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Nevada Corporal Punishment in Public Schools Laws

While it once was the norm, physical discipline (known also as “corporal punishment”) in public schools has been subject to increasing scrutiny in recent years, from both parents and education professionals. Most states have enacted strict laws regarding whether, and when, public school administrators are permitted to hit, spank, or paddle students as a means of punishment.

States can vary on whether it is allowed, so what does the Silver State have to say on the matter? Here is a brief introduction to corporal punishment in public schools laws in Nevada.

Corporal Punishment Statutes in Nevada

Nevada, like most states, prohibits corporal punishment in public schools, and only allows the use of reasonable and necessary force in very limited circumstances. Nevada’s corporal punishment in public schools statutes are listed in the table below.

Code Section

Nevada Statutes 392.4633: Corporal Punishment Prohibited

Punishment Allowed

Corporal punishment prohibited.

Circumstances Allowable

Reasonable and necessary force for: quell disturbance; obtain possession of weapon; self-defense; to escort disruptive student.

History of Corporal Punishment in Public Schools

During the long history of public school discipline in the United States, popular opinion has swung from one extreme to the other, for the most part following public attitudes toward corporal punishment in general. In the middle of the 19th century, as more children began attending public schools, most U.S. educators employed European models of discipline that suggested learning occurred best with encouragement and kindness and therefore discouraged physical punishment in an effort to correct academic errors.

This perspective began to shift at the beginning of the 1900s, when education was seen more as a process of controlling student behavior while information was conveyed from teachers to students. Model classrooms were filled with well-disciplined students sitting attentively and learning by rote, and to a great extent, this concept continues to shape our modern ideas about classroom behavior and goals.

In the late 20th century, schools responded to media reports of juveniles committing serious felonies on school property and schools portrayed as veritable war zones by instituting “zero tolerance” behavior policies as a more rigorous attempt at student control. However many schools during this same period shifted their focus away from punishing students for bad behavior, based on emerging theories on discipline and punishment that suggested rewarding students for meeting or exceeding educational expectations was more effective.

Related Resources for Nevada Corporal Punishment in Public Schools Laws

State corporal punishment laws, and where reasonable physical force may be allowed, can be confusing. You can consult with a Nevada education attorney in your area if you would like legal assistance regarding an education matter. You can also visit FindLaw's section on School Discipline for additional articles and information on this topic.

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