While 31 states have banned corporal punishment in public schools, 19 states still permit it. Louisiana is one of the states that doesn’t shy away from corporal punishment. In a 2011 district corporal punishment survey conducted by the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, 54 of the 70 responding school districts did allow corporal punishment.
Although current research tends to show that corporal punishment in school doesn’t help, Louisiana state law won’t change until the public actively requests a ban of corporal punishment of their schools and legislators. The following table outlines Louisiana’s corporal punishment in public school laws.
|Code Section||Louisiana Revised Statutes Section 17:223: Discipline of Pupils, Corporal Punishment and 17:416.1: Discipline of Pupils, Additional Disciplinary Authority|
|Punishment Allowed||Each parish and city school board has the discretion to use of corporal punishment. If a school board decides to use corporal punishment, it must adopt rules and regulations to implement and control any form of corporal punishment in the schools in its district.
Corporal punishment allowed in a reasonable manner; corporal punishment discretionary, but rules to implement and control any form of corporal punishment to be adopted by each city school board or parish.
The Louisiana Department of Education has a Corporal Punishment Incidence Checklist that schools are supposed to use to document each time corporal punishment is used to discipline students.
|Circumstances Allowable||Discipline in Louisiana public schools can be done in a way that is reasonable and for good cause.|
|Indemnification||A teacher, principal, or administrator sued for the corporal punishment they implemented must be defended by and indemnified by the school district, meaning the school district has to pay the damages. However, the school district won’t have to cover a teacher, principal, or administrator who maliciously, willfully, and deliberately intended to cause bodily harm to the child.|
If you’re concerned about the use of corporal punishment at your student’s school, you should contact an experienced Louisiana education lawyer or a civil rights lawyer. You may also want to discuss with your school district how to opt out of permitting corporal punishment of your child.
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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