(1) Most external links on this page are to documents in PDF format, so this is no longer indicated separately for each document.
(2) Where paddling statistics are cited, they come from the US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights online database, unless otherwise stated.
LOUISIANA: private and charter schools
- Beekman Charter School, Bastrop [DOC]
At Beekman Charter School, a new K-12 school, it is no longer the case that there is no parental opt-out from CP: Parents may request exemption but must do so in writing annually. "Paddling of the student's buttocks is the only corporal punishment that shall be administered."
Also, "Any minor or major infraction committed by a student, whether [...] a first time infraction or a repeat infraction, may result in the student being required to attend a morning detention, or receive corporal punishment". Paddling is also specifically mentioned as a penalty in grades 6 through 12 for every four (previously three) unexcused tardies to school or class in a school year. Fighting "will" (not "may") result in CP in grades PK-5 (in grades 6-12 it brings immediate suspension). In all grades, a paddling may also result from a first violation of the school bus rules. Also, paddling may be substituted for morning detention at the principal's discretion but not at the request of the student.
- Bethel Christian School, Jennings
This school emphasizes that the CP policy applies through 12th grade. Two swats are given for a second offense of disrespect, destruction of property, or abusive or profane language, and for a first offense of fighting or bullying. The punishment is administered by a staff member of the same sex as the student, or parents may be called to the school to do it. The alternative to two swats is one day's suspension. The wooden paddle is 18¼" long, 3-1/8" wide and half an inch thick, without holes.
- The Church Academy, Saint Amant New!
"If corporal punishment needs to be involved in the discipline, the parent will have to attend the school and administer the punishment." There is a maximum of three swats.
- Claiborne Christian School, West Monroe
More detail is now provided here. For a second or subsequent serious offense, students receive "two firm strokes" with "a wooden paddle 18 1/4" long, 3 1/8" wide, and 1/2" thick and no holes will be drilled in the paddling surface."
"A male staff member will administer corporal punishment to a male student and a female staff member will administer corporal punishment to a female student. The head of school, school principal, and head of discipline will administer corporal punishment."
- Delta Charter School of Math, Science, and Technology, Ferriday
At this school for grades K through 11, CP is used only if parents request it. It is "limited to striking the student on the buttocks a maximum of three times with a state approved wooden paddle", max. 18 in. long and 3/8 inches thick, and between three and six inches wide.
- Family Worship Christian Academy, Opelousas [DOC]
"A wooden paddle will be used. Swats will not be administered with the hand." There is a maximum of five swats per occasion (or two, for students under seven).
- First Baptist Christian School, Slidell
At this school for grades 1 through 12, CP is a discipline procedure for Class II violations such as disrespect for authority, cell phone misuse, failing to turn in disciplinary assignments, reckless driving of a vehicle on campus, and skipping detention. "The school administrator will administer a paddle to the buttocks in the presence of a staff witness." There is a maximum of four swats. Parental permission is secured in each instance. The parent may choose to come to the school and deliver the swats him- or herself, with an administrator as witness.
- Hamilton Christian Academy, Lake Charles (New URL)
Corporal punishment is administered by the principal or assistant, with parental consent. There is a maximum of three strokes. No student will be forced to receive a paddling. "If a student refuses or resists, he/she will be suspended."
- Houma Christian School
CP may be used where other methods have been tried and "have not succeeded in bringing about the desired behavior change". All parents have signed a contract at enrollment, agreeing to paddling. The principal may request the parent to come to the school to administer it.
- Kingston Christian Academy, Shreveport New!
The paddle used at this K-12 school is located in the principal's office and measures 24" by 5" by 3/8". There is a maximum of three swats, applied to the student's buttocks. "A female professional shall be present if corporal punishment is administered to a female student." Parents are contacted beforehand.
- Mount Olive Christian School, Athens New!
"We reserve the right, with parental consent, to paddle any student enrolled in Mt. Olive Christian School from kindergarten through twelfth grade." Parents must give written permission for this before the student can be enrolled.
- Northside Christian School, Crowley
"The principal will paddle male students, and designated female teachers will paddle the female students." There is a maximum of five swats per occasion, and no student may be paddled twice on the same day. Parents must sign their consent to CP upon enrollment.
- Ouachita Christian High School, Monroe New!
"Corporal discipline may be administered by the OCS administration and/or staff when deemed appropriate and necessary." In grades PK through 6, it may be used for a first offense of lying, cursing or disrespect.
See also the Application for Admission, where the student as well as a parent must sign that they accept that disciplinary action may include corporal punishment.
- Philadelphia Christian Academy, Lafayette
"We at PCA will administer the rod of correction", which consists of a paddling on the student's buttocks, max. 3 swats up to 5th grade and 5 swats from 6th grade upwards. Parents are given the option to come and administer it themselves.
- River Oaks School, Monroe
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 skipping class, 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. Parents 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 witness must be of the same sex as the student. 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). 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.
- Slidell Christian Academy
This handbook includes a form which parents must sign "giving consent for this policy (including corporal punishment/spanking". If a spanking is necessary, "the parent will be informed of this and expected to carry out the spanking at home after school for the first two such offenses. The third and subsequent offenses will require that the parent (normally the Father) be called to come in IMMEDIATELY to SCA to administer the spanking". Parents are also told they must "exercise proper Biblical discipline procedures including spanking" at home.
- Southland Christian Academy, Denham Springs (New URL)
At this K-12 school, "Corporal correction" may be applied to students who incur "excessive detentions". See also the Corporal Correction Form (New URL), where parents must state that they "fully support SCA's discipline procedures" and authorize the school to spank their student. There is no provision for opting out of CP.
- These Louisiana private schools also state that they use corporal punishment, but give few or no details:
Geneva Academy, Monroe
Lafayette Christian Academy New!
Lighthouse Christian Preparatory School, Abbeville [DOC] New!
Oak Forest Academy, Amite New!
Silliman Institute, Clinton
Word Ministries Christian Academy, Eunice
Word of God Academy, Shreveport New!
LOUISIANA: public schools
- Allen Parish Schools, Oberlin
At Oakdale, a paddling consists of two or three licks from an administrator. Parents wishing exemption must write a note. "Remember that corporal punishment may result in surface marks."
- Beauregard Parish School Board (covers DeRidder, Longville, Merryville, Singer)
Corporal punishment "shall consist of two licks with a paddle", administered to the student's buttocks by the principal or designee. It is no longer specified that it should be a "last resort". Parents "may" (but not "shall") be informed. Paddling may be given in lieu of one day of ISS, one day's bus suspension, or two days' detention. It is also specifically mentioned for a second school bus disturbance.
