Alabama - Corporal Punishment: Prohibitions or Restrictions

Area: 
Prohibitions Or Restrictions
Policy Type: 
statute; regulation
Summary: 

State law permits the use of corporal punishment for disciplinary purposes.

Alabama Code 16-28A-5 Immunity for other authorized school personnel.

It is the intent of the Legislature to include under the provisions of this chapter, principals, assistant principals and any other school personnel authorized to use corporal punishment under the policies and guidelines developed by the local board of education.


Alabama Code 16-28A-1 Legislative findings.

It is the finding of the Alabama Legislature that the people of Alabama have two basic expectations of their public schools: (1) that students be allowed to learn in a safe classroom setting where order and discipline are maintained; and (2) that students learn at the level of their capabilities and achieve accordingly. The Legislature finds further that every child in Alabama is entitled to have access to a program of instruction which gives him or her the right to learn in a non-disruptive environment. No student has a right to be unruly in his or her classroom to the extent that such disruption denies fellow students of their right to learn. The teacher in each classroom is expected to maintain order and discipline. Teachers are hereby given the authority and responsibility to use appropriate means of discipline up to and including corporal punishment as may be prescribed by the local board of education. So long as teachers follow approved policy in the exercise of their responsibility to maintain discipline in their classroom, such teacher shall be immune from civil or criminal liability. It shall be the responsibility of the local boards of education and the administrators employed by them to provide legal support to each teacher exercising his or her authority and responsibility to maintain order and discipline in his or her classroom as long as the teacher follows the local board of education’s policy. Such support for the teacher shall include, but not be limited to, providing appropriate legal representation to defend the teacher against charges, filing of a written report pursuant to Section 16-1-24, seeking the issuance of a warrant or warrants for any person or persons threatening or assaulting a teacher, and the timely assistance and cooperation with the appropriate authorities in the prosecution of any person or persons threatening or assaulting a teacher. Local school board authorities and school administrators providing such support shall be absolutely immune from civil and criminal liability for actions authorized or required by this section.


Alabama Code 16-28A-2 Exemption of teachers and other employees from application of Title 26.

The provisions of Title 26 shall not apply to public school teachers in relation to corporal punishment of students when the punishment is consistent with established written policies of the employing board of education. Neither shall the provisions of Title 26 apply to public school teachers or other employees while maintaining order and discipline in the classroom and on public school property, including school buses, consistent with written policies of the employing board of education.


Alabama Code 290-3-1-.02 Regulations Governing Public Schools.

(1) (f) 2. Requirements.

  • (v) The use of physical restraint is prohibited in Alabama public schools and educational programs except in those situations in which the student is an immediate danger to himself or others and the student is not responsive to less intensive behavioral interventions including verbal directives or other de-escalation techniques. Notwithstanding the foregoing, physical restraint is prohibited in Alabama public schools and educational programs when used as a form of discipline or punishment.
  • (vi) All physical restraint must be immediately terminated when the student is no longer an immediate danger to himself or others or if the student is observed to be in severe distress.
    Alabama State Department of Education
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