Georgia
Linda C. Schrenko
State Superintendent of Schools
Georgia Department of Education,
Office of the State Superintendent of Schools,
Twin Towers East
Atlanta, Georgia 30334-5001,
(404)6564689, FAX (404)657-8376,
Web Page: http://gadoe.gac.peachnet.edu

August 22, 1997

Jordan Riak, Executive Director
Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education
Post Office Box 1033
Alamo, CA 94507-7033

Dear Mr. Riak:

In response to your inquiry regarding punishment in Georgia schools, please find enclosed the state laws 20-2-730 through 732. I hope that you will find these helpful.

Sincerely,
[signature]
Melanie Davis Stockwell
Director of Legal Services

MDS: dld
Enclosure
cc: Mrs. Linda C. Schrenko



20-2-731.
When and how corporal punishment may be administered.

An area, county, or independent board of education may, upon the adoption of written policies, authorize any principal or teacher employed by the board to administer, in the exercise of his sound discretion, corporal punishment on any pupil or pupils placed under his supervision in order to maintain proper control and discipline. Any such authorization shall be subject to the following requirements:

(1) The corporal punishment shall not be excessive or unduly severe;

(2) Corporal punishment shall never be used as a first line of punishment for misbehavior unless the pupil was informed beforehand that specific misbehavior could occasion its use; provided, however, that corporal punishment may be employed as a first line of punishment for those acts of misconduct which are so antisocial or disruptive in nature as to shock the conscience;

(3) Corporal punishment must be administered in the presence of a principal or assistant principal or the designee of the principal or assistant principal, employed by the board of education authorizing such punishment, and the other principal or assistant principal, or the designee of the principal or assistant principal, must be informed beforehand and in the presence of the pupil of the reason for the punishment;

(4) The principal or teacher who administered corporal punishment must provide the child's parent, upon request, a written explanation of the reasons for the punishment and the name of the principal or assistant principal, or designee of the principal or assistant principal, who was present; provided, however, that such an explanation shall not be used as evidence in any subsequent civil action brought as a result of the corporal punishment; and

(5) Corporal punishment shall not be administered to a child whose parents or legal guardian has upon the day of enrollment of the pupil filed with the principal of the school a statement from a medical doctor licensed in Georgia stating that it is detrimental to the child's mental or emotional stability.

(Ga. L. 1964, p. 673, 2; Ga. L. 1977, p. 1290, 1.) Cross references. - Prohibition against corporal punishment of employees under age of majority, 39-2-16.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

punishment not excessive as matter of law. - It is to be anticipated that corporal Punishment will produce pain and the potential for bruising, but as long as the student experiences no more than the short-term discomfort to be expected from the administration of corporal punishment, the evidence demands the conclusion as a matter of law that the punishment administered was neither excessive nor unduly severe. Maddox v. Boutwell, 176 Ga. App. 492, 336 S.E.2d 599 (1985).

Summary judgment reversed where materially varying versions of what occurred. - Summary judgment for principal was reversed in action brought by parent for injuries to child whose arm was broken while the child was being administered corporal punishment, since there were materially varying versions as to what occurred. Crews v. McQueen, 192 Ga. App. 560, 385 S.E.2d 712 (1989).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d. - 68 Am. Jur. 2d. Schools, 269, 270, 273-277.

C.J.S. - 78A C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, 796, 797.

ALR. - Personal liability of school authorities for dismissal or suspension of pupil, 42 ALR 763.

Teacher's civil liability for administering corporal punishment to pupil, 43 ALR2d 469.

Criminal liability for excessive or improper punishment inflicted on child by parent, teacher. or one in loco parentis, 89 ALR2d 396.



20-2-732.

When principal or teacher not liable
for administering corporal punishment.

No principal or teacher who shall administer corporal punishment to a pupil or pupils under his care and supervision in conformity with the policies and regulations of the area, county, or independent board of education employing him and in accordance also with this subpart shall be held accountable or liable in any criminal or civil action based upon the administering of corporal punishment where the corporal punishment is administered in good faith and is not excessive or unduly severe.

(Ga. L. 1964, p. 673, 83.) Cross references. - Purchase of liability insurance for school officials and employees, 20-2-990 et seq.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Cited in Maddox v. Boutwell, 176 Ga. App. 492, 336 6.6.26 599 (i 985).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d. - 6 Am. Jur. 26, Assault and Battery, 46, 122.

C.J.S. - 7 C.J.S., Assault and Battery, 23.

ALR. - Right to discipline pupil for conduct away from school grounds, 41 ALR 1312.

Personal liability of school authorities for dismissal or suspension of pupil, 42 ALR 763.

Teacher's civil liability for administering corporal punishment to pupil, 43 ALR2d 469.

Criminal liability for excessive or improper punishment inflicted on child by parent, teacher, or one in loco parentis, 89 ALR2d 396.


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