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.
- Calcasieu Parish School Board (covers Bell City, DeQuincy, Iowa, Lake Charles, Starks, Sulphur, Vinton, Westlake)
Teachers and principals may use CP on any student when necessary. It shall consist of paddling or spanking "administered to the posterior anatomy (buttocks)" with "extreme caution", max. three strokes.
- Iberia Parish School Board (covers Delcambre, Jeanerette, Loreauville, New Iberia) [DOC]
Corporal punishment is used, with the permission of the principal, after less stringent measures have failed. The dimensions of the paddle are stipulated (20" by 4" by half an inch), and it must be inflicted "on the buttocks area". 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.
See also this Nov 2011 news report.
- Monroe City Schools [DOC]
Parents must be 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".
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 [PDF]
Here, any teacher may administer CP, defined as striking the student's buttocks with a standardized paddle. There is a maximum of five strokes per paddling. The instrument, supplied to schools by the central office, is 20 inches long, 3½ inches wide and 5/16 inch thick, made of wood "with no attachments". Elsewhere in the document there is reference to the use of corporal punishment for minor offenses, but only by the principal.
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) (New URL)
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 now reproduce the school board's CP policy in their handbooks. Converse emphasises that paddling is part of the discipline at the school. 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.
- 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 is to be applied to the student's posterior, with a maximum of five strokes per occasion.
See also this Nov 2011 news item.
- Washington Parish School Board (covers Angie, Franklinton, Mount Hermon)
CP here may be used, "with extreme care, tact and caution", for "unruly pupils" after other methods have failed. It shall consist of striking the student on the buttocks a maximum of five times. There is no mention of any implement, but typical rules about privacy, witnesses and record-keeping. CP may be administered in lieu of short-term suspension.
- Webster Parish School Board (covers Cotton Valley, Doyline, Dubberly, Minden, Sarepta, Shongaloo, Springhill) (New URL)
"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:
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)
- These Louisiana public schools 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:
Bogalusa City Schools - see this Aug 2006 news item
Evangeline Parish School Board - see this March 2008 news item and also this Nov 2011 report.
St Helena Parish Schools, Greensburg - see this July 2002 news item and this April 2008 news item
MISSISSIPPI: private schools
- Bayou Academy, Cleveland [PDF]
"When a problem becomes serious enough to warrant the principal's attention, extra work, suspension, corporal punishment, and expulsion will be considered".
- 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".
- 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 (Alternative link)
The headmaster or principal may "institute" corporal punishment (no details supplied) of any student for disorderly conduct, on or off campus.
- 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.
- 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".
- Manchester Academy, Yazoo City
At the elementary level, "work detail or corporal punishment" is the penalty for a third instance of the same offense. No details are given, and there is nothing about parental consultation.
The secondary school administers CP "upon necessity but only as a last resort", and allows parents to check an "I do not want corporal punishment administered" box.
- Starkville Christian School, Starkville [PDF]
"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.
MISSISSIPPI: public schools
- Alcorn School District
Corporal punishment (no details supplied) is permitted as a disciplinary measure. In the case of a first offense of tobacco possession, a student is required to present a ten-page report on the harmful effects of tobacco use or may instead opt to receive corporal punishment.
- 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. Parents wishing exemption must notify the principal in writing, in which case suspension may be imposed instead.
- Benton County School District, Ashland [PDF]
CP may be used by any licensed teacher. It shall be reasonable and moderate, and used only as a last resort. In grades 6-12 the teacher administering the paddling must be of the same sex as the student; apparently in the elementary grades this isn't thought important. 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, and for a first (serious) or second (trivial) incidence of misbehavior on the school bus. Students whose parents have objected in writing to CP are suspended instead.
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", which sounds a bit totalitarian to me, 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. Wouldn't it be easier 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 on step 2 of the "discipline ladder". This is the secondary handbook; the elementary handbook [PDF] contains identical wording except that here CP features at step 3 of the discipline ladder as well as step 2.
- 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.
- 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 2 of the discipline ladder, and is also specifically mentioned for a fourth or fifth tardy per semester. "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.
- DeSoto County Schools, Hernando [PDF]
According to federal statistics, about 2,400 students were paddled in school year 2004-05 in this school district, slightly over 10% of the student population. 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 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).
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.
- Drew Public Schools [PDF]
This school system has an unusually high maximum of 7 licks in grades 7-12 and 5 licks at elementary level. There are typical rules about witnesses and due process. Paddling is mentioned only for class I (the least serious) offenses, and then only for a second or subsequent violation.
See also this Aug 2008 news item, and this Dec 2010 report saying that corporal punishment has been "reinstated" for grades K to 6.
