A Strategic Alternative

OHIO REV. CODE. ANN.  3319.41


Ohio’s l993 law is a complex attempt to discourage corporal punishment but it does not prohibit its use.  Prior to l985, no public school districts banned corporal punishment in Ohio because of an attorney general’s opinion that they could not do so.  A law became effective in l985 allowing public school districts to do just that.  Few did so.  A law became effective in l994, which took nine years to pass. Provisions of the law are quoted here.   It led to a significant drop in paddling in Ohio’s schools.  Only 43 out of 611 public school districts reported paddling of students in l999.  [ For greater detail, email us at:, using the Subject: "NHAC.ORG" ]


3319.41 (A)


The law provides that no teachers, administrators, non-licensed school employees, or bus drivers may use corporal punishment unless the district’s board has adopted a resolution by September l, l994 to permit corporal punishment following procedures and timelines set out by the law including establishing a community task force, a study of discipline in the district by the task force and a review of its written recommendations.




“... in a district that permits corporal punishment the board must, as part of its disciplinary policy, permit the parents, guardian, or custodian of the student to request that corporal punishment not be used on that child, in which case an alternative disciplinary measure must be applied; a procedure for the exercise of this option must be included in the board’s resolution that permits the use of corporal punishment”.

After September l, l996 boards which retained corporal punishment can prohibit its use but boards that adopt resolutions permitting corporal punishment after that date can do so only have receiving and studying the written report of a local discipline task force.

“Task force members must include teachers, administrators, non-licensed school employees, school psychologists, members of the medical profession, pediatricians, when available, and representatives of parents’ organizations.  The task force must hold meetings regularly, give public notice of any meeting in newspapers or other periodicals of general circulation in the district, and produce a written report of findings and recommendations.  All task force meetings must be open to the public, and at least one meeting must be for the purpose of inviting public participation.”




“… provides that, if the board of a city, local, exempted village or joint vocational district elects to prohibit corporal punishment, the board must, before the effective date of the prohibition, (l) adopt a policy on discipline that includes alternative disciplinary measures; and (2) consider what in-service training, if any, employees might need as part of implementing that policy.”




Compiled by: The Center for Effective Discipline, Columbus, OH