- Bossier Parish Schools (covers Benton, Bossier City, Elm Grove, Haughton, Plain Dealing, Princeton)
"For students in the lower grades", CP 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" thick 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, and this Oct 2014 report.
- Caddo Parish School Board (covers Oil City, Shreveport)
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. 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, measuring 24" by 5" by 3/8". In the case of a female student, the witness must 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 sharp decline from 948 the previous year.
- Central Community School System (covers parts of Baton Rouge, Central, Greenwell Springs)
There is a maximum of three swats, to be applied to the student's buttocks. Only the principal or assistant principal may administer it. Parents may sign a form to opt out. The paddle is 20 in. long, 4 in. wide and not more than half an inch thick. "A log will be kept on all spankings".
- Iberia Parish School Board (covers Delcambre, Jeanerette, Loreauville, New Iberia)
Corporal punishment must be administered with a paddle to the student's buttocks only.
At Westgate High there is a demerit points system, under which a paddling is worth 45 points.
- Lincoln Parish Schools
"Choudrant High School does not participate in issuing corporal punishment to students. However, parents are welcome to provide this in private in an administrator's office."
- Monroe City Schools
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. 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". "Each school has designated people/person authorized to paddle students."
- Morehouse Parish Schools (covers Bastrop, Mer Rouge) [DOC]
Corporal punishment may be given by any teacher, but not by bus drivers. The teacher may spank with his or her hand (it is 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 son or daughter not be spanked.
Stats: Morehouse is the school district with the highest rate of corporal punishment in Louisiana (8.6% of all students were paddled in 2011/12).
- Natchitoches Parish School District
"Corporal punishment shall be administered by paddling the buttocks only."
See also this April 2015 news item.
- 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, Tioga)
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 or ¼ inch thick, and at least 3 inches wide. It must have rounded edges and corners, and there is a maximum of six strokes.
See also news items from May 2006 and April 2011.
- Richland Parish School Board (covers Archibald, Delhi, Holly Ridge, Mangham, Rayville, Start)
Here, "reasonable corporal punishment of unruly pupils" is allowed "by paddling the buttocks only". Unusually, dimensions for two different paddles are given: max. half an inch thick for the senior high schools (grades 9 through 12) and max. a quarter of an inch thick for the others. In both cases the paddle must be from 4 to 6 inches wide, and from 15 to 18 inches long.
The Administrator's Handbook adds that "no student should receive more than one paddling per day or two times in a week".
- 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 may also be offered as an alternative to short-term suspension. It may not be used if parents have submitted a form to that effect. Bus drivers are forbidden to inflict CP.
Most of the individual schools in the district reproduce the school board's CP policy in their handbooks. Converse emphasizes 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, for being found in the halls without a pass, and for a third dress code violation.
- St Landry Parish School Board (covers Arnaudville, Cankton, Eunice, Grand Coteau, Krotz Springs, Lawtell, Leonville, Melville, Morrow, Opelousas, Palmetto, Port Barre, Sunset, Washington)
Corporal punishment is defined as "the administering of physical punishment by means of paddling or spanking the buttocks".
At Port Barre High, there was no CP in 2011/12 or 2013/14, but as from Aug 2016 the paddle has been introduced. It may be applied for a first, second or third "Major infraction referral" if parents choose that option, but only twice in one school year.
See also, in respect of the district generally, this Nov 2011 report.
- St Mary Parish Schools (covers Amelia, Baldwin, Berwick, Centerville, Franklin, Morgan City, Patterson)
Wooden paddles used here must be "not longer than 20 inches including the handle, not less than 4 inches wide or more than 3/8 inches thick".
This further document provides for CP to be applied for Class II behaviors but not Class I or Class III.
The CP policy for LaGrange Elementary says it applies to all schools in the district. This stipulates a maximum of five licks per paddling, to be "applied to the buttock area". Permission from parents is not required, though that statement is then somewhat contradicted by the words "the parent will be asked to sign a 'Permission to Paddle' form authorizing corporal punishment".
At Patterson Junior High, "Students may be subject to corporal punishment by state law and parish policy". Parents may state in writing at the beginning of each year "if students have severe emotional, mental, or physical problems" that might make CP "detrimental to their welfare".
See also these two video clips showing senior students being severely paddled at Franklin High School.
- Union Parish Schools (covers Downsville, Farmerville) (New URL)
"A paddle made of wood with no holes or splinters may be used in administering corporal punishment, said paddle is not to exceed twenty (20) inches in length, one-fourth (1/4) inch in thickness and at least three (3) inches in width, with rounded edges and corners." The paddle is to be applied to the buttocks by the principal or assistant principal, and there is a maximum of three swats.
- Vermillion Parish Public Schools (covers Abbeville, Erath, Gueydan, Kaplan, Maurice, Rayne)
See p.10. 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.
See also this Nov 2011 news item.
- Vernon Parish School Board (covers Anacoco, Evans, Hornbeck, Leesville, Pickering, Pitkin, Polk, Rosepine, Simpson) (New URL)
This district stipulates a maximum of "six blows on the buttocks with a paddle", which any faculty member may deliver to any student. Prior parental permission need not be sought. Parental "do not paddle" notices must be resubmitted every school year. It is stressed that students may be paddled for misbehavior on the way to or from school as well as at school itself or at any school-sponsored activity.
Stats: At Pitkin High School, 36 boys and 5 girls received CP in 2011/12.
- Webster Parish School Board (covers Cotton Valley, Doyline, Dubberly, Minden, Sarepta, Shongaloo, Springhill)
"Corporal punishment (spanking)" is permitted for "unruly pupils". 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 staff member 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. There is a maximum of five licks. This is the handbook for North Webster High School in Springhill (grades 9 through 12), but the CP language applies across the district.
- Zachary Community Schools New!
"Corporal punishment shall be administered by paddling the buttocks only."
- These Louisiana public schools also state that they use corporal punishment, but give few or no details:
Avoyelles Parish School Board, Marksville (grades K-6 only)
Concordia Parish School Board (covers Ferriday, Monterey, Ridgecrest, Vidalia)
Evangeline Parish School Board and see this March 2008 news item and also this Nov 2011 report.
Ouachita Parish School Board (covers Calhoun, Monroe, Sterlington, Swartz, West Monroe) (New URL) and see this Oct 2013 news item and this video clip.
MISSISSIPPI: private schools
- Antioch Christian Academy, Lucedale
CP features prominently at this K-12 school. For major violations, "Swift and immediate discipline shall be administered, including corporal punishment". There is a maximum of three paddle swats.
