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Corporal Punishment in Schools: Your Opinion

Missouri lawmakers are back in the capitol for the First Regular Session of the 98th General Assembly, and one of the many conversations lawmakers will have during the legislative session is one about corporal punishment in schools.

Senator Joe Keaveny (D – St. Louis) filed a bill that will prohibit spanking or paddling in public schools. This isn’t the first time that Missouri lawmakers have tried to ban spanking in schools – according to, “similar legislation that also would have banned spanking in private schools failed last year.” (source)

Senate Bill 241 would prohibit the use of corporal punishment in all Missouri public schools, says the Senator’s page on the Senate website. 19 states in America allow corporal punishment, such as spankings and paddlings, as a form of discipline in public schools. The Washington Post cites federal data analysis that says that “one child is hit in public schools every 30 seconds somewhere in the United States.” (source)

Besides Missouri, the following states allow teachers and administrators to punish children physically: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming.

The Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) ranks Missouri as the state with the 10th highest incidents of corporal punishment based on 2006 data, when 5,129 students received corporal punishment in Missouri public schools.

Do you think that teachers and administrators should be allowed to administer spankings, paddlings, and other corporal punishment in Missouri’s public schools? We want to hear from you. Leave a comment right here, or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.

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