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Vermont Corporal Punishment in Public Schools Laws

Corporal punishment in public schools is an umbrella term for any kind of physical discipline carried out by a school, which may include spanking and paddling. The use of corporal punishment is unlawful in public schools in 31 states and the District of Columbia, though in some of these there is no explicit prohibition. Read on to learn more about Vermont's stance on corporal punishment in public schools.

Corporal Punishment in Vermont

Vermont law does not use of physical force in maintaining discipline in schools. Usually, physical restraint is only allowed when a student’s behavior poses an immediate and major risk of physical injury to the student or others, and when other interventions have failed or would be ineffective.

School personnel and contract employees cannot use mechanical restraints, chemical restraints, or any physical restraint that limits breathing, causes pain, or is imposed without maintaining direct visual contact with the student.

Do the Same Laws Apply to Vermont Private Schools?

Vermont's laws on corporal punishment are only limited to public schools. This means that some private schools may be allowed to use corporal punishment more freely.

Because Vermont does not have a specific law that allows private schools to use corporal punishment, parents may have to consent to this form of punishment through a waiver when the child enrolls with the school. However, just because a parent signs a waiver does not mean that excessive or severe forms of corporal punishment are always allowed.

Vermont State Board of Education

The Vermont Board of Education resolves complaints, disputes, and problems between families and elementary and secondary public schools in all areas that affect student learning. Please contact that office for more information or consider speaking to an attorney who specializes in education law.

Vermont's corporal punishment in public school law is briefly summarized in the following table. See find law's School Discipline section for additional articles.

Code Section Tit. 16, §1161a
Punishment Allowed Corporal punishment generally prohibited
Circumstances Allowed? Reasonable and necessary force may be used to quell a disturbance, obtain possession of weapon, in self-defense, or protection of persons or property.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Vermont education attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(so) you are researching.

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