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Can you use corporal punishment in Florida?

As a teacher in a state that allows corporal punishment, it's important that you know when you can or cannot punish a pupil this way. Not following the requirements listed by the state could put your job in jeopardy, and you could even face assault charges from disapproving parents. To better understand what you have the right to do, speak to your administration directly. Here are some rules as set by Florida law.

First, corporal punishment is allowed, but you must follow the correct procedures before using it to punish a child. You must have the approval of the act by the principal of the school before you use it. Additionally, another informed adult also has to be present at the time. This, obviously, is for your safety and for the safety of the child receiving the punishment.

On top of making sure you have someone present and the permission of the principal, you must also provide an explanation to parents about why the process was used. Parents may opt their children in or out of corporal punishment, so you can't use it on a child whose parents said you can't.

Public school discipline was used frequently in earlier generations in the United States, but over time, some people have found corporate punishment too severe for children. Some schools focus on what a child does right, while others still provide punishment for misbehavior.

If you've been accused of hurting a child or taking corporal punishment too far, you have the right to defend your position. When it's legal to do so, all you were doing was your job.

Source: FindLaw, "Florida Corporal Punishment in Public Schools Law" Sep. 25, 2014

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