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If you're a certain age, you probably remember the Assistant Principal at your school carrying around a paddle.  Years ago at Rusheon Jr. High School, Mr. Johnston was very adept at meting out corporal punishment.  And I always had it coming.

Corporal punishment in schools refers to the practice of physically disciplining students as a means of instilling discipline and maintaining order. It usually involves methods such as spanking or paddling, typically administered by teachers or school administrators. However, the use of corporal punishment in schools has become a highly debated topic in recent years.

Proponents of corporal punishment argue that it is an effective deterrent against disruptive behavior and helps to maintain a conducive learning environment. They believe that physical discipline teaches students respect for authority and reinforces discipline, ultimately preparing them for the challenges of the real world.

On the other hand, opponents argue that corporal punishment violates children's rights and can lead to various negative consequences.  The use of corporal punishment in schools remains a contentious issue. And it's this issue that Metarie Representative Stephanie Hilferty is attempting to address.

According to a bill approved by the Louisiana House, a parent would have to sign a consent form allowing school officials to use corporal punishment on their child. This is Hilferty’s third attempt in trying to pass such legislation.

“Punishment especially in this format which involves hitting which could be a male administrator hitting a female child could involve all sorts of different permutations. I think the parent has the right to know and to consent to that.”

According to the Louisiana School Board Association, there are 19 parishes that still allow paddling in schools. Hilferty’s bill heads to the Senate after it passed the lower chamber on a 74-21 vote.

New Iberia Representative Blake Miguez believes the legislation should allow parents to opt out of corporal punishment instead of opt in.

“That way we can keep the tradition of how discipline has been had and keeping our schools…I guess keeping that fear that that could be a consequence.”

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