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Wyoming Corporal Punishment in Public Schools Laws

A majority of states prohibit principals, teachers, and school staff from physically disciplining students. Corporal punishment is a heated topic. While a large majority of Americans think spanking a child is sometimes necessary, there are noticeable divisions nationwide that fall along religious, racial, and partisan lines.

There’s also a clear geographical trend reflected in state corporal punishment laws. The nineteen states that permit corporal punishment in schools are mostly in the south and west. Wyoming is one of them, although reported stats show corporal punishment to be exceedingly rare. Here’s a summary of Wyoming law on the subject.

Corporal Punishment in Wyoming Public Schools

Corporal punishment is permitted under Wyoming law. State statutes permit a local school board of trustees to adopt policies for “reasonable forms of punishment and disciplinary measures.” Teachers, principals, and school superintendents are then permitted to “impose reasonable forms of punishment and disciplinary measures” for student misconduct. There’s another “reasonable” qualification coming up next. Teachers, principals, and superintendents who use “reasonable corporal discipline” in accordance with a school board’s (reasonable) disciplinary policy receive criminal and civil immunity.

Despite corporal punishment being permitted, nationally-collected statistics show it’s exceedingly rare in Wyoming. Additionally, from a legal perspective requiring “reasonable” policies and practices can be a grey area for most people. Then there’s the added controversy that surrounds corporal punishment in schools. Many parents who support spanking in some situations object to schools striking or physically punishing their child.

Code Section 21-4-308
Punishment Allowed School boards can adopt rules for reasonable forms of punishment and disciplinary measures. Teachers, principals, and superintendents can impose reasonable forms of punishment in accordance with school board policy.
Circumstances Allowable Insubordination, disobedience, and other student misconduct.

Note: State laws are always subject to change, usually through the enactment of newly signed legislation but sometimes through higher court decisions or other means. Be sure to contact an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Related Resources for Corporal Punishment in Public Schools Laws

You can find more information on school discipline and more general information on student conduct and discipline here at FindLaw. Since corporal punishment in public schools is a local matter in Wyoming, we’d recommend contacting a local education lawyer for more information.

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