I remember when I was a kid, Corporal Punishment was a thing, on it's way out, but still kind of a thing.

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I also remember my dad giving permission to other people in charge me carte blanche to smack me on the head if I got out of line. I would hear that and feel the stare of the grown ups and not sure if he was actually serious. To this day, he said he was serious about that, which is kinda scary.


Anyway, with Corporal Punishment widely frowned upon these days, it begs the question is it legal to physically discipline someone's kid in Montana?

Montana takes child abuse very seriously, and there are rules set in place to protect our kids.

Is it legal?


There are laws put in place to prohibit actions such as this in schools as well as child care facilities.

According to Montana code 20-4-302 Discipline and Punishment of Pupils, they have rules set in place to prevent physical harm.

A person who is employed or engaged by a school district may not inflict or cause to be inflicted corporal punishment on a pupil.

There are allowances for the restraint of a pupil for the safety of the pupil themselves, property and those around them.

A person who is employed or engaged by a school district may use physical restraint, defined as the placing of hands on a pupil in a manner that is reasonable and necessary.

Violations and fines are put in place for unnecessary uses of force.

If a person who is employed or engaged by a school district uses corporal punishment or more physical restraint than is reasonable or necessary, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction of the misdemeanor by a court of competent jurisdiction, shall be fined not less than $25 or more than $500.

Same goes for child care as well. According to rules.mt.gov, same rules

(1) Early childhood teachers must use appropriate forms of guidance and discipline. Physical punishment, including spanking or other forms of corporal punishment, is strictly prohibited in child care facilities. Discipline must include positive guidance, redirection, and the setting of clear limits that foster the child's ability to become self-disciplined. In addition, all staff must model appropriate behaviors for children in the facility.


(2) Any punishment or discipline which is humiliating, shaming, frightening, or otherwise damaging is strictly prohibited.


(3) Parental or guardian permission does not allow for the use of any punishments listed in (1) or (2) above.


(4) The provider is responsible for ensuring that each care-giver participates in an in-service training session regarding discipline and guidance techniques appropriate for children.

Not sure if this was law back in the early 1990's but, turns out a parent CAN NOT give permission for providers to give physical discipline.

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