Apparently, some Kansans’ idea of classroom management hasn’t evolved much, either. Propelled by a series of newspaper articles describing teachers’ difficulties in maintaining classroom order, a Kansas state senator plans to propose a bill that would make it less inconvenient for educators to use corporal punishment as a disciplinary tool. Specifically, legislation being by put forth by Republican state Senator Phil Journey would protect teachers who spank students from lawsuits and criminal charges if the local school board allows corporal punishment and parents provide written permission. “When all else fails, time outs and privilege restrictions and things like that, sometimes you need to give them a little swat to get their attention,” observed Journey, who has four children of his own. Currently, 29 states ban corporal punishment, according to the Center for Effective Discipline. Kansas does not have a law on corporal punishment, but most school boards in the state prohibit it. “If we model behavior that is exactly what we don’t want students to do, I don’t see how that would improve the situation,” noted Kelli Mather, head of student and family services for the school district in Kansas City, Kansas.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.