Spanking Reinstated As Punishment In Missouri School District

Daniel Mitchell-Benoit
A teacher standing in front of a blackboard with her arms crossed.
Pexels | Max Fischer

In times past, it was common practice that, should a student be acting up in class, a teacher was allowed to dish out physical punishments in response. While that eventually became not only widely frowned upon, but outlawed, there are still some places that seek to bring it back.

Like one small school district in Missouri that's not only reinstating corporal punishment but is doing so at the behest of many parents.

A certain school district in Missouri appears to be rolling the clock back.

A school hallway.
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Cassville School District will reportedly allow teachers to spank students again as long as parents have given them written permission to do so.

A press release from the district was sent to parents to let them know.

According to the superintendent, this has been requested a lot.

A person out of frame scolding a young black girl who's crossing her arms and looking away.
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Merlyn Johnson told the Springfield News-Leader that Cassville is a "very traditional community in southwest Missouri," and claims that "parents have said 'why can't you paddle my student?' [...] There had been conversation with parents and there had been requests from parents for us to look into it."

There are some regulations regarding this new permission.

A classroom where one student is raising his hand.
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"When it becomes necessary to use corporal punishment, it shall be administered so that there can be no chance of bodily injury or harm. Striking a student on the head or face is not permitted."

The only type of punishment allowed is "swatting the buttocks with a paddle."

Johnson has been defending his stance on this.

A teacher standing in front of a blackboard with her arms crossed.
Pexels | Max Fischer

"No one is jumping up and down saying we want to do this because we like to paddle kids. That is not the reason that we would want to do this," he states, "The positive reinforcement, we love it. That works with a lot of kids. However some kids play the game and their behaviors aren't changing." This is when harsher punishment comes into play.

He's already received praise for the decision.

A parent walking with their child along a street.
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"We've had people actually thank us for it," Johnson said, "Surprisingly, those on social media would probably be appalled to hear us say these things but the majority of people that I've run into have been supportive."

The school promises that corporal punishment will only be used as a last resort.

An assembly where all the students are raising their hands.
Unsplash | Jaime Lopes

Even then, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) reports that research proves corporal punishment "may be harmful" to kids and there are "many other methods of discipline."

They also state that corporal punishment disproportionally affects boys, students experiencing poverty, and students who are minorities.

h/t: KFOX14