1999 - 2000 LEGISLATURE
February 9, 1999 - Introduced by Representatives Grothman, Albers, Ainsworth,
Brandemuehl, Goetsch, Gundrum, Handrick, Hoven, Kaufert, Ladwig, F.
Lasee, J. Lehman, M. Lehman, Musser, Nass, Olsen, Ott, Pettis, Plale,
Porter, Reynolds, Seratti, Stone, Suder, Underheim, Vrakas and
Wasserman, cosponsored by Senators Welch, Clausing, Fitzgerald, Robson
and Schultz. Referred to Committee on Education Reform.
1An Act to create
118.31 (7) of the statutes; relating to: criminal liability of
2school personnel for corporal punishment.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Current law prohibits an official, employe or agent of a school board from
subjecting a pupil enrolled in the school district to corporal punishment. An official,
agent or employe may use reasonable and necessary force, however, to quell a
disturbance, to obtain possession of a weapon, in self-defense, to protect property,
to remove a disruptive pupil from the premises, to prevent a pupil from inflicting
harm on himself or herself or to protect the safety of others. The use of incidental,
minor or reasonable physical contact designed to maintain order and control is also
Prior to September 1, 1988, when the law prohibiting corporal punishment
became effective, the common law in this state recognized a teacher's authority to use
reasonable corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure in the absence of a school
board policy or rule to the contrary. If the teacher's conduct was reasonable, it was
privileged; i.e., it was a defense to prosecution for any crime based on the conduct.
This bill provides that the enactment of the law on corporal punishment did not
abrogate or restrict any statutory or common law defense to prosecution for any
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB100, s. 1
118.31 (7) of the statutes is created to read:
Nothing in this section abrogates or restricts any statutory or 3
common law defense to prosecution for any crime.
This act takes effect retroactively to September 1, 1988.