- 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".
- Forrest County Schools, Hattiesburg [PDF]
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]
See Policy JKA on page 67. 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]
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] (scroll down to "Student Handbooks")
The principal or assistant principal must be present at all spankings. CP must be administered "to the buttocks only" and must not be excessive, though no maximum number of whacks is stipulated. An unusual provision is that every paddle used not only must be approved by the building principal but must be initialed by him or her; 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.
See, however, 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] (Alternative link).
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, tobacco, leaving class without permission, gambling, or disruption/disrespect; for a second offense of eating/drinking, failure to complete assignments, inappropriate dress, or public affection; 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 gives rise to a rather remarkable state of affairs whereby, 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 pretty 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", which apparently means 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, a most 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 high school, 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.
At the Agricultural High School (grades 9 through 12 only), corporal punishment -- no number of swats specified -- can come into play at step 1 (instead of a conference with the student), step 2 (instead of 50 minutes' detention), or step 3 (instead of one day's ISS).
See also this Oct 2005 news item.
- Leflore County Schools, Greenwood [PDF]
See page 40 (the document is too poorly scanned for the PDF search function to work). 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.
- Lauderdale County Schools (covers Collinsville, Meridian) [PDF]
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]
Here are this district's new rules 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. 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 7 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 can't 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.
At the High School, CP is not listed as one of the penalties for ordinary misbehavior. However, it may be used in the case of a 6th, 7th or 8th unexcused absence as an alternative to three days' out-of-school suspension. Perhaps the reasoning here is that, by the time a student reaches his or her 6th absence, he or she has already missed so much school that suspension is going to make catching up impossible.
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.
An earlier version of the document also specifically provided, at the secondary level, for CP as an option for a fourth or fifth tardy, but that language has gone from the latest edition.
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.
- 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.
Federal statistics estimate that roughly 1,600 paddlings were administered in this district in 2004-05, some 16% of the school roll.
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.
- Meridian Public School District [PDF]
According to federal statistics, this school district administered 1,070 paddlings in 2004-05. The Code of Conduct says that CP is a possible consequence for a second occurrence of any Class I (least serious) offense and for a first-time Class II (more serious) offense. This applies at the elementary, secondary and alternative schools alike. There is no mention of CP for class III (major) violations. It must be administered in the principal's office, with a maximum of three licks on the buttocks. Students who refuse to be spanked are suspended. Parents may submit a written request to opt out.
See also, in relation to Carver Middle School, this Feb 2004 news item.
- Neshoba Central Middle School, Philadelphia [PDF] (Alternative link)
This is not the famous Philadelphia, which is in Pennsylvania, but Philadelphia, Mississippi. Corporal punishment here seems to be a first resort. It may be applied for a "first referral", but from the second 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 given in-school suspension.
- 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.
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.
- North Tippah School District
Here the teacher has a 'beehive', with a bee for each child. If a child misbehaves, his or her bee is moved on to one of a series of charts of different colors. Students whose bees remain in the hive at the end of the day are rewarded. Anyone whose bee has reached the "red chart" may get spanked.
- Oktibbeha County Schools, Starkville [PDF]
Corporal punishment (no practical details vouchsafed) is applicable here at step 1 for major offenses and at step 2 for minor offenses. This is the secondary handbook (grades 7 through 12); the elementary book seems not to be on line.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
At Pope, the CP policy 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. "Students who have reached a level of maturity will be given a choice between corporal punishment and abiding by the provisions of the Conduct Code", which seems to mean that senior pupils can ask to be spanked instead of being suspended or expelled. CP may also be given for tardies.
The high school handbook states that, for level I violations (talking without permission, running in hall, etc.), CP may be applied for a third offense (as an alternative to two days' before-school detention) or for a fourth offense (as an alternative to one day's in-school detention). For level II violations (inappropriate dress, cheating, defiance, etc.), it is available at the first or second offense. CP (or one day's ISS) is also the punishment for a fourth tardy. 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".
These mysterious references to "summary punishment" at the choice of the student -- which have been on the books here for many years -- are 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 (and presumably therefore seniors in particular) may opt to receive an immediate paddling, for any offense, in exchange for dispensing with all bureaucratic procedures. In my view this is an excellent policy which deserves to be set out more explicitly. As before, there are no details as to the modus operandi and nothing about parental consent or notification.
Batesville Junior High has more or less the same wording as the senior high school.
At Batesville Middle, paddling may be given for level I or level II violations and there is now a maximum of three swats.
Batesville Intermediate School's handbook provides that "corporal punishment consists of three licks to the buttocks in the presence of a witness". 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.
