California School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Corporal Punishment

Discipline Compendium

California School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Corporal Punishment

Category: Conditions on Use of Certain Forms of Discipline
Subcategory: Corporal Punishment
State: California

The state or jurisdiction(s) you selected for this subcategory are shown below, followed by the laws and regulations. To add or change states, use the Back button and resubmit your search request.

To view a state profile showing school discipline laws and regulations in all subcategories for a given state, click on the state name.

LAWS

CIV 1708.9.

(a) It is unlawful for any person, except a parent or guardian acting toward his or her minor child, to commit any of the following acts:

(1) By force, threat of force, or physical obstruction that is a crime of violence, to intentionally injure, intimidate, interfere with, or attempt to injure, intimidate, or interfere with, any person attempting to enter or exit a facility.

(2) By nonviolent physical obstruction, to intentionally injure, intimidate, interfere with, or attempt to injure, intimidate, or interfere with, any person attempting to enter or exit a facility.

(b) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Facility" means any public or private school grounds, as described in subdivision (a) of Section 626.8 of the Penal Code, or any health facility, as described in Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code.

(2) To "interfere" means to restrict a person's freedom of movement.

(3) To "intimidate" means to place a person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm to himself, herself, or another person.

(4) "Nonviolent" means conduct that would not constitute a crime of violence.

(5) "Physical obstruction" means rendering ingress to or egress from a facility impassable to another person, or rendering passage to or from a facility unreasonably difficult or hazardous to another person.

(c) A person aggrieved by a violation of subdivision (a) may bring a civil action to enjoin the violation, for compensatory and punitive damages, for injunctive relief, and for the cost of suit and reasonable attorney's and expert witness' fees. With respect to compensatory damages, the plaintiff may elect, at any time prior to the rendering of a final judgment, to recover, in lieu of actual damages, an award of statutory damages in the amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000) per violation of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), and one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).

(d) The Attorney General, a district attorney, or a city attorney may bring a civil action to enjoin a violation of subdivision (a), for compensatory damages to persons or entities aggrieved by the violation, and for the imposition of a civil penalty against each respondent. The civil penalty for a violation of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) shall not exceed fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000), or twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) for a second or subsequent violation. The civil penalty for a violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) shall not exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000), or twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) for a second or subsequent violation.

(e) This section shall not be construed to impair the right to engage in any constitutionally protected activity, including, but not limited to, speech, protest, or assembly.

(f) The adoption of the act that added this section is an exercise of the police power of the state for purposes of protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the people of California, and this section shall be liberally construed to effectuate that purpose.

(g) This section shall not be construed to restrict, inhibit, prevent, or bring a chilling effect upon any actions by a person that are reasonable under the circumstances to protect, secure, provide safety to, or prevent illness in any child or adult in a facility.

EDC 44807.

Every teacher in the public schools shall hold pupils to a strict account for their conduct on the way to and from school, on the playgrounds, or during recess. A teacher, vice principal, principal, or any other certificated employee of a school district, shall not be subject to criminal prosecution or criminal penalties for the exercise, during the performance of his duties, of the same degree of physical control over a pupil that a parent would be legally privileged to exercise but which in no event shall exceed the amount of physical control reasonably necessary to maintain order, protect property, or protect the health and safety of pupils, or to maintain proper and appropriate conditions conducive to learning. The provisions of this section are in addition to and do not supersede the provisions of Section 49000.

EDC 49000.

The Legislature finds and declares that the protection against corporal punishment, which extends to other citizens in other walks of life, should include children while they are under the control of the public schools. Children of school age are at the most vulnerable and impressionable period of their lives and it is wholly reasonable that the safeguards to the integrity and sanctity of their bodies should be, at this tender age, at least equal to that afforded to other citizens.

EDC 49001.

(a) For the purposes of this section "corporal punishment" means the willful infliction of, or willfully causing the infliction of, physical pain on a pupil. An amount of force that is reasonable and necessary for a person employed by or engaged in a public school to quell a disturbance threatening physical injury to persons or damage to property, for purposes of self-defense, or to obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects within the control of the pupil, is not and shall not be construed to be corporal punishment within the meaning and intent of this section. Physical pain or discomfort caused by athletic competition or other such recreational activity, voluntarily engaged in by the pupil, is not and shall not be construed to be corporal punishment within the meaning and intent of this section.

(b) No person employed by or engaged in a public school shall inflict, or cause to be inflicted corporal punishment upon a pupil. Every resolution, bylaw, rule, ordinance, or other act or authority permitting or authorizing the infliction of corporal punishment upon a pupil attending a public school is void and unenforceable.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

American Institutes for Research

U.S. Department of Education

The contents of the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments Web site were assembled under contracts from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Supportive Schools to the American Institutes for Research (AIR), Contract Number  91990021A0020.

This Web site is operated and maintained by AIR. The contents of this Web site do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the U.S. Department of Education nor do they imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education.

©2024 American Institutes for Research — Disclaimer   |   Privacy Policy   |   Accessibility Statement