LOUISIANA: private schools
- River Oaks School, Monroe [PDF]
This is a private (but not religious) school for grades K through 12, but corporal punishment is used only at the secondary level (grades 6 through 12). It is given for such offenses as truancy, profanity, disrespectfulness, and public displays of affection, but not as a first resort. In the discipline ladder it comes after detention but before suspension. There is a maximum of 3 swats per paddling. A parent not wishing their student to receive CP must send a written note. Unusually, the three people empowered to administer the paddle are designated by name. The precise dimensions of the paddle are specified, and have changed since earlier versions of the handbook: it is now 17 inches long, 5 inches wide, and half an inch thick (previously 18 inches long, 4 inches wide, ¼ inch thick). It is stated that the paddle is made of wood; before, it was made of "hard clear plastic", and earlier still of "masonite". There is no longer any explicit provision for the student to refuse to accept CP.
LOUISIANA: public schools
- Beauregard Parish School Board (covers DeRidder, Longville, Merryville, Singer)
Corporal punishment is limited to striking the student's buttocks with a paddle. It is to be administered, as a last resort, by the principal or his/her designee, "in appropriate locations within the school". Usual due process stuff; nothing about parental involvement.
- Bossier Parish Schools (covers Benton, Bossier City, Elm Grove, Haughton, Plain Dealing, Princeton) [PDF]
Corporal punishment is not used as a first resort. "For students in the lower grades" it consists of striking the student's buttocks a maximum of three times with the hand (very unusual) or with a wooden paddle not more than 18" long or 3/8" wide and between 3" and 6" wide. It is not clear what happens in the case of the upper grades. Parents who object to CP must notify the school in writing.
See also this March 2009 news item, which says that 40 students were paddled here in 2008.
- Caddo Parish School Board (covers Oil City, Shreveport) [PDF]
Here, "the utilization of alternatives to suspension or expulsion is encouraged", and one of these is CP, but only at the elementary and middle school levels. However, this apparently does not mean that CP cannot be used at High School level in other kinds of case. There is a maximum of three strokes on the buttocks with a paddle, to be administered in the office. There is to be only one paddle in each school and it must measure 24" by 5" by 3/8". In the case of a female student, the witness must also be female.
See also this March 2009 news item.
And see this May 2012 news report about a paddling at Woodlawn High School; it also notes that there were 584 paddlings in the district in the latest year, a dramatic decline from 948 the previous year.
- Iberia Parish School Board (covers Delcambre, Jeanerette, Loreauville, New Iberia) [PDF]
Corporal punishment must be administered to the student's buttocks only, and should be "a last resort for students with significant behavior problems".
At Dodson Elementary, students who instigate or participate in fights "are subject to suspension or paddling".
At Iberia Middle School, CP may be used, with the permission of the principal, by any classroom teacher or visiting teacher, consisting of "swats by hand or with a paddle". The number and force of the swats should be such as not to cause serious bodily injury. The paddle is to measure 20" by 4" by half an inch, and must be inflicted "on the buttocks area". "A log will be kept of all spankings." Parental "restrictions" on corporal punishment are entertained only for medical reasons, and any parent making any such restriction "shall thereby assume and bear all responsibility" for the student's conduct.
At Westgate High, students who are paddled receive 45 demerit points, which affects their eligibility for activities.
See also this Nov 2011 news report.
- Monroe City Schools [DOC]
Parents are given the opportunity to deny permission for paddling (see the form near the beginning of the handbook). Otherwise, it may be used when other possible remedies, short of suspension, have been used without success. Usual rules about privacy, witnesses, documentation. A student "may not receive more than three (3) applications of the paddle at any single session" and "may not receive a paddling more than once in any single school day". Only the principal may administer CP.
For the district as a whole, government figures report 1,355 official spankings in 2004-05, or 15% of the student roll.
- Morehouse Parish Schools (covers Bastrop, Mer Rouge) [DOC]
US Dept of Education statistics claim that some 2,090 students were spanked here in 2004-05, or about 46% of the enrollment, which would be at least 12 spankings per school day. (More than half of these were at just two almost-entirely-black elementary schools.)
Corporal punishment may be given by any teacher, but not by bus drivers. The teacher may spank with his or her hand (it is fairly unusual for this to be specified in official rules), or else use a paddle 20" long, 4" wide and half an inch thick, with a maximum of 3 swats on the "buttocks area". The principal must give permission and there must be a witness. Documentation required includes information as to the race of the student punished. "Mandatory suspension" is the automatic penalty for refusal to submit to a spanking. On a second suspension for this reason (among others), the student may be expelled.
Parents may fill out a form requesting that their child not be spanked in the event of illness or physical or emotional infirmity.
- Pointe Coupee Parish School System
Here, CP may now be administered only by a principal or assistant principal, using a standardized paddle furnished by the central office. There is a maximum of three licks in grades K through 6, and five licks in grades 7 through 12. Paddling may be administered in lieu of short-term suspension for a long list of offenses including insubordination, skipping class, smoking, disrupting the lunch room, and excessive tardiness.
See also this Nov 2010 news report on the introduction of a requirement for parental consent.
- Rapides Parish School Board (covers Alexandria, Ball, Deville, Elmer, Forest Hill, Glenmora, Hineston, Lena, Pineville)
Corporal punishment shall be administered by the principal or assistant principal, and is to be applied with a paddle to the student's buttocks. Parents wishing to exclude their student from paddling must submit a written statement to that effect. A wooden paddle is to be used, with no holes or splinters, not more than 20 inches long, ¼ inch thick and 3 inches wide. It must have rounded edges and corners, and there is a maximum of six strokes.
At Barron Elementary, "corporal punishment or suspension" is administered on the third visit to the Principal's Office.
Plainview High has a "Disciplinary Flow Chart" providing for paddling on the second and third referral, with three days' detention as the alternative.
See also news items from May 2006 and April 2011.
- Sabine Parish School Board (covers Converse, Florien, Many, Negreet, Noble, Pleasant Hill, Zwolle)
Corporal punishment is permitted "due to a necessity to authorize methods of discipline other than suspension and/or expulsion". It must take the form of paddling (max. 5 swats) "in" [sic] the buttocks, with the permission of the principal and in the presence of another staff member. CP should be used after other methods have failed, but may also be offered as an alternative to short-term suspension. Typical rules about due process and documentation. CP may not be used if parents have submitted a form to that effect. Bus drivers are forbidden to inflict CP.
All 12 individual schools in the district reproduce the school board's CP policy in their handbooks. Converse emphasises that paddling is part of the discipline at the school for grades 4 through 12, on the first to the sixth referral, but only with the prior consent of the parent.
At Pleasant Hill, CP is specified as a consequence at elementary level for a second to fifth referral inclusive for all offenses, and at the junior high and high school levels for a first referral but apparently not subsequent ones, and is also particularly mentioned as a penalty for fighting.
Many Junior High mentions paddling as a punishment for dress code violations and not dressing out for PE.
At the Career Academy, a very strict alternative school for at-risk youth in grades 5 through 12 such as dropouts and those expelled from the ordinary schools, the consequence for a first disciplinary referral is 2 days of after-school detention ("RTI") or a paddling of three licks. At the second referral it is in-school suspension ("SAC") or community service for one day plus two days' RTI or four licks. The third referral brings SAC and Saturday school (one day each) plus 3 days' RTI or the parish's maximum of 5 licks with the paddle.
- Vermillion Parish Public Schools (covers Abbeville, Erath, Gueydan, Kaplan, Maurice, Rayne) [PDF]
Paddles used here must be 14 to 15 inches long, 6 inches wide, and half an inch thick. The paddle must be applied to the student's posterior, with a maximum of five strokes per occasion.
See also this Nov 2011 news item.
- Webster Parish School Board (covers Cotton Valley, Doyline, Dubberly, Minden, Sarepta, Shongaloo, Springhill)
"Corporal punishment (spanking)" is permitted for "unruly pupils" as a last resort. Typical rules about privacy, documentation and witnesses. Parents may exempt, in which case they must be prepared to come to the school to pick up the student during the school day. A female member of staff must be present when girls are spanked. Only the buttocks may be paddled. The paddle is 15 inches long, 6 inches wide and half an inch thick.
See also this June 2005 news item, which gives the recently approved dimensions of the paddle to be used and states that there is a maximum of five licks.
- These Louisiana public schools also state that they use corporal punishment, but give few or no details:
Bogalusa City Schools and see this Aug 2006 news item.
Evangeline Parish School Board [PDF] and see this March 2008 news item and also this Nov 2011 report.
St Landry Parish School Board (covers Arnaudville, Cankton, Eunice, Grand Coteau, Krotz Springs, Lawtell, Leonville, Melville, Morrow, Opelousas, Palmetto, Port Barre, Sunset, Washington) and see also, as regards Plaisance Elementary School in Opelousas, this Feb 2003 news item, and, as regards Palmetto Elementary School, this May 2005 news item. And see this Nov 2011 report.
