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Arkansas Corporal Punishment in Public Schools Laws

To spank or paddle a child as a means of discipline is called corporal punishment, which is less favored nationally than it once was. Many states prohibit the use of corporal punishment by teachers and administrators altogether, but others either allow its use within certain guidelines or allow individual school districts to draft their own policies. Most states also allow parents who oppose the use of corporal punishment to exempt their child from the practice. But even in states where corporal punishment is widely practiced, any kind of physical contact that causes extreme pain or bodily injury is illegal and crosses over into child abuse.

Corporal Punishment in Public Schools: Arkansas

Under the state's School Discipline Act, teachers and administrators may use corporal punishment on students if their district authorizes it. No other statutory guidance is provided.

The chart below lists additional information about corporal punishment in public schools in Arkansas. See FindLaw's School Discipline section for related articles and resources, including School Discipline History.

Code Section 6-18-505
Punishment Allowed Use of corporal punishment by teachers or school administrators only in specifically authorized school district and administered in accord with district's written student discipline policy.
Circumstances Allowable "In order to maintain discipline and order within public schools" (varies by school district)

Note: State laws may change at any time, including those affecting school discipline, most often through the enactment of newly signed legislation. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, it's also a good idea to contact an Arkansas education attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Other Types of Punishment Generally Allowed in Public Schools

State laws vary quite a bit with respect to corporal punishment, which once was the predominant form of punishment in schools. While some schools still allow paddling or spanking as a form of discipline (often allowing parents to opt out), most states have adopted other methods for maintaining order in the classroom, such as:

  • Sending a student home early
  • After-school conference with the teacher and/or principal
  • Reference to an outside counselor or treatment program
  • In-school suspension or after-school detention
  • Suspension from school (however, many districts are coming to the conclusion that this is counterproductive)

Research the Law

Arkansas Corporal Punishment (in Public Schools) Law: Related Resources

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