Earlier this week, a charter school in Georgia made headlines because it uses paddling to discipline students. The U.S. Department of Education leaves the decision up to the school district and principal to include corporal punishment in its student code of conduct. Florida is one of 19 states where corporal punishment is allowed in schools.
Lee County School's spokesman Rob Spicker said the district eliminated paddling back in the late 1980s.
During the 2012-2013 school year, there were
in Southwest Florida that reported paddling in their schools.
- Glades County - 4 children were paddled
- Highlands County - 38 children were paddled
- Hendry County - 156 children were paddled
“In the past, historically corporal punishment was a popular behavioral punishment technique specially amongst parents in our district," explained Lucinda Kelley, Deputy Superintendent for Continuous Improvement, Human Resources and Operations for Hendry County.
"You would have parents who if the child got in trouble at school they would say, well just give them some licks,” Lucinda recalled.
When it comes to corporal punishment in school, parents are split. “Many people feel that it is an effective tool," Lucinda said.
"I’m sure you can find for every five people that say paddling is not a good idea or does not work you can find five more that say that it does.”
If you live in one of the 19 states where corporal punishment is legal, you should read your child's student handbook before signing. You have an option to exempt out of it.
WHERE CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IS LEGAL
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming.