The Cassville school district in Barry County, Missouri– which is home to one thousand and nine hundred students– recently reinstated a divisive disciplinary measure that went out of practice in 2001.
In June, the school board approved a policy to allow corporal punishment– or spanking– throughout the district.
Parents of students were recently notified of the decision and will be given the opportunity to opt-in or out of the repercussion.
The Supreme Court ruled that corporal punishment was legal back in 1977 and, since then, has left the decision to practice it up to each state.
And as of 2022, Missouri is just one of the nineteen states where spanking is still allowed. Neighboring states such as Kentucky, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee also allow the punishment.
But, while nationwide opinions on corporal punishment vary widely, the Cassville school district superintendent Meryl Johnson explained how the Barry County community is “very traditional.”
Moreover, parents had apparently expressed growing frustration that corporal punishment was no longer allowed within their schools.
“Parents have said ‘why can’t you paddle my student?’ and we’re like ‘We can’t paddle your student, our policy does not support that,'” Johnson recalled in an interview with Springfield News-Leader.
And after parents, school employees, and students alike filled out an anonymous survey earlier this year underscoring that student behavior and disciplinary issues were at an all-time high, Johnson and the school board brainstormed numerous ideas before officially deciding to reinstate corporal punishment.
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