- Vicksburg Warren School District (covers Vicksburg)
The Junior High and High school handbooks -- the former so ineptly scanned as to be almost illegible -- now merely state that "appropriately applied corporal punishment" (no details supplied) is for level 1 (relatively minor) offenses only. At the elementary level there is the (surely illegal?) rule that the adult witness to corporal punishment "may" (which presumably means "must", unless the rule is wholly redundant) be of the same race as the child. Parents may opt their children 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 strokes is specified, but presumably three days in ISS is "worth" more strokes than one day in ISS. Principals may use CP for any level 1, 2 or 3 violation. However, parents may fill out a form asking that their student not be paddled.
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) [PDF]
Parents who wish their progeny 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."
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 suit against the principal was thrown out in court.
- Yazoo City Alternative Learning Center (Alternative link)
Here is something out of the ordinary. This is a "sin bin" for students displaying behavioral problems, and clearly operates a draconian regime: students who talk in class are subject to paddling and/or 2 days' suspension. The same applies to students who fail to go to the cafeteria (whether they eat or not) or who, in so doing, neglect to walk in a single line or to keep noise to a minimum. For going to the bathroom or water fountain while exchanging classes, and for bringing food into the building, the penalty is paddling and/or one day's suspension. Longer suspensions, without paddling, are imposed for more serious offenses such as smoking or fighting.
- These Mississippi public schools also state that they use corporal punishment, but give few or no details:
Quitman County School District, Marks [PDF] and see also this Nov 2007 news item about a junior high school student whose parents claimed his buttocks were severely bruised after a paddling.
Tate County School District, Independence [PDF]and see also this March 2010 news item about the paddling of a high school student.
Western Line School District, Avon [PDF] and see also this Oct 2009 news item, according to which there were 1,512 paddlings in 2008-09.
- 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
Kosciusko School District -- see this June 2007 news item
Noxubee County School District, Macon -- see this Oct 2009 news item
West Bolivar School District -- see this Aug 2008 news item
MISSOURI: private schools
- Clinton Christian Academy, Clinton [PDF] (Alternative link)
This is the form for either giving or withholding parental consent to CP. The handbook itself seems to have disappeared; it said that CP is used when other methods have been exhausted. If the student is a girl, it must be administered by a female teacher, but either sex may paddle a boy.
- Providence Classical Christian Academy, St Louis [PDF] (New URL)
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. Attachment 3 explains that 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".
- St Joseph Christian School, St Joseph
CP here is used only in grades 1 to 6, administered by the principal in the office, with parental agreement.
See also this Jan 2009 news item.
MISSOURI: public schools
- Advance R-IV Public Schools, Advance [PDF]
Corporal punishment (not more than three swats with a wooden paddle) will be used "only when deemed absolutely necessary". None the less, it is mentioned here as an option for several specific offenses, such as skipping/truancy, classroom misbehavior, gambling, etc. Paddling is no longer prescribed for punishing tobacco use, mentioned in earlier versions. In general, one swat seems to be equivalent to one day's detention. Whether the student himself gets to choose between these alternatives is not clear. A record of each paddling must be kept, listing no less than six steps.
- 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.
- 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.
At the High School and at Bois D'Arc Elementary, 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.
- Aurora R-VIII School District [PDF]
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). Robinson Middle School's handbook merely reproduces the wording of the district policy document. There is a separate High School handbook, which doesn't mention CP.
- Bernie R-XIII School District [PDF]
No beating about the bush here: "Teachers may use corporal punishment with or without the permission of the parents". However, it should not be a first resort. A second official must witness.
At the elementary school, CP is the consequence for a second school bus offense.
The high school handbook repeats the information in the Board Policy document, and adds that "Teachers may paddle students for continuous misbehavior".
See also Mr. Rodgers' Homework Policy, which states that a fourth missed assignment means a detention or two swats.
- Blue Eye R-VIII School District [PDF]
Click on "Section I" and then "JDA.pdf" in the resulting zip file. The 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 doesn't mention CP.
- Bolivar R-I School District
The Middle School handbook says simply that corporal punishment is permitted, but will not be administered without parental consent. There are no details. The Teacher Handbook spells out that ordinary teachers may not administer CP. The Bolivar High School handbook, which used to say (and possibly still does) that "swats may be an option for some offenses" and that these would be administered by the principal, is not currently on line.
See also this Jan 2005 news item in which the superintendent says he disapproves of paddling.
- Brookfield R-III School District
This district permits CP on the recommendation of the principal, who is preferably the person who will administer it. It consists of "swatting the buttocks with a paddle". Typical rules about privacy, witnesses and documentation. The High School and Middle School reserve the right to use CP, but it is not the preferred method and is used only after other methods have been ineffective or if the misbehavior is extreme.
