District of Columbia School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Corporal Punishment

Discipline Compendium

District of Columbia School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Corporal Punishment

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

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5-E2401. Student Bill of Rights.

2401.12 Each student shall have the right to respect from teachers, other students, administrators, and other school personnel, and shall not be subject to ridicule, harassment, or any punishment that is demeaning or derogatory. No student shall be subject to corporal punishment.

5-E2403. Corporal punishment.

2403.1 For purposes of this section, "corporal punishment" is defined as the use, or attempted use, of physical force upon, or against, a student, either intentionally or with reckless disregard for the student's safety, as a punishment, or discipline.

2403.2 The use of corporal punishment in any form is strictly prohibited in and during all aspects of the public school environment or school activities. No student shall be subject to the infliction of corporal punishment by any teacher, other student administrator, or other school personnel.

2403.3 No teacher, administrator, student or other person shall subject a student to corporal punishment or condone the use of corporal punishment by any person under his or her supervision or control.

2403.4 Permission to administer corporal punishment shall not be sought or accepted from any parent, guardian, or school official.

2403.5 Conduct prohibited by this section include actual or attempted use or physical force against a student in accordance with § 2403.1, provided that the conduct is not prompted by reasonable efforts at self defense or the defense of others; is necessary to maintain or regain order; or is necessary for the safety of the educational environment. Examples of prohibited conduct include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a) Shoving;

(b) Striking;

(c) Grabbing;

(d) Shaking;

(e) Hitting;

(f) Throwing of objects; and

(g) Unreasonable restraint.

(h) Directing others to inflict any of the above on a student.

2403.6 The nature and the amount of physical contact reasonably necessary for self-defense, defense of others, protection of the educational environment, or to regain or maintain order shall be dependent upon the factual circumstances of each case. When reviewing those circumstances, the following shall be considered.

(a) If the action was taken in self-defense or the defense of others, whether the action taken against the student was (1) proportionate to student's conduct, and (2) the least intrusive means of controlling the situation.

(b) If the action was taken against a student for the protection of the educational environment or regain or to maintain order, whether the action taken against the student was (1) taken as a last resort after all other reasonable means had been exhausted, and (2) the least intrusive means of controlling the situation.

2403.7 All allegation of the use of corporal punishment shall be promptly investigated. Discipline shall be administered against any employee who violates this section. Students shall be permitted, but not required, to testify at any proceeding relating to the allegation of corporal punishment.

2403.8 Employees found to have violated this provision will be subject to discipline in accordance with § 1401 these Board Rules, 5 DCMR 1401, and the appropriate collective bargaining agreement, if applicable.

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