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Seriously? Its Legal in 19 States for Kids to be Spanked in School

Spanking

How would you feel if your child was spanked at school?

I’ve written before about spanking. I’ve never spanked (or hit or beat or whipped or pinched or smacked or slapped) one of my children and I never would. I think if you hit a kid in anger, the kid in turn learns to hit in anger.

I don’t think it’s right and I do think it sends a terrible message. But I knew kids growing up whose parents spanked them, or even hit them with belts when they were in trouble. At the same time, unless a child is being beaten — and in my mind there is a clear distinction between a spanking and a beating, and who is administering it — what goes on behind another family’s closed doors is none of my business.

What happens in a public school, however, is a whole other story. I don’t hit my kids, so you can bet your bottom dollar that I wouldn’t stand for anyone else hitting my kids — and the distinction in my mind between a beating and a spanking vanishes when someone who is not the child’s parent metes it out.

Which is why my eyes nearly involuntarily popped out of their sockets when I read about a story NPR did (via Jezebel) about how it’s still legal in 19 states for kids to be spanked in school.

Nineteen states still allow kids to be spanked. That doesn’t mean they all do it. But in Northern Florida, nearly all of the counties actually permit it.

Offenses that result in spanking range from things like talking back or tardiness. And kids from kindergarten through high school are all eligible for a beating. One school “mostly use[s] wooden or fiberglass paddles . . . [or] something that looks like a little canoe paddle . . . [that] they have their woodshop students make.”

One parent told NPR, “I got my butt beat and I know what’s right and wrong. And my children are going to know what’s right and wrong. …I think the problem with society is we quit paddling.”

Of course — and thankfully — not everyone is for kids being beaten by teachers, and one state representative in Florida proposed a bill that would have banned the practice statewide. Unfortunately, it failed.

There will always be parents on both sides of the corporal punishment debate. Always. Some swear by it. Others are horrified by the idea. But how any parent is OK with their child being beaten in school is beyond me.

How would you feel if your kid was beaten in school by a teacher?

Photo credit: iStock

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