Massachusetts - Corporal Punishment: Prohibitions or Restrictions

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

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

603 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 18.05 Required Policies and Procedures

(e) No student shall be subjected to abuse or neglect, cruel, unusual, severe or corporal punishment, including the following practices:

    1. Any type of physical hitting or pain inflicted in any manner upon the body;
    1. Requiring or forcing the student to take an uncomfortable position such as squatting or bending or requiring or forcing the student to repeat physical movements when used as punishment;
    1. Punishments which subject the student to verbal abuse, ridicule or humiliation;
    1. Denial of visitation or communication privileges with family;
    1. Denial of sufficient sleep;
    1. Denial of shelter, bedding, food or bathroom facilities.

Massachusetts General Laws ch 71.37G Corporal punishment of pupils prohibited; use of physical restraint; regulations

(a) The power of the school committee or of any teacher or any other employee or agent of the school committee to maintain discipline upon school property shall not include the right to inflict corporal punishment upon any pupil.
(b) The provisions of this section shall not preclude any member of the school committee or any teacher or any employee or agent of the school committee from using such reasonable force as is necessary to protect pupils, other persons, and themselves from an assault by a pupil. When such an assault has occurred, the principal shall file a detailed report of such with the school committee.
(c) The board of education shall promulgate regulations regarding the use of physical restraint for students. Such regulations shall not preclude any teacher or employee or agent of the school from using reasonable force to protect pupils, other persons and themselves from an assault by a pupil as set forth above in section (b). Such regulations shall require training of all personnel authorized to administer any forms of restraint. Such regulations shall provide for procedures for notification to the department and to the parents.
Source: General Court of the Commonwealth of Masachusetts

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