Did you know that corporal punishment is currently allowed in public schools? Currently, 38 of the state's 69 public school districts allow corporal punishment according to the Louisiana School Boards. The fact kind of caught me off-guard as well. It may be legal, but I don't know a single teacher or administrator who would dare to use it! Can you imagine the backlash from that?

Well, the bill to do away with corporal punishment, House Bill 497, squeaked past House Education Committee with a tight 6-5 vote Wednesday. Locally, here in Calcasieu Parish, while corporal punishment is legal, a directive not to use that punishment has been handed down.

Currently, the state gives school systems the discretion to use corporal punishment, but HB 497, authored by Rep. Barbara Norton (D-Shreveport) would outlaw corporal punishment in all Louisiana schools. As an interesting side note, in Beauregard Parish, Superintendent, Tim Cooley, says that some students actually prefer corporal punishment.

Rep. Norton claims that corporal punishment creates violence in students. That's going to come as a shock to all the generations before that had corporal punishment. I remember a time when corporal punishment was the norm and there was certainly no rise in violence then.

When it comes to corporal punishment, parents currently have the choice to opt out of that. I'm sure it won't be long before the bill becomes law.


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