Delaware - Corporal Punishment: Prohibitions or Restrictions

Area: 
Prohibitions Or Restrictions
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law prohibits the use of corporal punishment for disciplinary purposes without exception.

Delaware Code 14-702 Corporal punishment.

(a) "Corporal punishment" means the intentional infliction of physical pain which is used as a means of discipline. "Corporal punishment" includes, but is not limited to, paddling and slapping, when used as a means of discipline.

(b) No public school teacher, administrator, official employee or agent of the School Board may subject a student enrolled in the school district to corporal punishment.

(c) Subsection (b) of this section does not prohibit a public school teacher, administrator, official employee or agent of a school board from:

  • (1) Using reasonable and necessary force to quell a disturbance, including but not limited to a physical altercation, or prevent an act that threatens imminent bodily harm to any person;
  • (2) Using reasonable and necessary force to obtain possession of a weapon, or other dangerous object within a student's control;
  • (3) Using reasonable and necessary force for the purpose of self-defense or the defense of others under §§ 464 and 465 of Title 11;
  • (4) Using reasonable and necessary force for the protection of property under § 466 of Title 11;
  • (5) Using reasonable and necessary force to prevent a student from imminently inflicting bodily harm on that student's own self;
  • (6) Using reasonable and necessary force to protect the bodily safety of others; or
  • (7) Using incidental or minor physical contact necessary to maintain order and control.

(d) In determining whether or not a person was acting within the exceptions in subsection (c) of this section, deference shall be given to reasonable, good faith judgments made by the teacher, administrator, official employee or agent.

(e) Nothing in this section shall prohibit, permit or otherwise affect any action taken by the teacher, administrator, official employee or agent of the School Board with regard to a person who is not a student enrolled in the school district.

(f) For purposes of this section, the term "reasonable and necessary" shall be interpreted in conformity with applicable limitations established by § 4112F of this title.

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