Ouachita Parish School Board (covers Calhoun, Monroe, Sterlington, Swartz, West Monroe) [PDF] (see p.8) (and see this Oct 2013 news item)
MARYLAND: private schools
- Calvary Baptist Church Academy, Glen Burnie [PDF]
CP must not be used on students under five years old at this school in a Baltimore suburb. Conversely, the document stresses (twice) that the "rod of correction" is applicable from age five through twelfth grade. Swats may be administered if a teacher believes the student is being deliberately disobedient or disrespectful, and also when five demerits have been accumulated. Paddling takes place in the office, using a wooden paddle and not by hand. It is administered by the teacher, principal or parents, with a maximum of two swats on any one occasion. (Are two swats really enough for a twelfth-grader, I wonder?) Parents must sign a form consenting to this policy "without reservation".
MISSISSIPPI: private schools
- Bayou Academy, Cleveland [PDF] (New URL)
"When a problem becomes serious enough to warrant the principal's attention, extra work, suspension, corporal punishment, and expulsion will be considered".
- Central Baptist School, Hattiesburg [PDF]
"Corporal discipline" here consists of a maximum of "three firm swats with a flat, wooden paddle", administered by a staff member of the same sex as the student being punished. Any student who refuses to be spanked will not be allowed back in class. Spankings may be administered in addition to demerits.
- It is understood that Chamberlain-Hunt Academy, mentioned at length here previously, has ceased paddling after a change of ownership.
- Copiah Academy, Gallman [PDF]
This handbook merely states that it is the school's policy "to administer corporal punishment at the discretion and at the direction of the Headmaster".
- Emmanuel Christian School, Dennis [DOC]
At this K-12 school, "Parents will be informed when stern discipline measures (such as a paddling, suspension) need to be taken". Students "will receive a paddling" for lying, fighting, defiance, and leaving campus without permission, and for a second offense of throwing dangerous objects. Also there is a demerit system: "Any student that gets over 5 demerits for a day will receive a paddling the next day".
- French Camp Academy, French Camp [PDF]
Here is the application packet for boarding students at this non-denominational Christian school. It requires parents to sign that they consent to the use of corporal punishment "as the Academy deems necessary for the correction and training of my child". It is always administered in the presence of another staff member.
- Heritage Academy High School, Columbus
More detail here than previously. Any student found cheating will now receive a zero and "automatic corporal punishment". Spanking will also occur upon a first offense of truancy, and a third infraction of the policy on electronic devices. CP may also be used to correct misbehavior in general. There is also an elementary school, but its handbook makes no mention of CP.
- Hillcrest Christian School, Jackson [PDF]
CP is mentioned as a method of discipline at both the Lower School and the Upper School. "In the event that corporal punishment is warranted", the Dean will call the parents to discuss it. The Principal is authorized to administer CP, with parental permission.
- Laurel Christian School, Laurel [PDF]
This is the application for enrollment, which says that the school "has full discretion in the discipline of students while at the school, including paddling".
- Starkville Academy, Starkville
Corporal punishment, formerly applicable only in grades K through 6, has now been extended to the High School, with parental permission. It may be used as a substitute for detention or work detail, but not for Saturday School or suspension. A "wooden paddle" ("or spoon" at the elementary level but not at the High School), with no holes in it, is applied by the principal to "the buttocks area only", maximum three swats for any one offense and three swats per day. If the student refuses to take the swats, he or she will serve out-of-school suspension.
- Starkville Christian School, Starkville
"Corporal correction" is "appropriated" [sic] here for "repeated flaunting of authority" -- I think they mean "flouting", but English language is obviously not the strong point at this establishment. It is done with a simple flat paddle, max. three strokes, in front of a witness who may be a teacher or a parent.
- Tunica Academy, Tunica [PDF]
This K-12 Christian school is in a suburb of greater Memphis TN, but situated across the state line in Mississippi. In what appears to be a newly added provision for 2013-2014, corporal punishment (no details supplied) may be administered by the headmaster or his designee.
See also the new enrollment contract [PDF], where the parent must agree that "I give my express consent for my student(s) to be subject to the disciplinary regime set forth in the Student Handbook, including corporal punishment. I further agree that any past waiver or agreement which contradicts any provision of the Student Handbook regarding my student(s) is null and void." This appears to suggest that parental opts-out used to be available but are no longer.
See this March 2013 news item (with video clip), detailing a CP dispute that is possibly what gave rise to the above-mentioned clarification in the matter of spanking. This involved a "livid" woman complaining about the paddling of her 12-year-old son (pictured) for disrespect, allegedly causing bruising of his backside, as paddling sometimes does. The school (which, being a private one, is of course free to pursue whatever policies it wishes) denied any wrongdoing.
MISSISSIPPI: public schools
- Alcorn School District (covers Corinth, Glen, Rienzi)
At the senior high schools, corporal punishment (maximum five licks) is permitted as a disciplinary measure for a wide variety of specified offenses. "Licks will not be given for failing to do assignments or for a failing grade." An unusual provision is that "No coach will paddle at a practice. The student(s) will be taken to the principal the next morning to receive punishment". Also, "The Alcorn Career Center will make all paddles for the district". At the back of the handbook is a form on which parents who do not wish CP to be used must undertake to be "available at all times to come to the school and deal with the problems".
The handbook for the middle and elementary schools contains similar provisions, including the 5-lick maximum per paddling.
Federal statistics disclose an estimated 80 paddlings at the three senior high schools in 2009.
- Attala County School District [PDF]
CP may be inflicted by a teacher or administrator for "serious behavior problems", including insubordination, fighting, skipping class, disruption or obscenity. There is a maximum of three licks. At the back of the handbook is a form on which parents state whether they consent to CP or not. If not, they should "speak to the principal about other options in cases of misbehavior".
See also this April 2013 news report, which states that paddlings are frequent in Attala County.
- Benton County School District, Ashland [PDF]
CP may be used by any licensed teacher. It shall be reasonable and moderate, and need no longer only be a last resort. Another change from previous versions is that the teacher administering the paddling need no longer be of the same sex as the student. Typical rules about privacy, witnesses and documentation. If a parent notifies the school that CP may not be used, or if the student refuses to submit to it, the student shall be suspended. An unusual provision is that corporal punishment may not be administered on school property by a parent. Paddling is specifically mentioned as a possibility for fighting, for a first (serious) or second (trivial) incidence of misbehavior on the school bus, and for a third dress code violation.
See also this Oct 2009 news item, according to which there were 1,511 paddlings in Benton County in school year 2008-09.
- Biloxi Public Schools [PDF]
Corporal punishment (no practical details supplied) is described as "an option" here; parents are required to state in advance whether they approve it or not. If not, they may have to attend "parenting sessions", or even attend classes with the student, which is no doubt far more embarrassing for the student than simply being paddled. One wonders whether these rules have been framed purely to make sure that no parents ever do in practice opt their offspring out. Would it not be easier, for senior students at least, just to offer a paddling option to the student him- or herself and leave the parents out of it? Anyway, corporal punishment is on a par with one or two days' school detention and comes into play at steps 2 and (this is a new addition) step 3 of the "discipline ladder". This is the senior high school handbook; the junior high and elementary handbooks contain very similar CP provisions.
- Calhoun County School District [PDF]
Corporal punishment is an "approved disciplinary method". "Suspensions of up to 3 days will be used in lieu of corporal punishment", presumably meaning in the case where the student or parent refuses CP.
The district's three High Schools -- Bruce, Calhoun City and Vardaman -- meted out 305 paddlings between them in 2009, according to federal statistics.
- Canton Public Schools [PDF]
Ordinary school personnel here may not use any form of CP. Paddling must be carried out by the superintendent or building administrator. This is the High School handbook, but other schools in the system use identical language.
- Carroll County Schools, Carrollton
Here, any teacher may paddle.
At the High School CP may be used for a second dress code violation as an alternative to one day in ISS. This is also the penalty for a first office referral for any violation of the rules, whether minor or serious. No number of swats is specified. If a student refuses to be spanked, or if the parents have objected to CP, he or she may be suspended for up to three days.
The Middle School uses broadly similar language but also mentions CP as a penalty for a second bus offense. There is, too, some specific information about paddling for misbehavior while in ISS: "Disciplinary options available to the ISS supervisor include corporal punishment or the extension of the term of ISS of one additional day per rule violation". It is also spelled out that, where a student is suspended for refusal to submit to a paddling, "it is understood that the three (3) day suspension is for refusal to take the punishment by either the student or by the objections of the parent and in no way limits the principal from suspending a student for a period of time greater than three (3) days."
Federal statistics reveal that there were roughly 270 paddlings here in grades 9 through 12 in 2009, some 60% of enrollment.