- 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, fourth, fifth and sixth 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.
- Carthage School District [PDF]
This district, too, uses similar language to Ash Grove (last resort, swatting the buttocks with a paddle, no chance of injury, privacy, witness).
The elementary handbook (covering five schools) merely repeats part of the wording of the district policy document. The junior and senior high schools mention only that CP is a possibility, and give no details.
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 II and level III infractions, but not level I (least serious) or level IV (most serious).
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 Junior High 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.
- Couch R-I Schools [PDF]
"Corporal punishment/spanking" here consists of "no more than 3 swats with a paddle on the buttocks", which must be witnessed by a staff member. The document provides a form for parents to sign stating whether or not they give approval for CP to be used. In the negative case, the form must be resubmitted each year. This is the High School document, but the Elementary version is virtually identical as far as CP is concerned.
- 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 says that CP must occur soon after the behavior being punished. After the spanking, "the child is to be received back into the classroom without malice since he/she has paid for his/her misconduct". It is stressed that skipping school could result in CP the first time.
At the High School, corporal punishment is for misconduct levels I, II and II 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. The same 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.
- 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
At the Elementary School, corporal punishment maybe used when initial strategies prove ineffective. However, it may 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 [DOC]
CP is to be administered by "swatting the buttocks with a paddle". There are rules about privacy, witnesses and record-keeping, but no mention of parental involvement either before or after the event.
- Dunklin R-5 School District, Herculaneum [PDF] (Alternative link)
CP, for use only when other methods have failed, must be administered ("preferably by the principal") by swatting the buttocks with a paddle. This must be done in such a way that "there can be no chance of bodily injury or harm". There are rules about privacy, witnesses and record-keeping, but no mention of parental involvement either before or after the event. This is evidently standard language drawn up by the Missouri School Boards Association and taken over word-for-word by several districts.
- 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.
- Gideon School District [PDF]
The first of these three documents is the Teacher 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 [DOC]
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.
- Hollister School District
Standard Missouri language about privacy, witnesses and swatting the buttocks with a paddle.
See also this Jan 2005 news item.
- Houston R-I School District (Alternative link)
This is Houston, Missouri, not the famous Houston, which is in Texas. Corporal punishment, only one swat, comes into play only at the fourth school bus offense here for grades K to 3. This is an alternative to one days' in-school suspension. It is also available (2 swats) for a third offense on the school bus for grades 4 and 5, but without the ISS alternative. For various offenses in the school itself, elementary students may receive 2 or 3 swats, depending on the offense. CP is not mentioned at the middle or high school levels.
- Iberia R-V School District
At the elementary school, "corporal punishment is an appropriate means of achieving desirable student behavior" and is administered by the principal, with a witness, max. 3 swats per referral. Parents may secure exemption by notifying the school in writing. A tariff is set out, according to which, in general, one day's ISS is equivalent to one swat of the paddle. Thus, for insubordination the minimum penalty is one day's ISS or one swat; for a more serious such offense, 2 days' ISS or two swats, and so on. Where disruption on the school bus is concerned, however, three days' bus suspension equals two swats, four days three swats, etc.
The document also sets out a separate discipline policy for the summer school, where neither ISS nor detention nor "swats" are used.
There is also a handbook for the High School, which makes no mention of CP.
See also this March 2005 news item, which reports that there were 229 paddlings in the district over six years.
- 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.
- Lebanon R-III School District
The School Board policy uses the standard Missouri form of words. At the elementary schools, CP is mentioned as a consequence for any serious violation, or after referral from the classroom following repeated violation of classroom rules. The latest version no longer contains the unusual provision is that, in addition to paddling, a teacher may administer one swat with the open hand to the buttocks of a student when "immediate corrective action" is deemed necessary.
There is also a Senior High School handbook, which doesn't mention CP; the Junior High School handbook seems not to be on line.
- 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 (see Dunklin).
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)
Here we have three different documents saying three different things. 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 clear 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 (which it seems also covers the Middle School) 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 handbooks for the elementary schools (not currently on line) make 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 in 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.
- 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 doesn't mention punishments at all.
- New Madrid County School District
"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 ability from 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.
- 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 at any one time. "The student shall be required to either place his hands on a desk or on his knees while receiving a paddling."
The Middle and High School handbooks are not currently on line.
- North Wood R-IV Schools
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.
- Pemiscot County R-III School District
Rather more philosophical underpinning to the discipline policy is provided here than is usual in such documents: "We believe youthful citizens do not always know what is best for themselves. They need and want proper direction from adults. Such direction and correction must be firm, fair, and always toward the end of self-discipline. Youth must be motivated to take learning seriously and to concentrate upon becoming disciplined citizens."
