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Bans on Corporal Punishment Advance

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Legislation that would ban corporal punishment in public schools statewide cleared one legislature and advanced in another in recent weeks.

In Wisconsin, lawmakers on March 24 voted overwhelmingly to approve a bill prohibiting public-school teachers from striking students, except in emergencies.

Under the legislation, which is awaiting the governor's signature, teachers would be allowed to use "reasonable force'' only to quell a disturbance, for self-defense, or in order to remove a dangerous weapon from a student.

Sponsored by Senator Joseph Czarnezki, the bill was the result of a compromise worked out between the Senate and Assembly.

Mr. Czarnezki said his original proposal would have banned the practice in both public and private schools. He said the bill's references to private institutions were removed because of opposition by fundamentalist Christian schools.

In Maryland, a measure approved by the House on an 86-to-43 vote March 24 would forbid paddling in public schools.

According to its sponsor, the measure had been opposed by lawmakers from rural areas, who said it should be left to localities. The bill now goes to the Senate.--D.V.

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