A Missouri school district has decided to reintroduce corporal punishment. The decision was taken after a survey of parents. The news caused a stir, but corporal punishment is still legal in 19 states, particularly in the South.
The school approved a new decision in June, informing parents that teachers will once again be allowed to spank their children as a discipline. The district repealed those measures in 2001.
A survey was conducted with parents last year in which they indicated that more discipline was needed. “The complaints we’ve heard from some parents are that they don’t want their kids to be suspended. They want another option,” said the school’s Meryl Johnson. “So that’s another option we can use before we get to suspension.”
Corporal punishment will be used “as a last resort” and only “in a reasonable manner and on the recommendation of the director.” And only the director will execute those sentences always in the presence of witnesses. It will not be in front of other students. And no hitting on the head or face. The only allowable punishment was “beating the buttocks with a paddle.” Parents must sign the admission form. It is not yet clear how many parents will do this.
Legal in 19 states
The news caused quite a stir, but this Missouri school was no exception. Before the coronavirus pandemic, corporal punishment was slowly on the decline, but it was still legal in 19 states, particularly in the South. According to the American newspaper The New York Times About 70,000 children were subjected to corporal punishment in the 2017-2018 school year. During that year, 4,000 schools reported that they used corporal punishment.
“It’s a troubling practice that only exists in a few counties,” said Morgan Craven, national director of the Intercultural Development Research Association. He also wants the central government to ban corporal punishment in schools.