While many of America’s schools have been driving toward a woke, left-wing agenda, one school in Missouri has startled many by bringing back a disciplinary tradition long thought extinct in the nation’s schools.
As kids prepared for the 2022-23 school year in Cassville, Missouri, parents were told that something was making a comeback that had some cheering and others perplexed.
The Cassville School District announced that it was bringing back the paddle as a disciplinary measure this year, KOLR-TV in Springfield, Missouri, reported Monday.
Administrators said the age-old punishment would be a last resort but would be available for students who don’t stay in line.
“Corporal punishment is the use of physical force as a method of correcting student behavior,” the district said in the 2022-23 handbook for middle school students. “Corporal punishment, as a measure of correction or of maintaining discipline and order in schools, is permitted.
“However, it shall be used only when all other alternative means of discipline have failed, and then only in reasonable form and upon the recommendation of the principal. Corporal punishment shall be [administered] only by swatting the buttocks with a paddle.”
Cassville kids might want to ask their grandparents just how effective the dreaded paddle was in keeping the average kid in line.
Cassville Superintendent Merlyn Johnson said the punishment is returning as a disciplinary tool after parents told officials that discipline was a major concern in a survey sent out this year.
Parents said the high number of out-of-school suspensions was a major problem, so district administrators began looking for ways to minimize them.
Do you support bringing back corporal punishment in schools?
Yes: 86% (19 Votes)
No: 14% (3 Votes)
“The complaints that we have heard from some of our parents is that they don’t want their students suspended. They want another option,” Johnson said, according to KOLR. “And so, this was just another option that we could use before we get to that point of suspension.”
“Corporal punishment will be used only when other means of discipline have failed and then only in reasonable form when the principal approves it,” he added.
Johnson paddling will be done only by an administrator in the presence of another certified employee as a safety measure.
The use would not be universal, though. In a nod to the times in which we live, the district said parents will have the ability to opt in or out at any time during the school year.
Of course, some parents were not thrilled by the return of the paddle.
“I do not think it is appropriate,” Cassville parent Miranda Waltrip told KOLR. “You know, there are a lot of kids in the school district that don’t have parents that use resources the way that they should for their children.”
“You know, I feel like if they had a different outlet like counseling services and school instead of corporal punishment, that would be the more appropriate answer,” she added.
On the other hand, parent Dylan Burns said he sees no problem with the idea.
“No matter what you choose, I think you need to sit down with your kids and choose what’s best for you and your family,” Burns said, according to KYTV-TV in Springfield. “Trust that everyone there at Cassville is not going to do anything that you don’t want done to your child.”
The issue of corporal punishment in schools was brought before the U.S. Supreme Court back in 1977 in the case of Ingraham v. Wright. The high court ruled that corporal punishment in schools was constitutional, but it left enforcement to the states.
According to an American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry report updated in 2014, 19 states allowed corporal punishment for some or all students in schools.
The Cassville parents who told district officials that discipline was a real problem are not alone among parents of school-age children.
A report from PreventChildAbuse.org said a large number of American parents still support the paddle.
“Forty two percent (42%) believe spanking is sometimes the best way to get a child to listen. Fifty nine percent (59%) believe it is a parents right to spank their child if they think it is necessary,” the organization said.
Kids generally crave some sort of authority to give them limits and teach them to become level-headed, well-adjusted adults, and schools need to have an orderly atmosphere to give students a stable environment so they can focus on learning.
If there are never any consequences for acting out, how could anyone expect schools to be able to operate at all?
So perhaps the Cassville School District has made the right move to bring back a more stern form of discipline. Time will certainly tell.