At the first step on the Discipline Ladder (for three demerits on one day), the student receives detention and must complete an assigned report. "If a student fails to complete the report, he/she will be paddled." However, "If the student or parent chooses, a paddling can be received in lieu of the detention". The second step involves the same again. At the third step, "students will receive corporal punishment and a required act of in-school community service". At the fourth step, "students will receive corporal punishment and suspension for three days". The fifth step normally brings expulsion.
Where a student habitually fails to complete a homework assignment, and detentions do not improve the situation, "corporal punishment will be administered by the
administrator or principal". Also, "Corporal punishment is the standard for cheating".
- Bayou Academy, Cleveland, Mississippi (New URL)
"When a problem becomes serious enough to warrant the principal's attention, extra work, suspension, corporal punishment, and expulsion will be considered."
- Canton Academy New!
CP is a "viable disciplinary option". It is to be administered by the Head of Schools or the Elementary Principal or designee, with parental consent. Suspension may be an alternative.
- Central Academy, Macon, Mississippi
At this K-12 school, "Corporal punishment will be administered as necessary" by the Headmaster or Assistant Headmaster. If a family forbids its use, the student is suspended for two days and the parents must pick him or her up immediately. Paddling is mentioned in particular for a first offense of fighting or gambling, a first or second offense of going to a vehicle or the gym during school hours or of leaving school without permission or cutting classes, a first or second offense of obscenity or public display of affection, and a first offense of tobacco possession or use. CP is also applied in cases of minor theft or damage.
Also, a second offense of using an electronic device results in confiscation of the device for two weeks; returning the device to the parent upon payment of a $25 fine; in addition, "student will receive corporal punishment, ISS/work detail, or OSS".
- Central Baptist School, Hattiesburg
"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. For category 2 offenses, of which there is a long list (including tight clothing, reckless driving, dancing, listening to rock music), the penalty is "25 Demerits AND Spanking".
- Columbia Academy New!
At this K-12 school, staff "shall have the right to administer corporal punishment to any student for a violation of any rule or regulation". Parental acceptance of paddling "is assumed by the signing of the handbook signature sheet and/or continued enrollment in Columbia Academy".
- Columbus Christian Academy, Steens
At this K-12 school, parents are asked to come to the school to perform the paddling, unless the parent requests that the administrator do it. For a second offense of cheating, "The student receives a "0", a paddling, and probation". Paddling or out-of-school suspension is the penalty for a second offense of cutting class; this includes a student driver going to his vehicle during the day without permission. CP may also be given for fighting, gang-related activity, chewing gum, eating or drinking outside the cafeteria, stealing, and tobacco. "Whenever parents are required to paddle at school, the paddling must be accomplished prior to the beginning of the next school day. In the event that this is not done, the student will be withheld from class until the punishment has been administered."
- Copiah Academy, Gallman (New URL)
Discipline with the paddle is offered in grades 3 through 12. It is the school's policy "to administer corporal punishment at the discretion and at the direction of the Headmaster". Parents are contacted beforehand. Student and parents are given a choice of up to 3 licks or up to 5 days' suspension. "When possible men will administer punishment to boys and women will administer punishment to girls."
- Deer Creek School, Arcola
In grades 7 through 12, "The school reserves the right to administer discipline to the extend deemed necessary including corporal punishment." Paddling is the only method to be used. CP is an alternative to detention for a fourth or fifth tardy and for any Level 1 offense. There is a maximum of three licks.
At the elementary level, upon a second visit to the Headmaster's office, the consequence is "Paddling and parents will be called". Also, "If students are caught fighting they will be given corporal punishment".
- Delta Academy, Marks
At this non-religious private school for grades K through 12, "Paddling is the only corporal punishment to be used". There is a maximum of three licks, to be administered by the Headmaster,
Assistant Administrator or coaches. "The student is to be told the reason for punishment. The student will repeat to the teacher why he is being punished. The paddling is then administered.
The student will repeat why the corporal punishment was given."
- 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".
- Friendship Christian School, Victoria
Corporal punishment is one of the "more serious consequences" for misbehavior. Property damage brings "automatic paddling (3 licks)". CP is also automatic in cases of inflicting harm on another person disrespecting the staff, and "three occurrences of the same problem". Parents who have "opted out" must come to the school office immediately and administer the paddling themselves.
- Gateway (formerly Vardaman Street) Christian Academy, Wiggins
Respect for authority and total compliance with the rules and regulations are required. "Corporal punishment is practiced, and strongly recommended as prescribed in Scripture."
- Heritage Academy High School, Columbus, Mississippi
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
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
The application for enrollment says that the school "has full discretion in the discipline of students while at the school, including paddling". This implies that parental objections are not accepted.
At the elementary school, "a spanking may be administered by the
principal, but only in the presence of another member of the staff". Parents are notified beforehand.
Students in grades 7 through 12 may be paddled for disrespect and disobedience, and as a last resort for repeated minor offenses. The punishment is delivered by an administrator and witnessed by a teacher or administrator.
- North Delta School, Batesville
At this K-12 Christian school, "there are times when the school administration will deem corporal punishment to be a necessary punishment". "Parents will be given the option of 'licks' or a one-day in-school suspension for their child's unacceptable behavior." On this separate page we learn that, for a sixth and seventh tardy per semester, students may choose either CP or detention, but for some unexplained reason "the corporal punishment option for the sixth and seventh tardies will be available only to students who are responsible for transporting themselves to school".
- North Sunflower Academy, Drew
Parents must agree to the use of CP when they sign up for this K-12 Christian school. The offenses for which "licks" may be administered include talking in class, inappropriate attitudes, fighting, and failure to turn in homework. Unusually, the staff members empowered to paddle are listed by name. Female students are punished by the "Headmaster" [sic] or the High School Supervisor, who currently are both ladies. The spanking of boys and young men is handled by the (male) Athletic Director.
- Russell Christian Academy, Meridian
At this K-12 school, corporal punishment is defined as "striking the student on the buttocks with a paddle", to be carried out by the Dean of Students or the Headmaster. There is a maximum of three swats. "Paddling may replace detentions and/or Saturday school."
- Simpson County Academy, Mendenhall
"All students who attend Simpson Academy are subject to corporal punishment, or paddling." This covers grades K through 12. Parents are required to sign a form approving the use of CP, which is mentioned in particular for "when a student willfully disobeys school rules or is a repeat offender" and where "circumstances indicate the need for strong measures".
- Starkville Christian School, Starkville
"Corporal correction" here is administered for "repeated flaunting of authority" -- 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.
- Temple Christian Academy, Gulfport New!
Parents must sign that they "understand that corporal punishment will be used as a disciplinary measure".
