Heartland mom supports idea to ban corporal punishment in MO sch - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland mom supports idea to ban corporal punishment in MO schools

ADVANCE, MO (KFVS) - It's a debate in Missouri that may soon have an expiration date.

Public schools are allowed to use corporal punishment as a way to discipline students.

One Heartland mother said after the experience her son had, she's in favor of legislation to ban it entirely.

This Advance mother wants to stay anonymous to protect her son's identity.

But she felt other parents need to know what could happen if an administrator takes a paddle to their student.

She did say her son suffers from ADHD and has been paddled before as a form of discipline, but said she won't consent to that again.

"Parents every day are criticized for the fact that they have left marks on their child however, my child was paddled at school and marks left on him and that's not an issue. In my opinion it is an issue," said the mother of an Advance student disciplined using corporal punishment.

This mother said her son was taken to the principal back in November for swinging his backpack and accidentally hitting another student.

She said while her husband did give consent for a principal to paddle her child, it was the superintendent who followed through.

"When I spoke to my son that day, he informed me that his bottom still hurt," she said. "So that was an indicator to me that I needed to look into it. When I asked to see his bottom he had bruises, those bruises lasted for about a week."

Missouri is one of 19 states that allows corporal punishment at public schools.

One Missouri legislator recently proposed a bill that would ban all forms of spanking or hitting a child as punishment.

This mother of two said she was shocked to see the bruises and was afraid someone would think she had harmed her son.

"I have already notified the school district and told them under no circumstances should my child be paddled again," she said.

She said each student responds differently to types of discipline and there are other avenues schools can take.

In her opinion, physical punishment should be left to parents.

"I think that the punishment should be handled at home," she added. "There are different means for a school district to notify the parents whether it's something in writing, they call them, if the parents are notified the parents should provide discipline to their child."

Advance police did investigate and found no wrong doing.

Superintendent Stan Seiler said in Missouri the law allows school districts to use corporal punishment as discipline for students.

In this case, policy was followed, but he can't elaborate further on the situation in order to protect the student's privacy.

The district's online policy says in part, corporate punishment shall be used only when, "all other alternative means of discipline have failed, and then only in reasonable form..."

For a look at the policy in its entirety, click here.

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