According to the school board’s policy, corporal punishment– which is defined as “the use of physical force as a method of correcting student behavior– will only be used “when all other alternative means of discipline have failed.”
The punishment, which can only consist of “swatting the buttocks with a paddle,” will also only be turned to after receiving permission from parents. Additionally, it must be administered by certified personnel at the recommendation of the principal and in the presence of a district employee witness.
“It should never be inflicted in the presence of other students,” the school board added.
And shockingly, since news of the policy reversal has circulated throughout the district, Johnson actually cited being thanked by parents. “We have had people actually thank us for it. Surprisingly, those on social media would probably be appalled to hear us say these things, but the majority of people that I’ve run into have been supportive,” he explained.
Now, Johnson hopes that the mere existence of such a disciplinary measure will be enough to deter students from acting out in school.
“We understand it is a bit of a shock factor. So, if there is one kid or a few kids out there that know there might be a different type of discipline, it might change their behavior,” he said.
The school board is also hopeful that this disciplinary action will help keep students in the classroom instead of turning to suspension after behavioral incidents. To learn more about the Cassville school district’s latest reinstatement of corporal punishment, you can visit its policy manual linked here.
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