THE REVISED SCHOOL CODE (EXCERPT)
Act 451 of 1976
380.1312 “Corporal punishment” defined; infliction of corporal punishment by employee, volunteer, or contractor; exercise of necessary reasonable physical force; liability; violation; deference given to reasonable good-faith judgments; development, implementation, and enforcement of code of student conduct; model list of alternatives to use of corporal punishment; authority permitting corporal punishment void.
(1) As used in this section, “corporal punishment” means the deliberate infliction of physical pain by hitting, paddling, spanking, slapping, or any other physical force used as a means of discipline.
(2) Corporal punishment does not include physical pain caused by reasonable physical activities associated with athletic training.
(3) A person employed by or engaged as a volunteer or contractor by a local or intermediate school board or public school academy shall not inflict or cause to be inflicted corporal punishment upon any pupil under any circumstances.
(4) A person employed by or engaged as a volunteer or contractor by a local or intermediate school board or public school academy may use reasonable physical force upon a pupil as necessary to maintain order and control in a school or school-related setting for the purpose of providing an environment conducive to safety and learning. In maintaining that order and control, the person may use physical force upon a pupil as may be necessary for 1 or more of the following:
(a) To restrain or remove a pupil whose behavior is interfering with the orderly exercise and performance of school district or public school academy functions within a school or at a school-related activity, if that pupil has refused to comply with a request to refrain from further disruptive acts.
(b) For self-defense or the defense of another.
(c) To prevent a pupil from inflicting harm on himself or herself.
(d) To quell a disturbance that threatens physical injury to any person.
(e) To obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous object upon or within the control of a pupil.
(f) To protect property.
(5) A person employed by or engaged as a volunteer or contractor by a local or intermediate school board or public school academy who exercises necessary reasonable physical force upon a pupil, or upon another person of school age in a school-related setting, as described in subsection (4) is not liable in a civil action for damages arising from the use of that physical force and is presumed not to have violated subsection (3) by the use of that physical force. This subsection does not alter or limit a person's immunity from liability provided under 1964 PA 170, MCL 691.1401 to 691.1415.
(6) A person who willfully or through gross negligence violates subsection (3) or who willfully or through gross negligence violates subsection (4) may be appropriately disciplined by his or her school board or public school academy. This subsection does not limit a school board's or public school academy's authority to discipline an employee for a violation of its own policies.
(7) In determining whether an employee, volunteer, or contractor has acted in accordance with subsection (4), deference shall be given to reasonable good-faith judgments made by that person.
(8) A local or intermediate school district or a public school academy shall develop and implement a code of student conduct and shall enforce its provisions with regard to pupil misconduct in a classroom, elsewhere on school premises, on a school bus or other school-related vehicle, or at a school sponsored activity or event whether or not it is held on school premises.
(9) The department shall develop a model list of alternatives to the use of corporal punishment. This model list shall be developed in consultation with organizations that represent the interests of teachers, school employees, school boards, school administrators, pupils, parents, and child advocates, plus any other organization that the state board of education may wish to consult. The department shall send this model list to each school district, public school academy, and intermediate school district in the state and to each nonpublic school in the state that requests it. A local or intermediate school board or public school academy shall approve and cause to be distributed to each employee, volunteer, and contractor a list of alternatives to the use of corporal punishment. Upon request, the department of education shall provide assistance to schools in the development of programs and materials to implement this section.
(10) Any resolution, bylaw, rule, policy, ordinance, or other authority permitting corporal punishment is void.
History: 1976, Act 451, Imd. Eff. Jan. 13, 1977
Am. 1988, Act 521, Eff. Mar. 30, 1989
Am. 1992, Act 6, Imd. Eff. Mar. 10, 1992
Am. 1995, Act 289, Eff. July 1, 1996
Am. 2000, Act 461, Imd. Eff. Jan. 10, 2001
Popular Name: Act 451
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