It may surprise some to realize that corporal punishment is legal in Missouri schools. Missouri state law allows corporal punishment, such as spanking, but it also requires that all public school boards produce a written statement on the adopted policy for discipline. So, while corporal punishment is an option, local school boards ultimately have the final word on if it may be used in the district.

A copy of this written statement on the district’s discipline policies will be provided to each student and parent or guardian at the beginning of the school year, and a copy is also available for review at the superintendent’s office. This statement should include information on the district’s policy regarding corporal punishment, including if it will be used and if the parents will be contacted before punishment.

To find out about the discipline policies in your child’s school, consult the documents you should have been given at the beginning of the school year. If corporal punishment has not been formally banned, contact the school’s administration to find out how often corporal punishment has been used and under what circumstances it is considered appropriate.

For more information on discipline in Missouri schools, visit