School District Brings Back “Corporal Punishment”
A Missouri school district is reviving a long-dormant discipline method: a paddle.
Southern Missouri’s Cassville School District implemented a new policy that enables corporal punishment. Administrators say it would only be used as a last resort if other disciplinary methods prove unsuccessful.
Superintendent Dr. Meryl Johnson said the new policy is the result of a survey of district parents last year.
“The complaints that we have heard from some of our parents is that they don’t want their students suspended. They want another option,” Johnson said. “And so, this was just another option that we could use before we get to that point of suspension.”
“Corporal punishment will be used only when other means of discipline have failed and then only in reasonable form, when the principal approves it,” Johnson said.
But some parents say they’re shocked by the change.
“I do not think it is appropriate,” said Miranda Waltrip, who has three children in Cassville schools. “You know, there are a lot of kids in the school district that don’t have parents that use resources the way that they should for their children.”
Waltrip told KOLR she’d like to see Cassville School District implement other methods instead of a paddle.
“You know, I feel like if they had a different outlet like counseling services and school instead of corporal punishment, that would be the more appropriate answer,” Waltrip said.
“At the end of the day they are having to hold the child down and spank them or use whatever means that they can to make the child submissive when that is not the issue, it is the fact that they need to be heard because children act out for varied reasons,” she added.