Schools and Spanking Don’t Mix, Yet Missouri is About to Change All of That

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The days of spanking kids are over. Anyone who grew up in the 70s and 80s knew that a “switch” was so much more than something on the wall that was used to turn the lights on and off.

Spanking and paddling could have been done with a hand, a belt, a wooden paddle, or even a tree branch. And it didn’t stop inside of the home, either. Many schools decided that it would punish students through physical contact, too.

Those days are over…or are they?

Some children need to be disciplined so that they learn their lessons. Suspension is commonly used in schools across the country. However, is allowing a kid to stay home so that they don’t have to go to school really an effective deterrent?

Some students love suspension, even if it does mean that they fall behind in their classes – and cause a significant inconvenience for their working parents.

In Cassville, Missouri, some parents would like to see another form of discipline instead of suspension.

The school district’s solution? Paddling.

Dr. Merlyn Johnson, the Cassville School District Superintendent, spoke with a local news station to explain it all. “The complaints that we have heard from some of our parents is that they don’t want their students suspended. They want another option. And so, this was just another option that we could use before we get to that point of suspension.”

Only school administrators will be allowed to do the paddling. And another certified school employee will have to be in the room.

As to what will happen if a student resists the paddling, as is bound to happen, that is unclear.

Obviously, not all parents are on board with their kids being paddled.

There are a lot of other ways that students can be punished before resorting to physical contact.

Community service. Janitorial work. Writing their bad behavior repeatedly on a chalkboard. After school detention.

Miranda Waltrip, a mother with three children in the school district, has spoken up to say that this seems like a misguided approach. She commented to the local news station, KOLR, that “We live in a really small community where people were raised a certain way, and they’re kind of blanketed in the fact that they grew up having discipline and swats.”

Just because people were raised with that level of discipline doesn’t mean that’s what we have to go back to.

Waltrip is concerned, and she echoes what many other parents are either saying out loud or at least thinking to themselves. Waltrip added that for the administrators, “It’s like going back to the good old days, but it’s not because it’s going to do more harm than good at the end of the day.”

Many parents would like to see other options be used in the schools, including counseling.

Corporal punishment, as in paddling, is still to be used as a last resort according to the school district. Additionally, parents would have to opt into this method of discipline.

For parents who don’t opt in for the paddling, it’s still suspension. And suspension is not only desired by many children but also takes them out of the learning environment entirely.

It’s clear that this Missouri school district has decided that paddling is perfectly acceptable – and it will be an option when it is approved by the principal.

This sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. After all, how long does the paddling go on before an administrator deems that the student has learned their lesson?