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Critics of Corporal Punishment Dealt Blow

By Frank Heinz
|  Thursday, May 12, 2011  |  Updated 11:08 AM CDT
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Critics of Corporal Punishment Dealt Blow

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Critics of corporal punishment were dealt a huge blow by the state legislature Wednesday.

House bill 359, proposed by Democratic state Rep. Alma Allen, would have required schools to contact a child's parents before distributing corporal punishment, defined in the bill as "the deliberate infliction of physical pain by hitting, paddling, spanking, slapping, or any other physical force used as a means of discipline."

Additionally, the bill stipulated that corporal punishment could only be administered by a school official that is of the same gender as the student.

The bill was defeated on a vote of 69-73.

Under current laws, school districts can set their own rules regarding corporal punishment. Allen said parents have a right to determine how their children are punished before they are struck by the Board of Education.

Supporters of the failed bill said paddling borders on child abuse.  The opposition, including Republican Rep. Wayne Christian, said the bill would tie the hands of teachers and school administrators and that it should be left to schools to decide how to discipline students.

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