CORPORAL PUNISHMENT RETURNS...Missouri district reinstates corporal punishment for students


A controversial school discipline method is returning to some schools in Missouri.

Cassville R-IV School District Superintendent Dr. Merlyn Johnson said the policy change is a result of a survey that was sent to staff, students and parents in May.

“One of the suggestions that came out was concerns about student discipline,” Johnson said. “So, we reacted by implementing several different strategies, corporal punishment being one of them.”

Johnson said the change would give principals one more disciplinary option before students receive more serious punishments such as suspensions.

According to school administrators, the option would be the last resort for parents and faculty members if other means of discipline do not work.

“It’s something we don’t anticipate using frequently,” Johnson said. “This is an opt-in-only option for parents. So, anyone who disagrees with corporal punishment can do nothing by not opting in.”

Johnson said he understands there will be different views on the decision, and the district respects the opinions of parents who choose not to opt-in.

“A school suspension would be fine with me,” said parent Kimberly Richardson. “Or even out-of-school suspensions. Those are just way better than corporal punishment.”

Another parent, Dylan Burns, said he didn’t see a problem with corporal punishment.

“Everyone at Cassville is not going to do anything you don’t want to be done to your child,” Burns said. “I think you must sit down with your kids and choose what’s best for you and your family.”

According to state officials, Missouri law authorizes corporal punishment as an option for local schools to consider if parents opt in.


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