Skip to main content

In WI is spitting on someone considered assault?

Madison, WI |

In school, a child got spit on twice. this child twice tried to leave the area, got spit on both times, punched the spitter. now the school considers the child who threw the punch the assaulter.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


Schools these days often have a "zero tolerance" policy. While spitting on someone is considered an assault in many states under common law, that does not bind school policy.

It is certainly provocation and probably disorderly conduct.

Confidential information should not be disclosed in this Internet forum. Click on the "More..." link for IMPORTANT INFORMATION about this AVVO Answer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I am an experienced Wisconsin lawyer. The laws in each jurisdiction can be very different. I cannot give legal advice over the internet nor can I establish an attorney client relationship with you. You should NOT assume or otherwise conclude that there is an attorney -client relationship between any reader and this writer or his firm. These comments are only guideposts. They are not subject to any privilege protections. Indeed, these internet communications are neither privileged nor confidential. Accordingly, those using this form of communication need to be guarded in what they write. Because of the nature of these communications the information is general only and should not be relied upon in any specific case. This internet site is public forum, where the communications are not confidential or privileged. There may very well be merit to your defense or position in this type of situation. However, there are hardly sufficient details for an attorney to provide you with some path to follow. It is imperative that ALL of the facts in a particular situation be examined. No conclusion can be drawn from the communication that you have provided. There are some matters that are just better handled by an attorney familiar with the procedures of the courts in your area. Most, if not all, legal matters should not be handled via internet communication. At best, the responders on this site can give you a few hints and guidance. To deal with a legal problem, nothing is better than to consult with a lawyer who will give you some time and advice. If you cannot afford an attorney, there should be agencies in your area that can provide discounted, or even free, legal services. For a definitive answer you should seek legal advice from an attorney who (1) is licensed to practice in the state which has jurisdiction; (2) has experience in the area of law you are asking about, and (3) has been retained as your attorney for representation or consultation. Your question and the attorney’s answer may be used for promotional or educational purposes.

Stephen P. Johnson

Stephen P. Johnson


I agree with Attorney Kenyon. The punch can be considered battery (causing bodily harm, if it did and was intended so). The spitting is normally a sign of disdain and certainly can be disorderly conduct. Both are subject to juvenile law statutes, if applicable. Spitting can be considered assaultive because of contamination issues, some of which are quite serious. In the school setting, probably both types of conduct need to be addressed.


Being spit on may certainly be an excuse to hit someone, and certainly constitutes disorderly conduct, but it does not justify physically hitting someone. I agree with Attorney Kenyon about the "zero tolerance" policies that most schools have, and we have all heard the ridiculous stories about students being suspended for minor infractions. On the other hand, resorting to physical violence in reaction to being spit on, while understandable in some respects, should not be tolerated.


There are crimes that involve spitting specifically but none of them would cover the scenario you describe. Spitting could easily be considered a violation of disorderly conduct statutes. I think the "puncher" has a legitimate self-defense argument. At a minimum, you should consult with an attorney who knows/has experience with school law. If charges were issued, you should be able to find an attorney experienced in both. If you would like to speak with me, please call 920-459-8490. There will be no charge for the phone call.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer