In most states, state statutes explicitly allow for reasonable physical discipline of a child–often called corporal punishment or corporal discipline. In the states without such statutes, case law from courts allow for it.¹
Whether by statute or case law, every state allows parents to discipline a child with reasonable and developmentally-appropriate force in order to correct misbehavior and/or to promote the general welfare of the child. The term “reasonable” is difficult to define, so even though states allow parents to use physical force when disciplining a child, reasonableness is determined on a case-by-case basis by judges and juries.
If you are a member of Heritage Defense and still have questions after reviewing our Law & Policy page about Corporal Discipline, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.
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1 In our database, a state with a clear statute is graded with an A, while a state that does not have a statute but does have favorable case law is graded with a B.