9A.16.090  <<  9A.16.100 >>   9A.16.110

Use of force on childrenPolicyActions presumed unreasonable.

(1) It is the policy of this state to protect children from assault and abuse and to encourage parents and their authorized agents to use methods of correction and restraint of children that are not dangerous to the children. However, the physical discipline of a child is not unlawful when it is reasonable and moderate and is inflicted by a parent or guardian for purposes of restraining or correcting the child. Any use of force on a child by any other person is unlawful unless it either: (a) Is reasonable and moderate and is authorized in advance by the child's parent or guardian for purposes of restraining or correcting the child; or (b) when occurring in an educational setting and involving an educator, actually or substantially complies with limitations on the use of student isolation and restraint under RCW 28A.600.485 including that it is used only when a student's behavior poses an imminent likelihood of serious harm.
(2) The following actions are presumed unreasonable when used to correct or restrain a child: (a) Throwing, kicking, burning, or cutting a child; (b) striking a child with a closed fist; (c) shaking a child under age three; (d) interfering with a child's breathing; (e) threatening a child with a deadly weapon; or (f) doing any other act that is likely to cause and which does cause bodily harm greater than transient pain or minor temporary marks. The age, size, and condition of the child and the location of the injury shall be considered when determining whether the bodily harm is reasonable or moderate. This list is illustrative of unreasonable actions and is not intended to be exclusive.
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