School Climate & Safety

Missouri Bill Would Ban Spanking in Public Schools

By Evie Blad — January 15, 2015 1 min read
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A Missouri lawmaker is renewing his efforts to end spanking in the state’s schools, or at least in the public ones.

Sen. Joe Keaveny, a Democrat, filled a bill this week that would prohibit the use of corporal punishment in all of the Show Me State’s public schools. Missouri is one of 19 states that allow corporal punishment in schools.

Keaveny filed a similar bill last year that also would have included private schools.That bill failed.

Under Missouri law, each school district must set its own policy for corporal punishment, dictating whether it will be used, under what circumstances, and how parents will be notified.

In a news release, Keaveny called corporal punishment “a fairly archaic form of discipline that most states have already done away with.”

“Times are changing, and as a state, we need to change with them,” he said in the release. “Thirty, forty years ago, corporal punishment was culturally accepted. Many viewed it as a deterrent. But, modern studies, and first-person accounts from administrators and teachers alike, have debunked that belief. It’s not an effective form of discipline. Also, most parents are no longer comfortable with the idea of a non-family member, much less a public employee, administering this type of punishment.”

Does your school spank?

Even in states that allow corporal punishment, many school districts do not opt to use it as a form of discipline.

You can check out a school’s corporal punishment rates with a breakdown by race, ethnicity, and disability status in the U.S. Department of Education’s most recent Civil Rights Data Collection.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.