Not surprisingly, then, in the district's view paddling can play a major role in helping students to become self-disciplined. Corporal punishment is specified as a first consequence for a wide range of misbehavior, including fighting, extortion, harassment, disruptive or demeaning language or conduct, theft and vandalism, as well as various forms of sexual misconduct, including "display of buttocks and genitals in a public location".
Paddling is available for both first and subsequent offenses of "consensual kissing, fondling or embracing"; defiance of authority; disruptive behavior, and "obscene or vulgar language".
Analysis of a detailed chart of bus violations and available remedies reveals that a paddling may also be administered for each of the following types of bus misconduct: failure to remain seated; refusing to obey the driver; fighting, pushing, or tripping; violation of safety procedures; destruction of property; profanity or unacceptable language; throwing objects on bus or out of bus; hanging out of window; excessive mischief; eating, drinking or littering; being rude or discourteous; and harassment.
- Poplar Bluff School District [PDF]
"It shall be the philosophy [sic] of the Poplar Bluff School District R-I to use corporal punishment as a discipline technique", says this handbook. CP is a penalty for a first offense of disparaging or demeaning language, disrespectful conduct or speech, disruptive speech or conduct, extortion, or fighting, but not, for some reason, for vandalism, theft or public display of affection, among other things. It is never specified as a penalty for a second offense in any of these categories. Typical rules about privacy, witnesses and documentation. There is a maximum of three swats, which shall be applied only to the buttocks. Parents are notified after the event. 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 on CP uses the standard Missouri form of words about swatting the buttocks with a paddle (see Dunklin).
The Student Code of Conduct goes into more detail about specific offenses, with almost exactly the same provisions as at Kennett (see above), except that an excessive number of referrals to the office, even for more minor offenses, may also be met with a paddling.
- Webb City R-7 School District (covers Carterville, Webb City) [PDF]
The district policy says only that CP may be used when other methods have failed and that it should be applied by an administrator, with a witness.
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, bizarrely, "students may not receive swats for anything less than a 3-hour detention". It is also specifically provided that students may not receive swats for missing a three-hour detention, so in other words they may have the swats only if they say so in advance of, and not after, the scheduled time for the detention. It's hard to imagine what can be the reasoning behind these restrictions. Swats are also a stated alternative to Saturday/Thursday School for a first offense of misbehavior on the school bus.
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.
Confirmation that the school does possess at least two paddles, and perhaps by implication that paddling is alive and well there, comes with this page showing pictures of the tables being turned -- the principal gets a birthday spanking!
The Carterville and Mark Twain handbooks state merely 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 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' transition room". 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.
- Worth County R-III School District, Grant City
The only offense specifically mentioned here in relation to CP is tobacco use, where the penalty for a first instance is "Saturday detention or 5 swats".
- 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
Billings R-IV School District [PDF] (and see also this Jan 2005 news item, which says that the paddle at the elementary school is made of walnut and is a foot long)
Crane R-III School District
Fair Grove R-10 School District
Gainesville R-V School District (and see this Jan 2005 news item)
Galena R-II School District (and see this Jan 2005 news item)
Green City R-I School District
Henry County R-I School District
Jefferson City Public Schools [PDF] (New URL) (covers Holts Summit, Jefferson City) (and see also this March 2005 item)
Joplin R-VIII School District [PDF]
Kingsville R-I School District (New URL)
Knob Noster R-VIII School District [PDF] (and see also this Nov 2005 news item)
Lesterville R-IV School District
Lexington R-V School District
Lockwood R-I School District
Mansfield R-IV School District [DOC]
Maysville High School (Alternative link)
Morgan R-2 School District, Versailles [PDF]
North East Nodaway Elementary School, Parnell
North East Nodaway High School, Ravenwood
Neosho School District
Osage Middle School [PDF]
Osceola School District [PDF]
Ozark R-VI School District [PDF]
Palmyra High School and Middle School [PDF] (but see this Sep 2005 news item, which claims that CP is not used in practice)
Stanberry R-II School District [PDF] (at the high school, but apparently not at the elementary school)
Wellington-Napoleon R-9 School District, [PDF] Wellington
- These Missouri public 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:
Bradleyville School District - see this Jan 2005 news item
Chadwick School District - see this Jan 2005 news item
Clark County Schools - see this Sep 2008 news item
Delta High School, Delta - see this Nov 2005 news item
Jasper Elementary School, Jasper - see this Nov 2005 news item
Malta Bend R-V School District - see this Feb 2009 news item