of child advocacy groups have led to many state bans. Most states do not allow the use of corporal punishment in public schools, but some states either expressly permit it or allow districts in the state to come up with their own policies. In any case, teachers and administrators may not inflict unusually harsh pain or fear in the child, which would be considered child abuse.

Corporal Punishment in New Hampshire Public Schools: Overview

The New Hampshire legislature banned the use of corporal punishment in public schools in 1983. However, state law does provide a loophole for teachers to use "necessary force" in special circumstances. These may include instances where the student is a threat to the teacher, other students, or him or herself.

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 627:6 (II)
Punishment Allowed Corporal punishment in public schools banned in 1983  
Circumstances Allowable A teacher or person otherwise entrusted with the care or supervision of a minor for special purposes is justified on the premises in using necessary force against any such minor, when the minor creates a disturbance, or refuses to leave the premises or when it is necessary for the maintenance of discipline.

Note: State laws may change at any time through the enactment of newly signed legislation, higher court decisions, and other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you may also want to contact a New Hampshire education attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Other Types of Punishment Generally Allowed in Public Schools

State laws vary quite a bit with respect to corporal punishment, which once was the predominant form of punishment in schools. While some schools still allow paddling or spanking as a form of discipline (often allowing parents to opt out), most states have adopted other methods for maintaining order in the classroom, such as:

  • Sending a student home early
  • After-school conference with the teacher and/or principal
  • Reference to an outside counselor or treatment program
  • In-school suspension or after-school detention
  • Suspension from school (however, many districts are coming to the conclusion that this is counterproductive)

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Laws on Corporal Punishment in New Hampshire Public Schools: Related Resources

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