CP may also be used at the TCA Summer Camp for students up to grade 6.
- Tri County Academy, Flora
"Corporal punishment is an integral part of a good disciplinary program", this Christian school asserts, and all teachers and administrators have the right to apply it. In particular, for a first offense of cellphone use, "the student will be given corporal punishment".
Within the registration packet is to be found the "Use of Corporal Punishment Agreement", where parents may agree or disagree with CP (the alternative is suspension). Prior consent must be obtained from both parents. Parents are reminded that paddling can cause bruising.
See also this Feb 2014 news item and this June 2014 follow-up.
- Unity Christian Academy, Leland New!
"The possibility of corporal punishment is a motivator for students to consider their actions and can be an effective deterrent to unacceptable behavior before it occurs." It consists of "spanking with a wooden paddle with no more than three firm strokes".
- These Mississippi private schools also state that they use corporal punishment, but give few or no details:
French Camp Academy, French Camp
Oxford Christian Academy New!
Park Place Christian Academy, Pearl New!
Parklane Academy, McComb
MISSISSIPPI: public schools
- Alcorn School District (covers Corinth, Glen, Rienzi)
At the senior high schools (9th through 12th grades), corporal punishment (maximum now reduced from five to three licks) is permitted as a disciplinary measure for a wide variety of specified offenses including disruption, loitering in the halls, and defiance. For being tardy to school, CP is now available at the first offense, instead of only from the third offense as in previous versions. "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".
The handbooks for the middle and elementary schools contain roughly similar provisions, including the new 3-lick maximum per paddling.
Stats: There were an estimated 80 paddlings at the three senior high schools in 2009.
- Amory Schools
CP may be used for a first, second or third class I (minor) offense, and for a first class II (intermediate) offense. Paddling is also an alternative to one day of in-school detention for a 5th tardy per semester.
Handbooks for the other schools in the system were not available at this writing.
See also this May 2014 news item, stating that the Amory School Board was considering extending the power to paddle to ordinary teachers, rather than by principals only, as at present. The Superintendent told the meeting that "not having the ability to paddle students is one of the biggest complaints he gets from teachers".
- Attala County School District
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.
- Baldwyn School District New!
Students who fail to "follow directions the first time they are given" will receive detention or paddling. CP is also specifically mentioned for profanity, gambling, trespassing, theft, and misconduct in ISS.
- Benton County School District, Ashland
CP may be used by any licensed teacher. It need no longer only be a last resort. Another change is that the teacher administering the paddling need no longer be of the same sex as the student. If a parent notifies the school that CP may not be used, or if the student refuses to submit to it, the student is 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, for a third dress-code violation, for a third tardy to class, and for a first tobacco offense.
Stats: This Oct 2009 news item says there were 1,511 paddlings in Benton County in school year 2008/09.
- Canton Public Schools
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; 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 similar language but also mentions CP as a penalty for a second bus offense. As regards 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". Where a student is suspended for refusal to submit to a paddling, "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."
Stats: There were roughly 270 paddlings here in grades 9 through 12 in 2009, some 60% of enrollment.
- Choctaw Tribal Schools
This group of schools for Native Americans is operated by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and has nothing to do with Choctaw County Schools (see following item).
CP "is limited to the striking of a student on the buttocks with a paddle" by the principal or assistant principal. The witness must be a tribal member. The student's classroom teacher should NOT be a witness. If paddling is refused, suspension is mandatory. Parents must sign a form indicating whether or not they wish CP to be used. CP is specifically mentioned for a first bus offense; for a 6th tardy at the Middle School; and for a 6th, 9th, 12th and 15th tardy at the High School.
There is a separate handbook for the six elementary schools, with similar language but less detail.
- Choctaw County School District, Ackerman
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.
Stats: Some 135 students were paddled at Ackerman High School in 2009 (95 boys and 40 girls), about 32% of the student roll.
- Coahoma Agricultural High School [DOC]
"Corporal punishment may be administered to both sexes." It shall not be administered in front of a class of students. Refusal to accept a paddling results in "suspension and possibly a disciplinary hearing". In the "High School Discipline Ladder", CP is indicated for 14 separate offenses. On page 57 is the Corporal Punishment Consent Form, which the student as well as the parent must sign.
- Coffeeville School District
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 submit 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.
Stats: School year 2009 saw some 140 paddlings at Coffeeville High School.
- Copiah County School District (covers Crystal Springs, Wesson)
In grades 7 through 12 at Wesson Attendance Center, CP ("paddling of the buttocks") is to be carried out by an administrator or someone specifically designated by the principal. There is a maximum of three licks, and of one paddling session per student per day. Unusually, in addition to punishment in the office for offences in Group I or Group II, there is provision for "paddling at classroom by principal (for classroom disruptions)". Also, CP is step 2 in the discipline ladder for misbehavior on the bus.
Crystal Springs High School has broadly similar but less detailed provisions, with no mention of paddling in the classroom.
- DeSoto County Schools, Hernando
Though in Mississippi, DeSoto County is de facto a suburb of Memphis TN. It is a very large school district making notably extensive use of corporal punishment. According to earlier documents, this consists of up to three licks on the buttocks per incident, but that detailed language seems to have disappeared.
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 Center Hill High, CP is a penalty for a second dress-code violation (in lieu of 3 days' suspension) and for a 2nd, 3rd or 4th tardy in a semester (two swats as a choice instead of 3 days' detention). More generally, a paddling may be provided for a second or subsequent Level I offense and for a first Level II or Level III offense.
Hernando High School uses paddling for repeated Level I violations (the least serious) and for a first instance of Level II and Level III offenses; it is not mentioned in connection with offenses at Levels IV or V (the most serious). CP is also available as a penalty for misconduct on the school bus. During 2011/12, 119 of the 547 boys attending this school were paddled.
At Lake Cormorant Middle School, on the second through fifth tardy the student may choose 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, CP is generally available but is no longer specifically mentioned in relation to tardies.
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 the 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 -- only about 8% of the total.
Stats: This Sep 2010 news report says 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.
- Durant Public School District New!
The student as well as a parent have to sign the handbook acknowledgment page that they "specifically understand ... that the School District's discipline plan and code of conduct provides for corporal punishment as a discipline option".
CP is an option at Steps 1 and 2 of the discipline ladder, for such misbehavior as cheating, cutting class, public display of affection, gambling, inappropriate gestures, 3 or more tardies, and going to his or her car without permission.
- East Jasper Consolidated Schools, Heidelberg
Paddling is used, for minor infractions, only with written authorization by parents. There is a maximum of "three strikes to the buttocks".