- Chickasaw County Schools, Houlka [DOC]
This district has changed its policy, and has taken over the same wording as Biloxi (see above) as regards what happens if parents object to corporal punishment. CP comes in at step 3 of the discipline ladder, and is also specifically mentioned for a fourth or fifth tardy per semester, skipping detention, and misbehavior on the bus. "Certified staff should serve as witnesses to paddlings whenever possible; however, school secretaries and nurses may serve as witnesses." It shall be administered to the buttocks only.
- Choctaw County School District, Ackerman [PDF]
CP is not mentioned for any specific offenses at the elementary level, but may be substituted for ISD at the discretion of the administration.
From 7th through 12 grade, "CP or 2 days ISD" is the specified penalty for a large number of crimes at the first or subsequent offenses, including being in an unauthorized area, "misbehavior with substitute teacher", cutting class, cheating, no hall pass, loitering after school, "inappropriate romantic display of affection", profanity, misuse of computers, etc. and for a second or third offense of possessing over-the-counter medicines. Also, CP or ISD is applied for a third, fourth or fifth tardy. In the case of class tardies, the punishment is administered the following day. Students in violation of the dress code "will receive corporal punishment or spend the following full day in ISD". There is a maximum of three licks per paddling, which shall be delivered to the student's buttocks.
According to federal estimates, some 135 students were paddled at Ackerman High School in 2009 (95 boys and 40 girls), about 32% of the student roll.
- Coffeeville School District [PDF]
In general, corporal punishment (or detention) appears at step two of the Discipline Ladder, and for a second office referral in connection with misbehavior on the bus. However, the principal has the right to use CP "in any situation when deemed necessary". Also, CP or ISS is the penalty for a fourth tardy to school.
Parents may send in a written request for exemption. Action in lieu of or in addition to CP may include requiring the parent to attend classes with the student.
School year 2009 saw some 140 paddlings at Coffeeville High School.
- DeSoto County Schools, Hernando [PDF]
Though in Mississippi, DeSoto County is de facto a suburb of Memphis TN.
Corporal punishment here consists of a maximum of three licks per incident, on the buttocks. Parental permission is not required, but parents may request exemption. It may be administered to students of all ages, "but it is suggested that students in grades 6-12 be given a choice of other punishment".
At the Career and Technology Center, which is for high-school students, "Paddling is a form of punishment used. If paddling is a punishment option, the student will be given a choice of paddling or alternate punishment".
At Lake Cormorant Middle School, on the second through fifth tardy the student may choose between 3 days' lunch detention, or two licks; for the 6th through 8th tardy, the choice is 5 days' detention or three licks.
At Lewisburg High, students who are tardy for a third or fourth time may choose either detention or a paddling (number of licks not specified).
At Southaven Middle School, a student who receives a third weekly discipline note in a nine-week period may be referred to the office to be spanked.
Several other schools in this large district mention that CP may be used, but give no details.
See also this Jan 2006 news item and this Feb 2006 follow-up (both with video clips) about a mass paddling of boys by the football coach at Olive Branch Middle School, and this further follow-up of April 2006 giving paddling statistics for the district and revising downward the number of boys said to have been paddled in the incident from around 20 to 10.
See also this April 2006 report on paddling as an alternative to suspension for dress code violations at Horn Lake Middle School, and this Oct 2009 news item revealing that 2,505 parents in the district have sent letters asking for exemption from CP.
See also this Sep 2010 news report mentioning that 3,140 DeSoto County students (10.5% of the total -- about average for Mississippi) received CP in the latest school year, in 4,993 paddlings.
- East Jasper School District, Heidelberg [PDF]
Paddling is used, for minor infractions, only with written authorization by parents. There is a maximum of "three strikes to the buttocks".
- Enterprise School District
Students breaking the bus rules for a second or third time will be suspended from the bus "or receive three paddle licks from the principal".
In grades K through 4, CP may be administered for a third office visit. In grades 5 through 12 it may be used on any office visit from the first through the fourth, and for any dress code violation.
- Forrest County School District, Hattiesburg [PDF] (New URL)
All teachers may administer CP. Rules about privacy and witnesses. Paddling is a possible consequence for level I offenses and for a first or second offense at level II. A paddling in the principal's office may also be administered for a second school bus violation. All paddles must be approved and initialed by the building principal. "Suspension is mandatory in cases where corporal punishment is refused." There is no reference to parental consultation or consent.
See also this Jan 2007 news item, reporting that CP is used regularly here.
- George County School District, Lucedale [PDF] (New URL)
See Policy JKA on page J-68. CP is to be given by the principal or designee, with a wooden paddle of normal size, solid with no holes. "Licks must be administered to the buttocks only". If the student "refuses to take punishment" the issue must not be forced; instead the student will be sent home for three unexcused days, or until such time as he returns with a parent. When a teacher sends a student to the principal's office to be disciplined, the decision on how to deal with it rests with the administration, and the teacher must not tell the student that he/she is going to be paddled or suspended.
- Greenwood Public Schools [PDF] (New URL)
This district defines CP as "punishing or correcting a student by striking the student on the buttocks with a paddle", and lays down a maximum of five swats per paddling. It is administered by the principal or assistant principal, and must not be used for academic lapses.
See also this Oct 2009 news item, according to which there were 2,886 paddlings in 2008-09.
- Harrison County School District (covers part of Biloxi, Christian, D'Iberville, Gulfport, Saucier) [PDF]
The principal or assistant principal must be present at all spankings. Parental permission must be given beforehand. CP must be administered "to the buttocks only" and must not be excessive, though no maximum number of whacks is stipulated. Every paddle used must be approved and initialed by the building principal; it must be kept in the office. A form, recording the number of licks administered, is to be taken home by the punished student and given to his or her parents.
This district did not formerly make heavy use of the paddle by Mississippi standards: US Dept of Education figures estimate 980 spankings in 2004-05, or only 7% of the student roll. But see this Oct 2009 news item, according to which this figure had risen to 1,702 by school year 2008-09.
- Hinds County School District, Raymond [PDF]
CP in this school system may be inflicted only by the principal or assistant principal. It is a disciplinary option for class I, II and III misdemeanors but not for class IV (the most serious). Written parental consent must be on file beforehand. A separate Board policy statement [PDF] provides more detail: in addition to typical rules about privacy and witnesses, the paddle must be of smooth, non-perforated lightweight wood, three inches wide and no thicker than 3/8 inch, and must be applied to the offending student's buttocks. The parental consent form is available here [PDF].
See also this Oct 2009 news item, according to which there were only 55 paddlings in Hinds County in school year 2008-09.
- Houston School District
This is not the famous Houston, which is in Texas, but Houston, Mississippi. At the Middle School and the High School, there is a maximum of three licks for any given offense and five licks per student per day. Parents must notify in writing any objection to the use of CP. "Paddling (3 licks)" is laid down as the normal penalty for a first offense of disobedience/insubordination, abuse/bullying, fireworks, tobacco, leaving class without permission, gambling, or disruption/disrespect; for a second offense of eating/drinking, failure to complete assignments, dress code violations, or pornography; and for a fifth tardy. The alternative to CP in all these cases is a specified number of days' suspension, varying by offense.
At the two elementary schools (lower and upper), CP is defined as striking the buttocks with a paddle, and it must not be used for academic lapses. Where parents have lodged an objection in writing to CP, detention or suspension will be used instead. The maximum is "five licks with a paddle per offense or day". At the Upper Elementary school, corporal punishment is the standard penalty on first, second and third office referral for any offense; at the Lower Elementary, this applies from the second to the 7th referral inclusive. "Students on the no-paddle list" receive growing amounts of out-of-school suspension as the number of referrals increase, whereas those who are paddled only begin to be suspended at a much later stage. This seems to mean that, at the Lower Elementary for example, a student who may be paddled receives just one day's out-of-school suspension at the eighth office referral (having been spanked on all the previous ones), whereas a student exempted from CP will receive five days' OSS at the same point in the ladder. This looks like a powerful incentive not to exempt one's offspring from corporal punishment.
- Indianola School District
At this senior high school (grades 10 through 12), corporal punishment is listed (with "DOSS", for day-long ISS, as an alternative) as appropriate only for "minor rule infractions" (see pp.74 ff.), such as dress code violation, cutting class, missing detention, insubordination and disrespect (it is rather odd to find this classified as "minor"), inadequate supplies for class, hall pass violation, littering, profanity, and sleeping in class.
Spankings took place on about 395 occasions in 2009 at Gentry High, for a total enrollment of some 600, according to government figures. 180 of these, or 45%, related to female students, an unusually high proportion.
- Itawamba County School District
All students here are subject to corporal punishment, and the handbooks state explicitly that no teacher may be sued for using it. It is also spelled out that parents do not have any right to object to the use of CP for their students, a previous provision giving them an opt-out on written request having been withdrawn in 2005.
At the two high schools, CP (2 swats) is an alternative to 2 half-hour detentions at step 1 of the discipline ladder. At step 2, it is 3 detentions or 3 swats.
The elementary and middle schools handbook has identical provisions.
See also this Oct 2005 news item.
