School Board Policy 507 -
Corporal Punishment and Prone Restraint

Adopted: july 22, 1996
REVISED: june 11, 2001
revised: september 9, 2002
revised: july 16, 2018
Revised: April 11, 2022
Revised: September 11, 2023
Revised January 8, 2024

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to describe limitations on use of corporal punishment and prone restraint upon a student.

II. General Statement of Policy

No employee or agent of the school district shall inflict corporal punishment or use prone restraint upon a student except as provided below.

III. Definitions

A. “Corporal punishment" means conduct involving:

1. hitting or spanking a person with or without an object; or

2. unreasonable physical force that causes bodily harm or substantial emotional harm.

B. “Prone restraint” means placing a child in a face-down position.

IV. Prohibitions

A. An employee or agent of a district shall not inflict corporal punishment or cause corporal punishment to be inflicted upon a student to reform unacceptable conduct or as a penalty for unacceptable conduct.

B. An employee or agent of a district, including a school resource officer, security personnel, or police officer contracted with a district, shall not use prone or compressive restraint except that the restrictions on prone and compressive restraints do not apply under the circumstances enumerated in Minnesota Statutes, section 609.06, subdivision 1(1). All peace officers, including those who are school resource officers or otherwise agents of a school district, may use force as reasonably necessary to carry out official duties, including, but not limited to, making arrests and enforcing orders of the court.

C. An employee or agent of a district, including a school resource officer, security personnel, or police officer contracted with a district, shall not inflict any form of physical holding that restricts or impairs a student's ability to breathe; restricts or impairs a student's ability to communicate distress; places pressure or weight on a student's head, throat, neck, chest, lungs, sternum, diaphragm, back, or abdomen; or results in straddling a student's torso.

D. Conduct that violates this Article is not a crime under Minnesota Statutes, section 645.241, but may be a crime under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 609 if the conduct violates a provision of Minnesota Statutes, chapter 609. Conduct that violates IV.1 above is not per se corporal punishment under the statute. Nothing in this Minnesota Statutes, section 121A.58 or 125A.0941 precludes the use of reasonable force under Minnesota Statutes, section 121A.582.

V. Exceptions

An employee or agent of the school district may use reasonable force under the conditions set forth in Policy 506 (Student Discipline).

VI. Violation

Employees and agents of the school district who violate the provisions of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action as appropriate. Any such disciplinary action shall be made pursuant to, and in accordance, with applicable statutory authority, collective bargaining agreements and school district policies. Violation of this policy may also result in civil or criminal liability for those school district employees and agents.

Legal References:
Minn. Stat. § 123B.25(Actions Against Districts and Teachers)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.58 (Corporal Punishment)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.582 (Student Discipline; Reasonable Force)
Minn. Stat. § 609.06 Subd. 1 (6)(7) (Authorized Use of Force)
Op. Atty. Gen. 169f (August 22, 2023) (School Pupils: Discipline)
Op. Atty. Gen. 169f Supp. (September 20, 2023) (School Pupils: Discipline)

Cross References:
WBLASB Policy 403 (Discipline, Suspension and Dismissal of School District Employees)
WBLASB Policy 414 (Mandated Reporting of Child Neglect or Physical or Sexual Abuse)
WBLASB Policy 415 (Mandated Reporting of Maltreatment of Vulnerable Adults)
WBLASB Policy 506 (Student Discipline)