- East Tallahatchie School District
"One day ISS or corporal punishment, with parent contact" is the consequence here for a first dress code violation. The same applies to a second or third referral for having a backpack in the hall or for any other minor offense. ISS or a paddling at the principal's discretion is also meted out for a fourth and subsequent tardy to school.
If a student refuses CP or a parent objects to it, a three-day suspension is substituted. "The three-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." CP is "used for disciplinary reasons only and not for academic purposes".
This is the handbook for Charleston High School; the middle and elementary schools have similar policies.
- Enterprise School District (Mississippi)
"Corporal punishment will be administered by the teacher or administrator if the student deserves such punishment." Students violating 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 and fourth office visit. In grades 5 through 12 it may be used on any office visit from the second through the fourth.
- Forest Municipal School District
Not to be confused with Forrest County with two Rs (see next entry).
At Hawkins Middle School, "Corporal punishment or activity detention" is the consequence for a fifth and sixth tardy. At Forest High School, the fourth through sixth tardies in a nine-week period are dealt with as follows:
At all schools in the district, paddling may be used for a first through fourth bus offense. More generally, CP or ISS or detention apply at steps 1 through 3 of the office discipline ladder. CP shall be administered by the principal or his/her designee, and "not in view of the class". "Every student will be placed on the paddling list unless the parent comes to the school to sign a waiver. If a student cannot be paddled a parent/guardian must come to school and pick up the student when there is a discipline problem."
- 4th Tardy - 1 Day ISS or corporal punishment
- 5th Tardy - 2 Days ISS or 1 Day ISS & corporal punishment
- 6th Tardy - 3 Days ISS or 2 Days ISS & corporal punishment.
- Forrest County School District, Hattiesburg
All teachers may administer CP. 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. Parents are informed afterwards.
See also this Jan 2007 news item, reporting that CP was used regularly here at that time.
- George County School District, Lucedale
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 or she 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
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.
Stats: This Oct 2009 news item says there were 2,886 paddlings here in 2008/09.
- Grenada School District
The Board of Education "views corporal punishment as a form of discipline" but if a parent
"chooses not to participate" [sic] in it, the form at page 48 must be signed, and "an alternative means of discipline will be enforced by the principal".
"All corporal punishment must be administered to the buttocks only" with an approved paddle. It is a "possible corrective strategy" for violations at Level 2 and Level 3, but not Level 1 (the least serious). This is the handbook for the High School (grades 9 through 12), but other schools in the district use the same language.
- Harrison County School District (covers part of Biloxi, Christian, D'Iberville, Gulfport, Saucier)
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.
Stats: This district did not formerly make heavy use of the paddle by Mississippi standards: 980 spankings in 2004/05, or only 7% of the student roll. But this Oct 2009 news item says that figure had risen to 1,702 by 2008/09.
- Hazlehurst City School District
Corporal punishment, to be delivered by an administrator only, is listed as a possible consequence for a long list of widely varying offenses, according to the somewhat confusing Discipline Ladder. At the Middle School, there is a maximum of "three hits"; written parental consent must be on file beforehand. The CP consent form must be signed by the student as well as the parent.
- Hinds County School District, Raymond
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 provides more detail: 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 student's buttocks. The parental consent form is available here.
Stats: This Oct 2009 news item says there were only 55 paddlings in Hinds County in 2008/09.
- Hollandale School District
Corporal punishment comes at Step 2 of the Discipline Ladder.
See also this Nov 2015 news item, in which a teacher and coach at Simmons High School says that "highly traditional" practices such as paddling and detention "provide an efficient and reliable alternative to out-of-school suspensions".
- Holmes County Schools (covers Durant, Goodman, Lexington, Tchula)
"Appropriately applied corporal punishment" may be applied for Level 2 infractions here, but is not mentioned in connection with the most trivial or the most serious offenses. No definition of "appropriately applied" is given. If parents request in writing that paddling not be used, the student is suspended instead.
See also Holmes County's Employee Handbook, which at pp.24-25 goes into more detail about the procedure. The maximum dimensions of the paddle are 30 in. long and half an inch thick. It must be between two and three inches wide. For paddlings in grades 7 through 12, there is a same-sex requirement.
See also this Apr 2014 magazine article, according to which students at the district's three high schools may be invited to "talk to the wood or go to the hood", i.e. choose between a spanking and an out-of-school suspension.
Stats: There were 351 paddlings in 2012/13.
- 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 one offense and five licks per student per day. CP may be used for category 1, 2 and 3 offenses.
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 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 looks like a strong incentive not to exempt one's son or daughter from corporal punishment.
- Humphreys County School District, Belzoni
"Physical punishment includes whipping, spanking, and paddling." Students whose parents object to it will be suspended for one to three days instead. It "shall not be administered on any part of the body except the student's buttocks", nor should it "leave any marks or bruises on the skin or flesh", which seems unrealistic when we know that even a moderate paddling can cause (transient, mild and harmless) bruising on some recipients.
- Itawamba County School District (New URL)
All students here are subject to corporal punishment, and no teacher may be sued for using it. 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 four 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.
See also this Oct 2005 news item.
- Kosciusko School District
At the High School, punishment for tardiness or cheating already included paddling, but in the latest handbook that penalty is now available for a wider range of crimes, including profanity and dress code violations. Parental permission must be on file.
Junior High students may likewise be spanked for being late, but also for failing to complete homework assignments.
At the elementary schools, CP is listed as a possible consequence for any misconduct.
- Lafayette County Schools, Oxford
At the High School and the Middle School, "corporal punishment may be administered to both sexes". At the back of the handbook is a form for parents to fill out, giving or withholding "permission to use corporal punishment as a means to correct behavior". The student, as well as the parent, may request in writing an alternative punishment to CP, but while students are in ISS or OSS they may not participate in extracurricular activities; this may serve as an incentive to the student to take the paddling. In any case, failure to accept CP "shall result in an alternative punishment, which shall include, but not be limited to, a suspension".
The elementary document has broadly similar language but with the addition of "Corporal punishment consists of three licks to the buttocks".
- Lauderdale County Schools (covers Collinsville, Meridian)
CP is indicated at Step 2 of the Discipline Ladder. It must be administered in the principal's office. Parents are informed, and may "deny corporal punishment to their child" by making a written request.
- Laurel School District
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 policy is detailed and explicit. CP should be used after other procedures have failed. It may not be used for academic performance reasons.
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). 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 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".
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 it, and the witness.
The Student Conduct Policy document sets out a long list of offenses for which paddling may be given, including two tardies within nine weeks, leaving the premises without permission, profanity, standing up in the bus, traffic violations, tobacco, and dress code violations.