- Kosciusko School District
At the High School, punishment for tardiness may include paddling. Junior High students may likewise be spanked for tardiness, but also for failing to complete homework assignments.
At the elementary schools, CP (no details provided) is listed as a possible consequence for any misconduct.
- Lauderdale County Schools (covers Collinsville, Meridian) [PDF]
See pages 27 and 31. CP should be used only when it is thought to be effective and/or other methods have failed. It is indicated at Step 2 of the "Discipline Ladder". Parents must be informed, and may "deny corporal punishment to their child" by making a written request.
- Laurel School District [PDF]
These rules were introduced following a decision in August 2006 to continue using corporal punishment. This was described in the local press as "re-implementing" CP, with an implication that it had fallen into disuse, although reference to it had not been excised from the various school handbooks.
The new policy is detailed and explicit. CP should be a last resort after other procedures have failed. It may not be used for academic performance reasons but also, for some reason, not for tardiness (exactly what it is mainly used for at some US schools).
As to the modus operandi, the punishment is to be applied to the student's buttocks with a hole-free wooden paddle whose precise dimensions are stipulated (25 inches long, four inches wide, half an inch thick). The maximum is five licks, but three licks should be the norm. The student must not be required to remove any clothing for the paddling except jackets, coats or sweaters. Any student refusing to be paddled, or "behaving in such a manner that corporal punishment could not safely be administered", is suspended for three days.
The teacher who initially witnessed the misbehavior shall be the one who recommends a paddling, but a different teacher must administer it, with the usual provisions about witnesses (same-sex, in the case of grades 6 and up), due process and documentation. Unusually, it is laid down that the administering teacher and the witness are to decide jointly whether CP is appropriate and, if so, how many licks to deliver. If they cannot agree, the matter is referred upwards to the principal.
Parental consent for CP is no longer required. However, an effort should be made before the paddling "to determine that the student has not been physically abused, nor has a medical or mental condition which may preclude such punishment". Furthermore, if the student has a disability or is in a special education program, no CP shall be administered without approval from the Special Education Office.
At the end of the document is a "Corporal punishment checklist", to be filled out and signed by the teacher initially recommending CP, the one administering, and the witness.
The policy document for corporal punishment at the Alternative School, evidently a sort of "sin bin", dates from 2002 and states that it may be administered only to students whose parents have signed a form to that effect, and reproduces the said form at page 4. Presumably this is now superseded by the new district-wide policy described above, doing away with the need for parental consent.
The elementary handbook used to have the same wording, but the 2006-07 version makes clear that paddling is now one of the penalties for any violation in category C, the least serious level.
- Lee County Schools (covers Belden, Guntown, Mooreville, Plantersville, Saltillo, Shannon, Tupelo, Verona) [DOC]
See pages 15 ff. CP is a means of enforcing the rules when other methods have been unsuccessful. It is indicated for a first or second offense of "unacceptable behavior", but not for a third such offense, at which point the student is suspended. Rules about witnesses and documentation but nothing about modus operandi or parental involvement.
There were about 1,000 paddlings here in school year 2004-05, according to government statistics.
See also this Oct 2009 news item, according to which this figure had risen to 1,707 paddlings by school year 2008-09; and this May 2010 news item about a paddling at Saltillo Elementary School.
- Leflore County Schools, Greenwood [PDF]
Unusually, "a paddle or flat strap" shall be used. CP may not be given on more than two occasions per day to the same student, with a maximum of five strokes per occasion. CP should normally come after other "less stringent" measures have failed, but it may be a first resort in the case of major offenses such as fighting or weapons. Parents may request in writing that CP not be used, but in that case the parent must get the student to behave, and if not the student may be suspended. This is the secondary handbook, but the elementary version has identical wording.
See also this Oct 2009 news item.
- Madison County School District (covers Camden, Canton, Flora, Madison, Ridgeland)
Corporal punishment is "administered only if the conduct of a student is of such an extreme nature that this method is the only reasonable form of discipline".
CP is also one of the "more severe consequences" that may result from a fourth and subsequent tardy to class, and is also indicated for taking part in a minor fight. Usual rules about privacy and witnesses. All paddles, when not in use, must be stored in the office. Parental requests for non-use of paddling must be made in writing.
See also this Oct 2009 news item, stating that there were 1,104 paddlings in school year 2008-09, that Madison County students may be paddled for disrespect, and that one of the adults present must be of the same race as the student and another must be of a different race.
- Neshoba County School District
The pan-district policy document has typical Mississippi wording, including reference to the law that says that teachers who use CP cannot be sued.
In grades 6 through 12, corporal punishment seems to be a first resort. It may now be applied for a first and second referral (previously first only), but from the third referral onwards there is a scale of increasingly severe suspensions and no mention of paddling. In addition, however, students may specifically be "paddled or suspended" for "derogatory correspondence". A student who refuses to be paddled is now given three days' OSS (previously ISS). A student who misbehaves while in ISS "will receive corporal punishment".
There is also an elementary school, but its information is not currently available.
Government statistics estimate that there were about 285 paddlings at Neshoba Central High in 2009.
- New Albany Schools [PDF]
Paddling is applicable to all students from kindergarten to grade 12. The maximum number of licks is three. These may be administered for a first or repeated Class I or Class II violation, and for a first Class III violation. CP may also be given for a second school bus offense in lieu of five days' suspension from riding the bus, but for some reason this applies only to grades K to 8. At the High School, paddling may be administered for a third or fourth tardy.
Paddling is specifically mentioned as an punishment for a first offense of using a cell phone, as an alternative to one day of SLC; and as a substitute for being given a zero grade for homework not done, provided the work is made up; and for failure to serve detention, in lieu of one day's ISS.
The handbook contains a form on which parents are invited to state whether they do or do not wish corporal punishment to be used.
See also this Oct 2009 news item, according to which there were 1,249 paddlings in New Albany Schools in school year 2008-09.
- Oktibbeha County Schools, Starkville [PDF]
Corporal punishment (no practical details vouchsafed) is applicable here at step 1 for major offenses. In this latest version it is no longer mentioned for minor offenses at any step. This is the secondary handbook (grades 7 through 12); the elementary book has the same language as regards CP.
- Pearl Public School District [PDF]
A previous version of the handbook said that students who refused corporal punishment would be given three days' out-of-school suspension. It added that a teacher might "issue" [sic] corporal punishment only once a day to the same pupil, but an administrator might "issue" it to the same student up to three times in the same day! All that language has disappeared from the latest version, which merely states that CP may be used by teachers and administrators, generally after other efforts to correct the misconduct have proved ineffective; typical rules about privacy, witnesses and documentation. There are no details of the modus operandi.
CP is particularly mentioned as a penalty for "inappropriate or abusive language". It may be used at the principal's discretion in lieu of OSS or ISI.
See also this Apr 2013 news item.
- Rankin County School District (covers Brandon, Florence, Flowood, Pelahatchie, Puckett, Richland, Sandhill) [PDF]
CP is generally to be used when other methods have proved ineffective. Typical rules about due process, witnesses, privacy and documentation. In addition to taking account, when delivering the spanking, of the student's age, size and condition -- a standard, if probably fairly meaningless, rule -- the "size, strength and temperament of the disciplinarian" is also to be considered. Paddling is specifically mentioned for a first offense of minor misbehavior on the school bus.
US Dept of Education statistics record about 880 instances of CP here in 2004-05.
See also this Oct 2009 news item, according to which there were 742 paddlings in Rankin County in school year 2008-09.
- Smith County School District, Raleigh [PDF]
For minor rule violations, the student may be offered a paddling (up to 3 licks) in lieu of other punishment. Students in grades 7 through 12 may refuse to be paddled, in which case they are suspended until a meeting with parents has been held. CP is specifically mentioned as a penalty for a second school bus offense, as an alternative to three days' suspension from the bus.
US Dept of Education statistics record that there were an estimated 490 paddlings at this district's three high schools in 2009.
- South Delta School District (covers Anguilla, Rolling Fork) [PDF]
It is stressed that CP may be used only for disciplinary reasons and not for academic failings or failure to turn in assignments. There is a maximum of five licks with the paddle, to be delivered "only to the fleshy part of the buttocks". The elementary paddle is 14 inches long, 2 inches wide and a quarter inch thick. At the middle and high schools the dimensions are 15" x 2" x 3/8". The material is oak or ash wood. Paddles should not be on public display. Parents may fill out a form to request that their student not be spanked.
- South Panola School District, Batesville [PDF]
The district policy states that corporal punishment "in the form of paddling" does not constitute assault, and provides that it must be witnessed by at least one licensed school employee. A principal or designee may administer CP for any unexcused tardy.
The latest online handbook for Pope Elementary is from 2008 so it may be out of date. It lays down that "no more than three blows will be delivered, always on the buttocks". It will not be administered spontaneously: a period of time must elapse between the offense and the punishment. A parental waiver is required before students in grades five and above may be so punished, but apparently not in the elementary grades. CP may also be given for tardies.
