By Mr. Kaufman of Lexington (by request), petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 3922) of Kathleen Wolf for legislation to prohibit the corporal punishment of children. Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities.


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts




Kathleen Wolf





In the Year Two Thousand and Seven.



An Act prohibiting corporal punishment of children.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:


SECTION 1: Chapter 119 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2004 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after Section 51 B, a new Section 51 B 1/2 , as follows:




Corporal Punishment of children violates their rights to safe, secure and respectful care.


This section is intended to actively support nonviolent parenting.


The provisions of this section are intended to eliminate the use of corporal punishment to discipline children, because of the emotional harm and risks of bodily harm associated with corporal punishment of children.


The provisions of this section shall not preclude any adult from using incidental or minor physical contact designed to maintain order and control, or other discipline which does not constitute corporal punishment.


(a) For the purposes of this section, the following words shall, unless the context indicates otherwise, have the following meanings: -

鼎hild, any person under eighteen years of age.

鼎orporal punishment, the willful infliction of physical pain or injurious or humiliating treatment.


(b) It shall be unlawful in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for any adult to inflict corporal punishment upon a child.


(c) The infliction of corporal punishment on a child may be a basis for a finding of abuse and neglect.


(d) The provisions of this section shall not preclude any adult from using such reasonable force as is necessary to protect himself and others from imminent, serious, physical harm, including assault by a child, to divest a child of a dangerous instrument, to prevent injury to property, or to remove a child from a life-threatening or injurious situation.