Bill banning corporal punishment advances to house floor

Updated: Apr. 26, 2017 at 9:51 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (KPLC) - The majority of Louisiana's public school districts allow corporal punishment, but a bill headed to the house floor could ban it.

House Bill 497 made it out of the House Education Committee with a tight 6-5 vote Wednesday.

Currently, 38 of the state's 69 public school districts allow corporal punishment according to the Louisiana School Boards Association.

While spanking and paddling aren't banned by policy in Calcasieu Parish, a directive has been handed down prohibiting it.

Beauregard Parish schools allow it; in fact Superintendent Tim Cooley has said some students actually prefer corporal punishment over a detention or suspension.

Currently, the state gives school systems the discretion to use corporal punishment, but HB 497, authored by Rep. Barbara Norton (D-Shreveport) would take that power away and "prohibit corporal punishment in public schools."

Norton has said paddling in schools is abuse that creates violent children. Others point out that parents can already opt their children out of corporal punishment if they disagree with it.

In December 2016, KPLC explored corporal punishment in an in-depth special report.

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