At the senior high school (where the handbook is much more up to date), no maximum number of swats is specified. A paddling may be administered for any level I offense (dress code violations, talking without permission, running in hall, etc.) as an alternative to ISS. CP (or one day's ISS) is also the punishment for a fourth tardy. It is not now specifically mentioned as a penalty for more serious offenses. However, for any other offense, "any student who has attained a level of maturity which enables the student to understand the charges against him ... may elect not to be punished under the provisions of this Code and elect to be summarily punished".
This mysterious reference, which also appears in some of the other handbooks, to "summary punishment" at the choice of the student -- which has been on the books here for many years -- is presumably a way of alluding to corporal punishment without using those words, though since the words "corporal punishment" ARE used elsewhere in the document, the reasons for such obfuscation are not clear. See also section 21, headed "Fair Hearing", which states that "Any student who is accused of a violation of this Code and who does not elect [sic] summary punishment will be disciplined subject to this Code and will be fully informed of the rights afforded the student by the law and by the policies of the South Panola School District".
All this seems to be a roundabout way of saying that any sufficiently mature student may opt to receive an immediate paddling, for any offense, in exchange for dispensing with all bureaucratic procedures. Some may feel that this is an excellent policy which deserves to be set out more explicitly. It is unique to South Panola, as far as I am aware. As before, there are no details as to the modus operandi and nothing about parental consent or notification.
Batesville Junior High has similar wording to the senior high school, except that CP applies at the third and fourth offense for level I violations, and the first and second offense for level II violations.
At Batesville Middle, paddling may now be given for level II violations (it is no longer mentioned for level I) and there is a maximum of three swats.
Batesville Intermediate School's handbook provides for a maximum of three swats, for level II violations only. Parents wishing to exempt their student from CP must do so on a special form which they must personally pick up from the school office. Any unexcused tardy may be punished with a paddling.
See also this Oct 2009 news item, according to which there were 2,376 paddlings in South Panola district in the school year 2008-09.
- Sunflower County School District, Indianola [PDF]
Corporal punishment may be used on a first or second referral for "minor infractions" (excessive tardiness, violation of rules, disruption on the bus, etc.). It is not mentioned in relation to more serious offenses. It must be administered in the principal's office. Parental objections are honored. The Personnel Manual states that the office door must be closed during the paddling.
- Vicksburg Warren School District
Both handbooks state that "appropriately applied corporal punishment" (no details supplied) is for level 1 (relatively minor) offenses only. At the elementary level it is no longer specified that the adult witness to corporal punishment should be of the same race as the student. Parents may opt their offspring out of CP by writing a letter at the beginning of the school year, in which case the student will be suspended instead.
US Dept of Education figures estimate 1,120 paddlings in this district in 2004-05.
- Wayne County School District (covers Buckatunna, Clara, Waynesboro)
At the High School, for a third unexcused tardy, CP may be provided in lieu of one day's ISS; on the fourth tardy, in lieu of two days' ISS; and on the fifth tardy, in lieu of 3 days' ISS. No number of swats is specified. Principals may use CP for any level 1, 2 or 3 violation. However, parents may fill out a form (at the back of the handbook) asking that their student not be paddled.
In the elementary schools and the Middle School, CP is provided for any level of offense, where parents have signed the permission form.
This district administered about 1,010 paddlings in 2004-05, or 26% of the enrollment, according to federal statistics.
- Webster County School District (covers Eupora, Maben, Mathiston)
Parents who wish their student not to be paddled must go to the school office in person to fill out a form each school year. "Students should inform school personnel that they are on the non-corporal punishment list before receiving punishment." In such a case, the parent will be required to come to the school and take the culprit home.
At the elementary schools, paddling is specifically mentioned for a second instance of misbehavior on the bus.
At high-school level, CP may be given for sexual behavior or display of affection, profanity, and tobacco, and for a first offense of being out of place, disturbing class, or not being prepared for class. Paddling is also mentioned for dress code infractions.
See also this Nov 2007 news item and this April 2008 follow-up about an 18-year-old student who was paddled for violating the dress code. A lawsuit against the principal failed.
- These Mississippi public schools also state that they use corporal punishment, but give few or no details:
North Bolivar School District, Shelby [PDF] and see this Apr 2013 news item, which states that paddling is used frequently.
Noxubee County School District, Macon and see this Oct 2009 news item.
Quitman County School District, Marks [PDF] and see this Nov 2007 news item about a junior high school student whose parents claimed his buttocks were severely bruised after a paddling.
Shaw School District [PDF] (New URL)
Tate County School District (covers Coldwater, Independence) [PDF] and see this March 2010 news item about the paddling of a high school student.
Western Line School District, Avon and see this Oct 2009 news item, according to which there were 1,512 paddlings in 2008-09.
Yazoo City Municipal School District
- These Mississippi schools or school districts are also known to use corporal punishment, but did not appear to say so on line when I last checked, or are not on line at all:
Jones County Schools, Ellisville -- see this Oct 2009 news item stating that 1,301 students were spanked in the 2008-09 school year
McComb School District -- see this July 2012 news item
West Bolivar School District -- see this Aug 2008 news item
MISSOURI: private schools
- New Beginnings, LaRussell
New Beginnings is a "very strict" Christian boarding school (or would it be better described as a reformatory?) for "troubled" teen boys and girls. Mail is censored and students may not make phone calls out. Parents may visit at six-monthly intervals only. There is a demerit system, and the consequences for accumulating 10 demerits in a week include loss of all extra-curricular activities, physical training such as jumping jacks, standing with nose touching end of bed for one hour, and a menu of bland foods. If these measures fail to produce the desired result, "corporal discipline" may be administered, consisting of up to five "correctly received swats upon the buttocks" at any one paddling. The meaning of "correctly received" is "swats in which the student exhibits a submissive attitude throughout the discipline session".
There is a maximum of 15 swats in each 24-hour period "whether correctly or incorrectly received". A flat paddle is used, and the student remains clothed. The staff member administering the paddling, as well as the staff witness, must be of the same sex as the student. A "corporal discipline report", signed and dated by these two persons, is then placed on the student's file.
Aside from the demerit points system, an immediate paddling is automatic for fighting, talking of running away, attempting to run away, actually running away, direct disobedience, defiance and disrespect, and for a third offense of cheating.
After receiving the punishment, the student must acknowledge that his or her attitude and actions "warranted corporal discipline much sooner than it was actually administered", and that every opportunity had been presented to the student to avoid being spanked. This procedure "gives each student the maximum opportunity of self-discipline".
Alex (pictured with his father, presumably on his six-monthly visit) features on the "Testimonials" page. He was previously on drugs, but New Beginnings turned his life around, we are told. The page does not say whether he required "corporal discipline" or, if so, whether all his swats were "correctly received".
- Providence Classical Christian Academy, St Louis [PDF]
For students of K through 4th grade only, this school asks parents to state on the enrollment form whether or not they agree to "corporal discipline" being used. Only the headmaster may administer it, with at least one witness, first explaining to the student "that he will be spanked because God commands that children be spanked and says we must spank if we love children". After being punished, the child "will ask forgiveness".
MISSOURI: public schools
- Advance R-IV Public Schools, Advance [PDF]
Some changes have been made here. The handbook no longer states that paddling will be used "only when deemed absolutely necessary". Intriguingly, the maximum number of swats per spanking has been increased to four, from three in earlier versions. This is the high-school handbook; the elementary school has the same wording.
- Alton R-IV School District
Upon a second or third referral to the office for classroom misbehavior at the Elementary School, a student may receive swats, administered by the principal in the presence of a teacher or the counselor. CP is also given for assault, fighting, abuse, tobacco use, and other serious offenses. These are all as an alternative to in-school suspension, but it is not clear who gets to make the choice. For misconduct on the school bus, swats may be an alternative to suspension from the bus.
Corporal punishment "is part of the behavior continuum" at the High School, and must be administered by the principal in the presence of a teacher. Students may be given a choice between paddling and suspension for a variety of infractions including tobacco use, fighting, verbal abuse, and a second offense of academic dishonesty in addition to being given no credit for the assignment. Swats may also be given for a second minor infraction of the bus rules, if a student chooses this instead of suspension from the bus.
- Arcadia Valley Middle School, Ironton [PDF]
Swats may be administered in lieu of after-school detention. Parents may request in writing that their children not be paddled, and the student himself also has the right to refuse swats. It's not clear what then happens instead. The paddling must be applied to the buttocks, in the Principal's office.
- Ash Grove School District (covers Ash Grove, Bois D'Arc)
Corporal punishment may be used, on the recommendation of the principal, when all alternative means have failed. It must consist of "swatting the buttocks with a paddle" in such a way that there is no chance of bodily injury. This should be done preferably by the principal in the presence of the teacher.
Both at the High School and the elementary schools, the paddle is regarded as an "alternative disciplinary measure"; parents are notified before it is used.
