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Ohio Law – When Does Corporal Punishment, Discipline, and Restraint Become Child Abuse? A Review of Ohio Revised Code Section 2919.22

By Will Brown, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


Ohio children are entitled to live in a safe environment free from child abuse and neglect. This same concept applies to children who are being cared for in schools, day care centers, children care centers, churches, summer camps, and foster homes. Corporal punishment or physical punishment can often times be defined or qualify as abuse and neglect of the child. An important legal issue in Ohio and other States is
what level of corporal punishment is appropriate under the law. The key language under the Ohio Revised Code O.R.C. Section 2919.22 – Endangering Children provides that children should not be subject to corporal punishment or physical discipline or physical restraint for a prolonged period that is excessive under the circumstances and creates a substantial risk of serious physical harm or personal injury to the child. This statute is subject to interpretation by case law and situation. Child safety by parents, care givers, teachers, and others should be a primary concern. If there are doubts or concerns about the level or type of punishment allowed by this Code section under the law, then the administrator of the punishment, discipline, or restraint should refrain from such activities. Ohio law leaves a door open to corporal, physical punishment and restraint for parents, caregivers, and others who will often times go well beyond what kind of conduct is allowed by law.

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