Old School Ways: School District in Missouri Brings Back Punishment by Paddle

Some Missouri schools are reintroducing an old-school disciplinary tactic.

The Cassville School District in Southern Missouri is reintroducing corporal punishment as a part of a new policy that allows for students to be reprimanded with a paddle. Administrators say it would be a last recourse when other forms of discipline failed.

According to the superintendent, the change is the outcome of a survey conducted last year. One of the main concerns expressed by parents who responded was discipline.

“The complaints that we have heard from some of our parents is that they don’t want their students suspended. They want another option,” said Superintendent Meryl Johnson. “And so, this was just another option that we could use before we get to that point of suspension.”

According to Johnson, pupils will only be given the new discipline if their parents opt them in.

“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.  

Dr. Johnson stated that he does not anticipate using this punishment frequently, but if it is used, it will be done by administrators only and in the presence of another certified employee.

Parents can also choose to opt in or out at any time during the school year.

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