See also this Jan 2005 news item, which also describes the modus operandi for paddling and states that in practice the maximum number of swats given is three.
- Blue Eye R-VIII School District
This district uses more or less the same wording as Ash Grove, above (last resort, swatting the buttocks with a paddle, no chance of injury, privacy, witness). At the Elementary School, where corporal punishment is referred to as "swats", parents must send in a form (reproduced at the end of the handbook) at the start of the school year in which they either give or withhold consent for CP. The Middle School handbook says that CP may be given by the principal, and that parents should notify the school if there is a physical condition that would make CP harmful to the student's health (this provision is also in the elementary book). There is a separate High School handbook, which does not mention CP.
- Bunker R-3 School District
At the Elementary School, CP is administered by the principal when alternative means of discipline have failed. Parents are notified by telephone beforehand.
High School students receive "swats or in-school suspension" from the principal for a third and subsequent tardy to school. Paddling may also be the penalty for a first offense of arson, assault, vehicle misuse, bullying, dishonesty, failure to meet conditions of suspension, fighting, and display of affection, among other things (in most of these instances it may also be given for a subsequent offense); and for a second or subsequent dress code violation.
- Carl Junction R-1 School District
This district uses more or less identical wording to Ash Grove, above (last resort, swatting the buttocks with a paddle, no chance of injury, privacy, witness).
At the Junior High school, "paddling" is listed as one of the consequences for discipline violations, and CP is mentioned in particular as a means of dealing with a first or second misdemeanor on the school bus.
Caruthersville School District
The High School handbook gives the standard minimal Missouri wording about swatting the buttocks with a paddle when other methods have failed. The middle and elementary schools use identical language.
A page now removed contained a picture of the elementary school's former assistant principal, Mr Doug White. Could that be the bottom end of a paddle just visible at the front of his desk?
Yes, it could! Here is another picture of Coach White, on a more recent occasion, now promoted to assistant principal of the HIGH school, taken from a page also currently not on line:
- Charleston R-I School District
Standard Missouri language ("swatting the buttocks with a paddle") in the pan-district policy document.
At the High School (grades 9 through 12), CP is used at the discretion of the principal. Also, a second tardy per semester brings 1 swat or 1 detention; a third tardy, 2 swats or 2 detentions; and a fourth tardy, 3 swats or 3 detentions. Students who misbehave in ISS may also receive CP. Paddling is also specifically mentioned in relation to cell phone use: for a first offense, the punishment is one swat or two days' detention. The second offense attracts 2 swats or 3 days' detention. For subsequent offenses the student receives ISS. There is an implication that these CP/detention alternatives are choices for the student to make. However, for "dress and grooming" offenses it is explicitly stated that, for some reason, the penalty is detention "with no option for swats".
- Chaffee R-II School District
At the elementary school, corporal punishment may be administered for level 3 infractions (the most serious). It may now also be given, as an alternative to in-school suspension, for a second or third cell phone offense.
CP at the High School is used when other means have failed, and consists of "1-3 swats on the buttocks, preferably from the administration".
- Clever R-V School District
This district uses more or less identical wording to Ash Grove, above (last resort, swatting the buttocks with a paddle, no chance of injury, privacy, witness).
The High School handbook merely repeats part of the wording of the district policy document.
- Cole Camp R-1 School District
See page 12. CP (no details provided) is a "last resort", used only with parental consent, the form for granting which is included at the end the handbook. This also states that "the Principal or Assistant Principal may elect not to administer corporal punishment even if parental permission is on file".
Unusually for a high school, the parent may attend the paddling as an observer (something one imagines most students would prefer not to happen). CP may be used if "it will be helpful in maintaining discipline or in the development of the student's character and power of self-control".
The Middle School uses identical language.
- Cooter R-4 School District
At Cooter Elementary, corporal punishment is administered "when appropriate" by principal, administrator of classroom teacher. There is a maximum of three swats per occasion. Parents are notified beforehand. If parents object, they must pick up the child immediately and the replacement punishment is one day's suspension for each swat that was to be administered.
The High School handbook states that CP is administered, apparently with no alternative available, for a first offense of truancy, horseplay in the classroom, disrespect, disruption, and insubordination. For a first offense of fighting, gambling, sexual harassment or bullying, the penalty is either CP or some other punishment such as OSS or Saturday Detention. The paddle may also be brought out for a third or subsequent tardy, and for a second offense of littering, public display of affection, or improper attire. No student may receive more than one paddling per day, and "it is the teacher's responsibility to check to see if the student has been paddled by someone else that day". The student is also to be asked whether there is any medical or other physical reason why he or she should not receive a paddling.
- Dallas County R-I Schools (covers Buffalo, Long Lane, Louisburg)
Standard Missouri wording in the pan-district policy document. CP should not be the first resort.
At Buffalo Prairie, there is a "Table of Referral Issues and Consequences". "ISS and/or swats" is the penalty for a third or fourth offense of disparaging or demeaning language or disrespectful speech or conduct, a first, second, third or fourth offense of disruptive speech or conduct of physical display of affection, a first offense of extortion, vandalism, sexual harassment, theft or truancy, a first or second offense of obscene behavior or being out of bounds, and a third dress code violation.
- Delta C-7 Schools, Deering
The Elementary School handbook no longer says that CP must occur soon after the behavior being punished. Paddling is specifically mentioned as a penalty for truancy or tobacco use. "Students who refuse corporal punishment will not be readmitted to school until such discipline is completed."
At the High School, corporal punishment is for misconduct levels I, II and III but not IV (the most serious). There is a maximum of three swats per offense. Paddling may also be used by the principal for a first or third "bus incident". Students who are truant for the first time may receive corporal punishment, and if they refuse to be spanked they "will not be readmitted to school until such discipline is completed". For tardies, the punishment at the third offense is two swats or two detentions; at the fourth, it is three swats or Saturday school. A similar policy applies to public display of affection. It is not clear whether it is the student who gets to make the choice. CP may also be used for a first or second tobacco offense.
See also this Nov 2005 news item about Delta High School.
- Dexter R-XI Schools
Standard Missouri language about swatting the buttocks with a paddle. There is a maximum of three swats.
- Doniphan R-I School District (New URL)
Click on "Student Handbooks". At the Elementary School, corporal punishment may be used when initial strategies prove ineffective. However, it may also be used as a first resort in cases of throwing rocks or fighting. The alternative is suspension.
At the High School, "the student and parent" may request a spanking in lieu of Saturday school or suspension. There is an unusually high maximum of six swats to the buttocks, which must be delivered by the principal. Students who refuse to be paddled may be suspended.
The Middle School mentions misbehavior on the school bus or in the classroom, and cheating, as offenses worthy of "swats", to be administered to the buttocks by the principal with a maximum of six swats for any one event.
- Dora R-III School District [PDF]
CP is to be administered by the principal, and involves "swatting the buttocks with a paddle". There are rules about privacy, witnesses and record-keeping, but no mention, as far as I can see, of parental involvement either before or after the event. This latest version of the handbook includes more detail on specific penalties for particular offenses than previous versions. Thus, for many offenses, such as tobacco use, vandalism or fighting, "1-3 swats" may be delivered at the first offense and "3 swats" at the second. In other cases, e.g. cheating, dress code violation or public display of affection, it is 1-3 swats for the second offense and 3 swats on the third and fourth occasions.
- East Prairie R-2 School District [PDF]
Usual Missouri language about swatting the buttocks with a paddle, preferably by the principal. Corporal punishment may be administered for, among other things, a first offense of arson, assault, automobile misuse, bullying, violating cafeteria manners, fighting, demeaning language, disrespect/disruption, tobacco, dishonesty, theft, public display of affection, threats or verbal assault, sexual harassment, technology misconduct, truancy and vandalism; and for a second or subsequent offense of disturbing class. This is the Senior High School handbook; the Junior High and Elementary handbooks have very similar wording.
- El Dorado Springs School District
At the elementary school, CP may be administered by the principal; parents will be informed if possible. It is specifically mentioned for a first offense of intimidation, extortion or assault, and also for a second tobacco offense (one to three swats). Students may not go on field trips who have received corporal punishment in the 15 days preceding the trip.
Less detail is provided at the Middle School, which has identical wording to Ash Grove (see above).
The High School handbook makes no mention of CP. See also this Jan 2005 news item.
- Fordland R-III Public Schools [PDF]
Corporal punishment is described as "a paddling administered to the student". In this latest version of the handbook, it is no longer indicated for particular types of offense. "All punishment shall be administered without malice." This is the high-school handbook, but the middle-school handbook contains identical CP provisions. The elementary school no longer mentions CP at all.
- Gainesville R-V School District
Standard Missouri wording. At the two high schools, a student or parent may request corporal punishment in lieu of detention or suspension. Paddling is also specifically mentioned as a possible consequence for excessive tardies.
See also this Jan 2005 news item.
