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Texas Corporal Punishment in Public Schools Laws

Corporal punishment refers to spanking, paddling, or other forms of physical discipline. Many states have banned corporal punishment in public schools, while several others, including Texas, allow the practice but give parents the opportunity to opt out. In Texas, corporal punishment in public schools is considered lawful unless a parent or legal guardian has refused to give permission with a signed, written statement to the school board.

Learn more about Texas corporal punishment in public schools laws in the table below. See FindLaw's School Discipline section and the links following this article for more information and resources.

Code Section

Texas Education Code Chapter 37: Discipline; Law and Order.

Corporal Punishment Defined

Deliberate infliction of physical pain by hitting, paddling, spanking, slapping, or any other physical force used as a means of discipline. The following activities are excluded from the definition of corporal punishment:

  • Physical pain caused by reasonable athletic training, competition or physical education; or
  • Confinement, restraint, seclusion, and time-out (which are addressed separately by state law).
Circumstances When Corporal Punishment is Allowed

If permitted by the board of trustees of a school district, a district educator may use corporal punishment to discipline a student. The exception to this rule is when a parents or guardians with custody or control of a child have previously provided a written, signed statement forbidding the use of corporal punishment to discipline the child.

A new written statement must be provided each year to the board of trustees of the district where the child attends school. At any point during the school year a parent or guardian may revoke the statement by providing a written, signed revocation.

Other Forms of Authorized Discipline

Under certain circumstances, the following forms of additional discipline may be permissible:

  • Removing of a student from a classroom, the campus, a school bus, or disciplinary alternative education program;
  • Transferring a student to a disciplinary alternative education program;
  • Suspension;
  • Expulsion;
  • Placement in a juvenile justice alternative education program;
  • Time-out; and
  • Restraints.

Parents of a child in the Texas public school systems may want to contact a Texas education attorney if they have additional questions and want to know more information about their parental rights.

Research the Law

Texas Corporal Punishment in Public Schools Laws: Related Resources

Learn More About Texas Corporal Punishment Laws

Do you recall getting a spanking in grade school or having your hand hit with a ruler by a teacher? While that may have been the case years ago, the laws around corporal punishment have been evolving and changing. Some forms of discipline are allowed, while others are now prohibited. Not sure about the laws? Speak with an education attorney in Texas today to find out more.

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