The Cassville school district in Missouri reinstated corporal punishment for all students beginning this school year.
The district did away with the practice of spanking children in schools for bad behavior in 2001. Since then, the district claims, students have displayed an increase in concerning behavior. As a result, the school board voted in June to bring back spanking, but only with parental consent.
Parents of students in the district are able to opt in to the practice for their children to be spanked by school staff when other methods of punishment, including suspension, have not worked. The district superintendent would also have to sign off on the punishment for each student. The policy applies to all 1,900 students in the district regardless of age as long as their parents give consent.
The announcement about the policy change was made this week at an open meeting for parents, who were given the permission slips for corporal punishment to be used on their children in schools if they so desired. Some parents agree with the practice, while others are vehemently against it.
“At the end of the day, this gives the school one more tool to use to discipline a child, without sending them home on suspension where they’d just play video games,” parent Dylan Burns told Reuters.
However, not everyone agrees. “It’s absolutely a terrible practice,” said Richard Wexler from the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform. “There is no need for a teacher or an administrator to ever physically strike or assault a child,” he said. “It doesn’t punish, it traumatizes.”
The Journal of Pediatric Health also published findings recently that showed childhood spanking had a strong link to violent relationships later in life.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: HEADTOPICS.COM
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