- Gideon School District [PDF]
The first of these three documents is the Employee Handbook for the whole district. Teachers are urged not to threaten to send students to the office to be paddled, as "this will be the principal's decision only". However, teachers may themselves paddle without reference to the principal. Parents do not have any option in the matter. There is a maximum of three swats, and of one paddling per day. Usual rules about privacy and witnesses. If the paddler is angry, the punishment must be postponed until he or she is no longer angry.
At the elementary school, too, it is made explicit that "Parents do not have a right to refuse the use of corporal punishment when necessary as a means of disciplining a student". Paddling is specifically mentioned as a punishment for a second or subsequent offense of misbehavior on the school bus.
At the high school, CP is not listed as a standard penalty but may be substituted for ISS or OSS at the principal's discretion. It is not clear whether this occurs only if requested by the student or parent.
- Green Ridge R-VIII School District [PDF]
Parent contact will be made before CP is administered. There is a maximum of three swats per offense.
- Halfway R-III School District
Standard Missouri wording about swatting the buttocks with a paddle.
The elementary handbook provides a form on which parents may state whether they wish CP to be used, and quotes the principal as saying "there are times when it is very useful and appropriate as a consequence to disrespectful and inappropriate behavior". Parents are welcome to be present when it takes place.
- Hermitage R-IV School District
At both the High School and the Middle School, CP may be used only after other options are not effective. It must be inflicted with "a lightweight paddle" in the presence of two staff members.
- Jasper R-5 School District [PDF]
In the High School, corporal punishment "is allowed when other options have failed"; parents are contacted. At the elementary level, the consequences of a second visit to the principal's office include "ISS/OSS or swats". On a third visit, the "STOP Program Process" (it is not clear what this is) "will be initiated, OSS or Swats". On all subsequent visits, students not participating in the STOP Program will receive swats, detention or up to 10 days' OSS.
See also, in respect of Jasper Elementary School, this Nov 2005 news item.
- Junction Hill C-12 School, West Plains [PDF]
This K-8 school has some unusual detail. CP must be administered in the principal's office, and before the paddling, there must be "a check to see if there are items in the pockets where the swats will be given" -- common sense, but I have not seen it spelled out as a printed instruction before. Also, the student is to be shown "the proper stance" and informed of "things that can happen if the student does not stay in the position requested".
In the upper school (grades 5 through 8), "swats" may be given for four or more demerits. A paddling may also be requested in lieu of ISS if the parent has given permission. CP is particularly mentioned for a second or third offense of failing to turn in assignments.
- Hayti R-II School District
Corporal punishment ("swatting the buttocks with a paddle") shall be inflicted by a district administrator. "1 day ISS or one swat" is the consequence for a first offense of careless driving or parking lot violation, and a 2nd offense of public display of affection. For a first offense of disruption or sleeping in class, or making excessive noise, it is after-school detention or one swat. Two swats may be given for obscenity, skipping class, tobacco or vandalism; three swats for a first truancy, a second tobacco violation, and a third offense of sharing a locker. And so on. "Corporal punishment and/or suspension" will also be meted out for misbehavior during an after-school activity, such as team members being ejected from a game.
This district also has two elementary schools but their handbooks are not available.
- Kennett School District #39
Students in all grades may have their buttocks swatted with a paddle as punishment, with typical safeguards about witnesses and privacy. The Code of conduct is more specific, providing CP as a possible consequence for a first offense of assault or physical sexual harassment, a first or subsequent offense of disrespect, disruption, extortion, false alarms, fighting, public display of affection, theft, possession of tobacco, or truancy, and a first or second (but not third or subsequent) offense of verbal sexual harassment.
See also this Aug 2005 news item, in which the High School principal said "I have no problem with paddling. If you don't want to take paddling, you can go to the AEP (alternative education program)", and this Jan 2006 news item, announcing a clampdown on latecomers: paddling was also thenceforth to be the punishment (with AEP as an option) for every unexcused tardy from the third one in each quarter onwards.
This May 2006 news item suggests that CP is frequent at the High School and confirms that students there normally get a choice between a paddling and time in the AEP.
- McDonald County R-I School District, Anderson
The School Board policy document uses the standard Missouri form of words about swatting the buttocks with a paddle. The enrollment form invites parents to give or withhold permission, and states that there is a maximum of three swats per paddling and that the paddle is made of wood.
At the Senior High School, "there will be no corporal punishment for tardies" (why not?) but CP ("application of paddle to the buttocks of the student") is listed as an option for a range of other offenses, such as disruption, fighting, tobacco and truancy.
The K-8 schools mention CP as a possibility, but it does not feature in the list of penalties for various specific offenses.
- Mountain View - Birch Tree Schools (covers Mountain View, Birch Tree)
The pan-district policy document gives standard Missouri wording (swatting the buttocks with a paddle, etc.) and adds that a student may be exempted only where a documented physician's statement is on file stating that CP would be harmful to the student' physical or emotional health. The implication is that parental objections to CP on any other grounds are not entertained, but this turns out not to be the case.
The High School handbook states, somewhat ambiguously, that CP "may be an option" at the discretion of the principal, who is the only person who will administer it. Also, "A written permission form will be sent home for each infraction" -- which seems to mean that parents get a chance to deny permission after all, despite what it says in the district policy statement.
The Middle School has identical language to the High School.
The handbook for the elementary schools makes clear that parental objections are indeed honored, provided they are lodged in writing within ten days of the student's first arrival at the school. There is a list of infractions of varying seriousness. For "level A" offenses (arson, drugs, weapons, threats), the penalty is 2-3 swats or the same number of days' suspension for a first offense, and 3 swats or 3-5 days off for a second offense. Swats are apparently not an option for a third or subsequent violation at level A. At level B (obscenity, tobacco, cheating) the student receives 1-2 swats or 1-2 days' suspension the first time, 2-3 swats or days the second time, and 3 swats or 3-5 days the third time. For the least serious ("level C") sins, the first offense brings a mere 1 swat or day off, the second 1-2 swats or days, and so on. Fighting is listed as a separate category on its own, and apparently does not attract CP. The same applies to misconduct on the school bus, except for a second (but not first, third or subsequent) violation, where the penalty is 1-2 swats and suspension of bus privileges for up to 5 days.
- Neelyville R-IV School District [PDF] (New URL)
Unusual wording here - CP "is defined as paddling with a board on the buttocks". Paddles have often been called boards colloquially (as in the old quip about applying the board of education to the seat of learning), but I have not previously seen the word used officially. There is no maximum number of swats.
"When deemed acceptable, pupils may choose to be paddled in lieu of suspension and/or other disciplinary procedures". Parents, too, may "request it as a first alternative rather than using other forms of discipline".
Otherwise, "the district reserves the right to use corporal punishment for all students in first or second offense situations", and in particular the board may be applied for a wide range of offenses, including using cell phones, misuse of the gym, disruption, false alarms, inappropriate behavior, littering (second or subsequent offense), tobacco, threats, truancy, failing to complete assignments, and vandalism, among other things. For assault and fighting, paddling may be used only at elementary level; for all the other offenses mentioned, no age limits are specified.
- Nevada R-5 School District [PDF]
In addition to standard Missouri wording, this district says that CP may be "substituted for other disciplinary measures [...] where parents have given prior approval". This is the middle school handbook, but the high school has the same form of words. The elementary handbook makes no mention of punishments at all.
- New Madrid County School District R-I [DOC] (covers Lilbourn, Matthews, New Madrid)
The pan-district policy document lays down a maximum of three swats.
The high-school handbook states that "the district permits corporal punishment as a measure of correction." Parents wishing to exempt their student from CP must schedule a conference in person with the school principal and fill out a form. "This is only a request and will be followed to the best of the [sic] ability from [sic] all certified staff members." Each parent is to be reminded that CP is permitted.
Corporal punishment (1 to 3 swats) is the third disciplinary action in order of severity, after "informal talk" and "conference". Paddling is mentioned in particular for a fourth or subsequent school tardy, and a second (one swat) or subsequent class tardy.
At the Middle School, "corporal punishment or AEP" is the penalty for a third tardy. The handbook uses the same language as the High School as regards parental opts-out.
The handbook for the three elementary schools contains similar wording but without the specific reference to tardies.
- Newburg R-II School District
Corporal punishment should be used only after other methods have failed.
At the elementary school (grades K through 6), written parental permission is required. The paddle is applied to the student's buttocks by an administrator, with a maximum of three swats per occasion. In an unusually detailed reference to the modus operandi, "the student shall be required to either place his hands on a desk or on his knees while receiving a paddling" (their defective syntax, not mine).
The Middle and High School handbooks are not currently available.
- North Pemiscot R-1 School District
At the High School, students "are not allowed the choice of suspension in lieu of receiving corporal punishment". A student who refuses a determined punishment will not be allowed to return to school until the parents have a conference with the principal and the student agrees to accept the previously assigned punishment. "The choice of punishment is the decision of the teacher, administrator or school board, not the student."
