State law permits the use of corporal punishment for disciplinary purposes.
2017 Tennessee Code Annotated 41-6-4108. Report detailing use of corporal punishment required.
(a) Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, each LEA shall submit, at least annually, a report to the department of education detailing the LEA's use of corporal punishment. The report shall include, at a minimum:
- (1) The school at which each instance of corporal punishment occurred;
- (2) Information regarding the reason for each instance of corporal punishment;
- (3) Whether an instance of corporal punishment involved a student with an active individualized education program, and if so, the primary disability category for which the student has an individualized education program; and
- (4) Whether an instance of corporal punishment involved a student with an active 504 plan under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 794), and if so, the reason for which the student has a 504 plan.
(b) The report submitted pursuant to this section shall exclude any personally identifiable information and shall be created in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), (20 U.S.C. § 1232g), § 10-7-504, and any other relevant state or federal privacy law.
(c) The department shall report on its website the number of instances of corporal punishment in each LEA and the number of instances involving a student with an active individualized education program or an active 504 plan under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 794).
2017 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4107. Use of reasonable force.
(a) A teacher, principal, school employee or school bus driver, in exercising the person's lawful authority, may use reasonable force when necessary under the circumstances to correct or restrain a student or prevent bodily harm or death to another person.
(b) Subsection (a) does not authorize use of corporal punishment by a person not permitted to administer corporal punishment under § 49-6-4103 or chapter 6, part 44 of this title.
(c) Subsection (a) does not authorize restraint or isolation of students for whom restraint or isolation is prohibited under chapter 10, part 13 of this title.
Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4103. Corporal punishment.
(a) Any teacher or school principal may use corporal punishment in a reasonable manner against any pupil for good cause in order to maintain discipline and order within the public schools.
- (1) Notwithstanding subsection (a), teachers, school principals, or other school personnel are prohibited from using corporal punishment against any student who has a disability, unless an LEA's discipline policy permits the use of corporal punishment and a parent of a child who has a disability permits, in writing, the use of corporal punishment against the parent's child. The written permission must state the type of corporal punishment that may be used and the circumstances in which the use of corporal punishment is permitted. The school's principal must keep the written permission on file at the school. The school's principal must notify the parent any time corporal punishment is used. The school's principal must inform the parent, when the written permission for the use of corporal punishment is submitted, that the parent may revoke the permission to use corporal punishment at any time by giving written notice to the school's principal that corporal punishment may no longer be used against the parent's child who has a disability.
- (2) As used in this subsection (b):
- (A) “School personnel” includes all individuals employed on a full-time or part-time basis by a public school; and
- (B) “Student who has a disability” means a student who has an individualized education program (IEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.), or a Section 504 plan under the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq.).
- (3) This subsection (b) does not authorize the use of corporal punishment by a person who is not permitted to administer corporal punishment under subsection (a).
Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4104. Rules and regulations.
Each local board of education shall adopt rules and regulations it deems necessary to implement and control any form of corporal punishment in the schools in its district.