- Lee County Schools (covers Belden, Guntown, Mooreville, Plantersville, Saltillo, Shannon, Tupelo, Verona)
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.
See also this May 2010 news item about a paddling at Saltillo Elementary School.
Stats: There were about 1,000 paddlings here in school year 2004/05. This Oct 2009 news item says that figure had risen to 1,707 paddlings by 2008/09.
- Leflore County Schools, Greenwood
See page 42. CP may not be given on more than two occasions per day to the same student. It is no longer specified that there is a maximum of five strokes per occasion, or that a strap may be used as an alternative to the paddle. Paddling 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 handbook for the three secondary schools; the elementary version has identical wording.
See also this Oct 2009 news item.
- Lowndes County School District (covers Caledonia, Columbus)
"Certified staff should serve as witnesses to paddlings whenever possible; however, school secretaries and nurses may serve as witnesses." An unusual stipulation is that "The punishment must be terminated if the witness refuses to witness further". CP "shall be administered to the buttocks only". Parents not wishing their students to be spanked must fill out this form; the alternative may be suspension. Conversely, on the same form parents may request that CP be used "when possible, rather than suspension or detention".
Corporal punishment is mentioned particularly for a first offense of stealing (grades K-5 only), a first offense of profanity/vulgarity, and a third tardy per nine-week period (grades 6-12 only). It is also a penalty for a second offense of misbehavior on the school bus, as an alternative to one day's suspension from the bus.
Stats: 86 students received spankings in this district in 2013/14, of whom 67 boys.
- Madison County School District (covers Camden, Canton, Flora, Madison, Ridgeland)
Corporal punishment is one of the "more severe consequences" that may result from a fourth and subsequent tardy to class, and is also particularly indicated for taking part in a minor fight, and unauthorized cellphone use, as well as serious offenses in general. All paddles, when not in use, must be stored in the office. Parental requests for non-use of paddling must be made in writing.
The document for Ridgeland High is "Parking Lot Rules and Procedures", under which student motorists may be spanked for disobeying or disrespecting the parking-lot monitors.
See also this Oct 2009 news item, stating that there were 1,104 paddlings in 2008/09, that Madison County students may be spanked 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.
And see this Nov 2015 news report, in which a student who was paddled in 9th grade at Ridgeland High School describes the modus operandi.
- Marion County Schools, Columbia (Mississippi)
There is a maximum of 3 licks with a paddle in all grades (K-12). CP is particularly mentioned for a 4th, 5th or 6th tardy, and for first or subsequent offenses in Category II (fireworks, tobacco, gambling), Category III (defiance, theft, obscenity, leaving school grounds without permission) or Category IV (fighting, bullying, drugs).
- McComb School District
At the junior and senior high schools, "No teachers will administer corporal punishment": it must be done by the principal or assistant principal, and only with written parental consent.
The elementary and middle schools add that CP "will only be used once daily for student(s) whose behavior warrants it".
See also this July 2012 news item.
- 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 was not available when last checked.
Stats: There were about 285 paddlings at Neshoba Central High in 2009.
- New Albany Schools
Paddling is applicable to all students from kindergarten through 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.
Stats: This Oct 2009 news item says there were 1,249 paddlings in New Albany Schools in 2008/09.
- Newton County Schools
For grades 6 through 12, corporal punishment features at steps 2 and 3 of the discipline ladder. It may also be used for a first, second or third case of misbehavior on the school bus, for a third dress-code violation, and for a fifth tardy to school or to class per nine-week period. "Three licks on the buttocks shall be the maximum number applied." The instrument is "a flat-surfaced paddle that will cause no more than temporary pain and not inflict permanent damage to the body". Refusal to take CP will result in suspension. Parents may opt out by filling out a form.
- North Bolivar Consolidated School District, Mound Bayou
A commendably straightforward statement: "The striking of a student on the buttocks with a paddle or strap by a principal or designee is used as necessary to maintain discipline and/or enforce school rules." There will be a minimum of two adults present.
See also this Apr 2013 news item, which states that paddling is used frequently.
- North Panola School District, Sardis
At the elementary schools, CP may be used for a first or second referral for a minor infraction, and also for a second dress code violation (as an alternative to three days' suspension).
At secondary level, CP may be applied for a second minor infraction and a first intermediate infraction.
The Corporal Punishment Consent Form is to be signed by the student as well as the parent.
- Okolona School District
Parents wanting to exempt their student from CP "must complete a form in the office in person or the school is authorized to take this disciplinary measure with their child". Paddling is mentioned in particular for a second bullying/harassment offense and for a first or second case of misconduct on the bus.
- Pearl Public School District
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.
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.
- Picayune School District
At step 1 of the discipline ladder comes "One - two periods after-school detention, or two licks (corporal punishment)". Step 2 brings three to five detentions, or three licks.
- Pontotoc County School District
CP may be administered "by or in the presence of" the Principal, Assistant Principal or a teacher.
The Teacher Handbook sets out an "order of disciplinary action": 1. Reprimand, 2. Paddling, 3. Saturday Detention, 4. Suspension, 5. Expulsion. "The student has the right to forgo paddling and accept suspension or other disciplinary action at the discretion of the principal."
From the Student Handbook we learn that CP may be used for a first, second or third offense on the school bus (p.6). In grades 5 through 12, it can be applied for a third and subsequent tardy to class, a first offense of truancy (p.12), and for various violations including out of place, disrespect, profanity, continuous use of gum, and excessive talking (p.13).
- Prentiss County Schools (covers Booneville, Marietta, New Site)
The pages in this incompetently produced document are all out of order, and the PDF search function does not work. Corporal punishment may be administered for a second school bus offense (p.39). More generally, CP -- defined as "paddling administered to buttocks" -- may be the consequence for unspecified offenses. "Any student who refuses to take the first punishment assigned to them for an offense will be given an out-of-school suspension" (p.31). Paddling or OSS is specified as the penalty for a first offense of bullying or harassment (p.30).
- Rankin County School District (covers Brandon, Florence, Flowood, Pelahatchie, Puckett, Richland, Sandhill)
CP is generally to be used when other methods have proved ineffective. 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.
Stats: This Oct 2009 news item says there were 742 paddlings in Rankin County in school year 2008/09.
- Senatobia Municipal School District
Corporal punishment is "a paddling of not more than three licks". It may be applied for Level I and Level II infractions, and also for a first bus offense. There is a parental consent form near the back of the book.
- Scott County School District, Forest (New URL)
"When necessary, reasonable corporal punishment is permitted." Parents who want to forbid this have to meet with the Principal at the start of each year in person. The student may then be given ISS or OSS instead.