CP may be administered (by a teacher or the principal) for a wide range of offenses, including a first offense of threats/harassment, pornography, or fighting; a first or second offense of misbehavior during an after-school activity or assembly; a second offense of tardiness to school, abuse of textbooks, running in the hallway, disobedience or being off-limits; and a third offense of eating/drinking or chewing gum, disrespect or disruption, or minor misbehavior on the school bus.
At Ross Elementary, CP (or noon detention, or one day of Saturday School) is the penalty for a second tardy, as well as for a list of offenses broadly similar to that at the High School. In many cases (unlike at the High School), paddling is the only outcome available; there are 46 mentions of "corporal punishment" in the document. It may be administered by teachers as well as the principal. There is the same wording as at the High School about alternatives to CP not being permitted and students not being given a choice of punishment. This is one of the most uncompromisingly pro-CP US school handbooks I have seen in the public sector for a while.
- North Wood R-IV Schools, Salem [RTF]
Corporal punishment is a level 3 (relatively serious) consequence in this school district, consisting of "1 to 3 swats". It may also be applied when level 2 consequences (detention, time out, behavior contract) have proved ineffective.
- North Shelby School District, Shelbyville [PDF]
Paddling may be administered by any teacher. Spanking with the open hand is not permissible. Parents must notify the principal in writing if they do not wish corporal punishment to be used. Paddling is mentioned particularly as a consequence for fighting, disruption, harassment, disrespect, and obscenity.
See also this Sep 2008 news item, which says that corporal punishment is rare in the district.
- Poplar Bluff School District [PDF]
Paddling (max. three swats to the buttocks) is available from kindergarten through grade 12 and must be inflicted in the office by a principal or building administrator. Parents are notified after the event. Parents may apply for exemption by filling out a form.
The Junior High document says "It shall be the prerogative of the Poplar Bluff School District to use corporal punishment as a discipline tool". CP is a penalty for a first offense of bullying, disparaging or demeaning language, disrespectful or disruptive conduct or speech, extortion, fighting, and tobacco, but not, for some reason, for vandalism, theft or public display of affection, among other things. It is not a penalty for a second offense in any of these categories. A paddling (2 swats) may also result from missing detention or failing to attend Saturday school.
The Senior High School uses more or less the same language where specific offenses are concerned, but does not include the provision about getting spanked for missing detention or Saturday school. Pupils who "refuse to submit to corporal punishment" are suspended for up to 10 days in grades 7 through 12, and for up to 5 days in grades K through 6.
See also this Jan 2005 news item, which says that in practice parental consent is obtained beforehand, even though this is not required by the rules. It also reports that levels of CP have fallen.
See also this March 2005 news item, which reports that 680 paddlings occurred in the district over a two-year period.
- Risco R-II School District [DOC]
Unusually detailed instructions are given here. The student "will place feet together, bend body forward at the waist (about 90 degrees), grasp both sides of the chair with hands, and look straight ahead while corporal punishment is administered". There is a maximum of 3 swats per paddling.
- Scott City School District [PDF]
Disciplinary actions for minor misconduct include counseling, noon detention, detentions, and corporal punishment. The latter consists of a 3-swat paddling. This is the document for the high school, but the elementary school has identical wording.
See also this Nov 2005 news item.
- Sikeston School District
The School Board policy document uses standard Missouri language about swatting the buttocks with a paddle.
The Student Code of Conduct goes into more detail about specific offenses, a large number of which may attract CP at both the first and the second offense. An excessive number of referrals to the office, even for more minor offenses, may also be met with a paddling.
- Summersville R-II School District
Corporal punishment here shall consist of swatting the buttocks with a paddle. An unusual provision is that parents are explicitly forbidden to witness the punishment.
At the High School, refusal to submit to a paddling will result in OSS for the remainder of the day and one additional day. A student assigned to detention who fails to show up for it "will" (not "may") "receive corporal punishment".
Offenses for which CP is specifically indicated include cheating (first or second offense), bag violations (fourth offense), bullying (first offense), misconduct on the school bus (second or third offense), cafeteria misbehavior (first or second offense), destruction of property (first or second offense), extortion (first offense), "sitting idly, sleeping, or otherwise failing to participate in class" (first, second or third offense), tardiness for a fourth time, tobacco (first through third offense), truancy (second offense), and more. In some cases there is no alternative to a paddling. For instance, for a third graffiti offense, the consequence is "Repair/clean graffiti and corporal punishment" (note "and", not "or" or "and/or").
A spanking is also the consequence for misconduct on the school bus (second or third offense), not as an alternative to, but as well as, being suspended from riding the bus. But CP for parking violations is no longer mentioned.
The high-school document no longer specifies, as previous versions did, the number of swats given for particular offenses. The elementary handbook, however, still does provide for e.g. one swat for a first offense of disruption and two swats for a second such offense, and so on. The maximum is three swats, given for a third offense of cheating or horseplay, and a second offense of possessing harmful devices.
- Van-Far R-1 School District
Here, "the parent or guardian may choose corporal punishment in lieu of a more serious consequence". Most remarkably for a public school, a parent "must be present during the administration of corporal punishment" as well as a staff witness, and "must sign a release form prior to the administration of the swats". Another unusual (and refreshingly frank) provision is that "Parents and guardians must recognize that for corporal punishment to be affective [sic] it must be administered with enough vigor to inflict a certain amount of pain to the student's backside. Students with injuries close to the area of application, other medical issues, or those that are susceptible to bruising easily will not be administered corporal punishment."
There is also an elementary school, but its handbook seems not to be available.
- Webb City R-7 School District (covers Carterville, Webb City) [PDF]
The pan-district policy lists (starting at page 37) a wide range of offenses for which CP is a possible penalty.
At the (senior) High School, students may choose 3 swats with a paddle instead of three hours' detention, but only if they have their parents' consent (surely unnecessary at that age). However, "students may not receive swats more than TWO times in any semester"; and, mysteriously, "students may not receive swats for anything less than a 3-hour detention". Also, students may not receive swats for missing a three-hour detention, which seems to mean that they may opt to be spanked only if they say so in advance of, and not after, the scheduled time for the detention.
At the Junior High School, by contrast, students missing detention for a second and subsequent time are offered the choice of 3 days' suspension or corporal punishment (number of swats not specified). The same applies to any student "accumulating detention assignments in excess of 10 school days beyond the date of assignment". Parents' approval for CP is now required; in a previous version, they were merely to be notified after the event.
The Carterville and Mark Twain handbooks state only that corporal punishment is one of the available disciplinary options, and give no further details.
See also this Jan 2005 news item, which says that there were 345 paddlings in 2000, many of them at high school students' request.
And see this April 2011 news report (with video clip), which describes the modus operandi for paddling at Webb City and states that "there is a line every Tuesday and Thursday at the office for swats".
- Winona R-III School District
This handbook sensibly points out that a paddling can occasionally cause bruises, and these "are not indicative of abuse or that unnecessary force was used by the teacher or administrators as bruising potential varies from person to person".
For a first offense of arguing/horseplay, defacing property, threats, obscene language, and throwing objects, the normal penalty is "2-3 swats or 2-3 days' AST". For fighting or theft, it is 3 swats or 3 days. For tobacco and cutting class, it is 2 swats. Other offenses become spankable at the second or third occasion, such as failing to sign in, or public display of affection (2 swats). Three swats seems to be the normal maximum at any one paddling.
The Middle School has identical wording to the High School.
- Woodland R-IV School District
At these schools (identical wording at both), corporal punishment takes the form of "swatting the buttocks with a paddle (one to four swats)" -- one swat more than the usual Missouri maximum -- and may be delivered for any offense at the discretion of the building principal. Parents are notified subsequently. Unusually, paddling is particularly mentioned for students who repeatedly fail to complete assignments and are therefore deemed "habitually idle".
- These Missouri schools or districts also state that they use corporal punishment, but give few or no details other than, in many cases, the standard Missouri wording about privacy, witnesses, and swatting the buttocks with a paddle:
Adair County R-I School District, Novinger
Carthage School District
Chadwick School District (and see this Jan 2005 news item)
Clark County Schools (and see this Sep 2008 news item)
Fair Grove R-10 School District
Galena R-II School District (and see this Jan 2005 news item)
Green City R-I School District [PDF]
Henry County R-I School District [PDF] (elementary schools only)
Hollister School District (and see this Jan 2005 news item)
Jefferson City Public Schools [PDF] (covers Holts Summit, Jefferson City) (and see this March 2005 item)
Lesterville R-IV School District
Lockwood R-I School District
Mansfield R-IV School District [DOC]
Morgan R-2 School District, Versailles [PDF] (New URL)
North East Nodaway Elementary School, Parnell
North East Nodaway High School, Ravenwood
Neosho School District
Osage Middle School, Osage Beach [DOC]
Osceola School District [PDF]
Smithton R-V School District [PDF]
Ozark R-VI School District [PDF]
Worth County High School, Grant City [PDF]