School Climate & Safety

Missouri Bill Would End Corporal Punishment in Schools

By Evie Blad — April 17, 2014 1 min read

A bill under consideration by the Missouri legislature would end the use of school spankings and paddlings in the state. Missouri is one of 19 states that currently allow corporal punishment in schools, Education Week has previously reported.

Under current Missouri law, each district sets its own policy for corporal punishment that dictates when it is used and when parents are notified. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Joe Keaveny, a St. Louis Democrat, would require every district’s discipline policy to clearly prohibit the use of spankings in school discipline.

Opponents of corporal punishment say it can be harmful to children and ineffective as a means of discipline. Supporters say it is a quick method of reprimanding a child that involves less out-of-class time than other forms of discipline, such as suspensions.

In states that allow it, use of corporal punishment often varies greatly between districts, with many not using it at all. You can check out your school’s corporal punishment rates with a breakdown by race, ethnicity, and disability status in the newly updated Civil Rights Data Collection.

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