In the tech lab at BMJ Middle School, students are bluntly told that upon a third instance of misbehavior, "You will be paddled".
- Smith County School District, Raleigh (Mississippi)
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 for 3 days. CP is specifically mentioned as a penalty for a first school bus offense, as an alternative to three days' suspension from the bus; also for a first offense of profanity and a fourth tardy to class.
Stats: There were an estimated 490 paddlings at this district's three high schools in 2009.
- South Delta School District (covers Anguilla, Rolling Fork)
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 son or daughter not be spanked.
- South Panola School District, Batesville
All four schools now have the same policies. A paddling may be administered for any level I or level II offense as an alternative to ISS (p.13 of the High School handbook), as also for a second violation of the electronic devices policy. CP (or one day's ISS) is also the punishment for a fourth and a fifth tardy per semester (p.7). There is a parental opt-out/opt-in form at page 54, which also states that parents are contacted by phone before the paddling takes place.
The Staff Handbook stipulates (p.17) that the paddle is to be no more than 18 inches long, with no tape or holes. CP must be given by the principal or assistant principal or other administrator, and "is to be administered to the buttocks only". Also, "in instances where corporal punishment is refused, suspension is mandatory".
Stats: This Oct 2009 news item says there were 2,376 paddlings in South Panola district in the school year 2008/09.
- South Tippah School District
Corporal punishment is defined as "Student receives a paddling". It comes into play for a first or subsequent violation at Level I, and a first violation at Level II or Level III. This is the handbook for Ripley High School; other schools in the district have identical language.
- Sunflower County Consolidated School District, Indianola
This district was previously called Indianola. It no longer features individual handbooks for each school.
CP will not be administered where parents have submitted a written objection to it. Paddlings are administered in the principal's office by the principal or assistant principal. CP is specifically mentioned for various "Minor rule infractions" such as a second or third offense of misbehavior in class, a first offense of cutting class, skipping detention, lying, etc. In each case this is as an alternative to ISD.
See also this Nov 2015 news article, in which a sophomore at Gentry High School says he gets sent to the detention room for an immediate paddling for "being a few seconds late to class or wearing the wrong belt".
Stats: 395 spankings were provided in 2009 at Gentry High School, for a total enrollment of some 600, an "annual CP rate" of about 65%. 180 of these, or 45%, were of female students, an unusually high proportion.
- Tishomingo County School District [DOC]
The board policy states that "no student shall receive more than three (3) licks and no student shall be paddled more than one time in a day".
According to the student handbook, "Students unable to receive paddling shall be assigned In-School Detention or Out-of-school Suspension." CP is particularly mentioned as a penalty for fighting.
- Tunica County School District
Corporal punishment is administered by the Superintendent, Principals and Assistant Principals. The paddle is to be max. 18 inches long, 6 inches wide and, the document says, one and one-eighth of an inch thick (surely much too thick -- possibly a misprint). It must be "administered to the buttocks only", and a maximum of three licks is "highly recommended". CP must be carried out in private, such as in "the principal's office, lounge, or vacant teacher's room". The discipline form must be signed by the paddled student him- or herself as well as by the paddler and the witness.
An unusual provision is that "If corporal punishment must be administered to one individual more than two (2) times in any school session, a suspension or some other approved form of punishment by the principal may follow".
- Union County School District (covers Blue Springs, Myrtle, New Albany)
There is a maximum of three licks. Refusal to accept a paddling "will result in specific suspension which will constitute an unexcused absence". The student being spanked "will be given a disciplinary referral to take to the parent(s)". School officials "will attempt to comply" with a written parental request for exemption from CP. CP is mentioned in particular for a second bus offense and for three or more tardies in a semester.
Stats: 548 students in this district (out of 2,479) received paddlings on at least one occasion in 2011/12, giving an "annual CP rate" of 22%.
- 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.
Stats: 1,120 students were paddled in this district in 2004/05.
- Walthall County Schools, Tylertown
In grades 3 through 12, "one-day suspension or corporal punishment" is the consequence for a third tardy. CP is also an option for skipping class, improper driving on campus, tobacco, and improper physical contact, among other things. There is a maximum of five licks.
Stats: At Tylertown High School, 45 boys and 25 girls received one or more paddlings in 2009/10; this increased to 61 boys and 35 girls in 2011/12.
- Water Valley Schools New!
CP is to be administered in the presence of the principal or assistant principal. All paddles must be approved by the principal, and applied to the student's buttocks only. Parents may request exemption by filling out the form on page 93.
Stats: During 2013/14, 25 boys and 10 girls were paddled on one or more occasion at Water Valley High School.
- 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.
At the Middle School, slide 11 of Mrs Leverette's PowerPoint presentation makes clear that paddling can be a classroom procedure as well as something that happens after referral to the office.
In the elementary schools and the Middle School, CP is provided for any level of offense, where parents have signed the permission form.
Stats: This district administered about 1,010 paddlings in 2004/05, or 26% of the enrollment.
- Webster County School District (covers Eupora, Maben, Mathiston)
Parents who wish their son or daughter 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 miscreant 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. (The age of majority in Mississippi is 21.)
- West Bolivar School District
For "Class III" (relatively serious) offenses, "Corporal punishment may be an option for any infraction less than five days of suspension".
See also this Aug 2008 news item.
- Winona School District
Not to be confused with Winona in Missouri. "A student who demonstrates a lack of respect to any teacher or staff member at school, at any school function, or any other time will be paddled, sent to ISS, or suspended." Refusal of corporal punishment "will result in a three-day suspension upon each refusal". Paddling is also particularly mentioned as a penalty for profanity, obscenity, pornography, writing vulgar or filthy notes, and not wearing the correct school uniform.
- These Mississippi public schools also state that they use corporal punishment, but give few or no details:
Booneville Schools, Booneville, Mississippi
- Stats: During 2013/14, 31 boys and 7 girls were paddled on one or more occasions at Booneville High.
Kemper County School District
Noxubee County School District, Macon, Mississippi
Quitman County School District, Marks and see this Nov 2007 news item about a junior high school student whose parents claimed his buttocks were said to be "severely bruised" after a paddling.
Sunflower County School District, Indianola
Tate County School District (covers Coldwater, Independence) and see this March 2010 news item about the paddling of a high school student.
Western Line School District, Avon
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 last checked, or are not on line at all:
Cleveland School District -- see this Nov 2015 illustrated news item, in which a student at D.M. Smith Middle School says being spanked is called "getting cookies" and which includes a photo of one of the school's paddles
Jones County Schools, Ellisville -- see this Oct 2009 news item stating that 1,301 students were spanked in 2008/09
MISSOURI: private schools
- Christian Outreach School, Hillsboro
"COS does support the policy of spanking", mainly at the elementary level. Parents may choose to administer it themselves at the school. "Staff members will never administer corporal punishment to a student of the opposite gender."
