A Florida school that has long subjected misbehaving students to corporal punishment recently announced it would be suspending the practice and will likely ban it entirely.
According to local reports, officials at Santa Rosa County School District in northwest Florida decided to phase out the practice in order to protect teachers from potential liability issues.
The 2013-2014 Santa Rosa Public School District Code Of Conduct defines corporal punishment as “the moderate use of physical force or physical contact by a Principal or Assistant Principal … to maintain discipline or to enforce rules.” According to the handbook, instances of corporal punishment are limited to once a day and vary by grade. Young children can get up to two strokes of a wooden paddle, while older students can get up to four strokes.
TV reports that more than 400 incidents of paddling have been documented in the district since the 2011-2012 school year. Parents have had mixed reactions to the district’s decision to suspend the use of corporal punishment.
“I think it depends on the situation, the school system, the comfort that the parents have, the culture that they have at home,” parent Shannan Posey told the outlet of paddling.
Nineteen US states still allow the practice of corporal punishment in schools.