Putting Education Reform To The Test

Corporal Punishment Will Return To Marion County Elementary Schools

Sarah Gonzalez / StateImpact Florida

The paddle at Sneads High School in Jackson County, Fla. sits on the principal's desk.

The Marion school board has voted to reinstate paddling in county elementary schools after a three-year hiatus.

The punishment comes with a few restrictions. From the Ocala Star-Banner:

The board ruled that paddling can be used only if a parent gives a standing written OK once a year. In addition, the principal must obtain verbal permission at the time the punishment is handed down.

Under the policy, corporal punishment can only be used at the elementary school level. It can only be used on a child once a semester. Principals are not bound to use the punishment.

StateImpact Florida reporter Sarah Gonzalez had a series of stories last year looking at corporal punishment, including: Why communities support paddling; why schools can paddle students even when parents object; and the technical specifications of the paddles.

Read the whole series.


  • 19 U.S. states today legally allow educators to beat children K-12 with
    wooden boards in public schools, known as corporal punishment with no safety
    standards and no legal remedy when children are injured from excessive force.
    Search “A Violent Education” 2008 Study by Human Rights Watch and ACLU for
    disturbing facts. See brutally violent injuries to children from U.S. Public
    School Corporal Punishment at YouTube video trailer for Documentary Movie “The
    Board of Education” by Jared Abrams.

    April in “National Child Abuse and Prevention Month” as well as “National Autism Awareness Month” yet school corporal pain punishment is discriminatorily administered to boys, disabled, even autistic students, low-income and minority students.

    As of April 2013 there has been No Re-Introduction of proposed Federal Bill H.R. 3027 “The Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act” Cost $0, due to lack of Federal
    Lawmaker Sponsors, yet Federal Law Prohibits Corporal Punishment in ALL U.S.
    Prisons! don’t hit students dot com.

  • I will attempt to be Direct and to the Point; Johnny or Sue
    act up in class to the point of referral to the Principles Office, the
    Principle (Asst. Principle) has three choices:

    1) Call the Police to take Johnny or Sue away/jail.

    2) Suspend the Student, calling the Parent(s) to take Johnny
    or Sue away/home.

    3) Paddle Johnny or Sue and put them right back in Class
    with a note for home.

    Parents, you pick which one is best.

    • Cynthia Mason

      If it is my child the Principle doesn’t have choice number three. If violence is the way to teach a child then it is a sad, sad day.

      • TXSoldier254

        OK Cynthia, I guess you might have to go with #1, where your Child is Arrested and Charged with a Crime(s). And then, you and your Charge are introduced to the Criminal Justice Juvenal Court System.

        • Guest

          The child I was talking about was paddled was in trouble for not running fast enough. I don’t think he can be charged with a crime. The teacher that punished him with a thick board could have been arrested for assault on a minor.

  • Rosalyn

    I don’t believe any child should be hit. It’s better off talking to them and explaining to them why what they did was wrong and talk to them about why they did it. Spanking them doesn’t solve the real issue. I know when I was in elementary school my mom had to sign a paper about this type of thing.

  • Annoyed

    Parents don’t even answer the phone when their child is sick. How will you ever obtain verbal permission before punishment is given?!

  • joeymadden

    For those supporters of paddling students that think for a moment that many of those school officials that assault students in school are not perverts, you are wrong. I attended schools in Florida that hit students and I was even able to determine which of the male administrators “enjoyed” it. Do you know how? Through ‘Gaydar.’ That’s right I am gay (not that this is a gay issue because there were female abusers as well) but I found that a male hitting male buttocks was a sexual thing–and just think I got turned onto this “perversion” in SCHOOL—and I am NOT alone. I cannot help wonder how my life would have been had I not been introduced to this in Florida public schools. These are sexual assaults people and the internet is full of pornography and the fetish of spanking and paddling and striking ones buttocks, which IS an erogenous zone whether anyone wants to believe it or not.
    It is illegal to strike a prisoner in the USA so shouldn’t physical assaults of minors by strangers in school be illegal as well? This is wrong and the backward laws need to be changed.

  • willa

    We can’t even spank our own children if we think they need it without someone screaming abuse and we are suppose to say it’s okay to let other people touch our kids. No one should be allowed to touch someone else’s child in this manner.

  • Cynthia Mason

    My close friend’s forth grader came home from school today with horrific bruises and red whelps across his behind. His PE teacher said he wasn’t running right. This was in Coffee County Georgia. No matter what the child did he did not deserve to be injured by the adults in charge at school. What does this teach the child? Violence is not the answer to getting children educated.

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