- Faith Christian Academy, West Plains New!
CP is available through 8th grade. Parents may come to the school to administer it themselves. "The student will not be permitted to return to class until the correction takes place."
- Heartland Christian Academy, Bethel (New URL)
This institution is both a boarding school, which once had a reputation as a tough bootcamp for kids in trouble (see e.g. this Aug 2003 news item), and a day school for the local community.
Unusually, there are two forms of CP: "swats on the palm of the hand with a pliable rubber ruler", and "regular swats on the buttocks with a wooden paddle". Parents must sign their acceptance that their student in grades K through 12 "will receive corporal correction when necessary".
- Maranatha Baptist Academy, St. Robert
See pp.30/31. "All parents will be required to give their consent for the use of corporal discipline. Swats will be issued at the discretion of the administration." Offenses that may result in CP include "ongoing behavior problems", lying, fighting, and disrespect to authority. If parents refuse to consent, the student is expelled forthwith.
- 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 "consecutive 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". Use of the word "consecutive" here must mean that, if the student resists the punishment in any way, the spanking starts again from scratch.
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".
- New Covenant Academy, Springfield New!
The paddle is not used in grades 6 and below. In grades 7 through 12, "reasonable corporal punnishment" administered by the Principal "is sometimes necessary".
- Providence Classical Christian Academy, St Louis
For students of K through 4th grade only, this K-12 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 disciplined". An earlier version stated that "God commands that children be spanked".
MISSOURI: public schools
- Advance R-IV Public Schools, Advance
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 Schools, Ironton
Parents may request in writing that their youngsters not be paddled, and the student him- or herself also has the right to refuse swats. It is not clear what then happens instead. The paddling must be applied to the buttocks, in the principal's office. This is the High School handbook; some other schools in the district have similar language.
- 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, the paddle is regarded as an "alternative disciplinary measure"; parents are notified before it is used.
See also this Jan 2005 news item, which describes the modus operandi 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, CP is mentioned as a penalty for 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
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".
- Clearwater R-I Schools
At the High School, CP may be used for both minor and major discipline infractions. "Refusing corporal punishment will result in ISS."
The Middle School handbook says that "swats" may be administered for any minor or major offense and in particular for fighting, sexual harassment, a second or third offense of cheating, and a second (1-2 swats) or third (2 swats) bus violation. Also, "Failure to serve ASD will result in swats or ISS".
- 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 or 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)
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
Click on "Student Handbooks". At the Elementary School, corporal punishment 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. In the 2009/10 version, these six swats were to be spread across two consecutive days. Probably they still are, but that is no longer spelled out.
- Dora R-III School District
CP is to be administered by the principal, and involves "swatting the buttocks with a paddle". There is great detail on specific penalties for particular offenses. 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. All told, the word "swats" appears 42 times in this handbook.
- East Carter R-II School District, Ellsinore New!
Corporal punishment is listed as an option for a large number of offenses, and also for failure to turn up to after-school detention. The student as well as the parent must sign the acknowledgement form on the last page, which says "I/We also understand that by signing we are agreeing that the student will be complying with the discipline code which includes swats as a form of punishment".
This is the handbook for the High School; the Middle and Elementary handbooks have similar provisions.
- East Prairie R-2 School District
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.
- Exeter R-VI School District
"Swats may be an option for some offenses", to be administered by the Principal with parental consent. "Only those students with corporal punishment consent slips on file may have the option of swats."
- 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.
- Gideon School District
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. 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
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
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, "ISD, OSS, ASD or Swats".
See also, in respect of Jasper Elementary School, this Nov 2005 news item.
- Junction Hill C-12 School, West Plains
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.
- Kennett School District #39
Students at all grade levels may have their buttocks swatted with a paddle as punishment. This is 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. Also, spanking (with AEP assignment as an alternative) is the penalty for the third, fourth and fifth tardy to class or to school per quarter.
See also this Jan 2006 news item, announcing a clampdown on latecomers: paddling was thenceforth to be the punishment, with AEP (alternative education program) as an option, for every unexcused tardy from the third one in each quarter onwards.
This May 2006 news item suggests that CP was frequent at the High School at the time, and confirms that students there normally got a choice between a paddling and time in the AEP.
Stats: At the High School, 68 boys and 20 girls received paddlings on at least one occasion in 2011/12. Two years later these figures had increased to 85 boys and 31 girls.
- Lesterville R-IV School District
At the High School, corporal punishment may be used upon a sixth or subsequent referral to the office, on the decision of the principal. It is also specifically mentioned for a first offense of bullying, a fourth or subsequent offense of having unsealed or glass containers, a third or subsequent offense of possessing a cellphone or other device, a fourth offense of horseplay, and a fifth or subsequent tardy to class in a quarter (3 swats).
- Lincoln R-2 Schools
Unusual language about witnesses: "All instances of corporal punishment shall be witnessed by a parents [sic] or at least one other adult member of the school staff" -- not necessarily a certificated member of staff, and potentially more than one of them; and most schools do not allow parents to observe paddlings.
- 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.
- Malden R-I School District
The high-school handbook uses the words "swat" or "swats" 30 times, including for public displays of affection, tobacco, rudeness, showing a disrespectful attitude toward staff or visitors, and many other offenses, different numbers of swats being specified for each offense. The normal maximum per incident is three swats.
At the very strict Alternative School, "Students will be placed in isolation, be required to copy work/memorization work, assigned chores, assigned lunch detention, or receive 1-3 swats for minor offenses".
Stats: Malden has expanded its use of spanking to include girls. During 2009/10, 90 boys at Malden High School received swats on one or more occasions, and no girls. Two years later, 105 boys and 35 girls were spanked on at least one occasion.
- 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
Look for "Student Handbook" and click on "View". 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 cellphones, 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.
- New Madrid County School District R-I (covers Lilbourn, Matthews, New Madrid)
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 ISS" 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.
- 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.
- Poplar Bluff School District (New URL)
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, 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. 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 March 2005 news item, which reported that 680 paddlings were provided to the district's students over a two-year period.
- Portageville School District New!
"A student is not to receive more than one paddling per day. Should there be a need for
more than one it is to be postponed until the next day. It is the administrator's
responsibility to check to see if the student has been paddled by someone else that day." CP is particularly mentioned for a first offense of classroom disruption, fighting, extortion, false alarm, disrespect, smoking, etc. and a first or second offense of bullying.
Stats: 34 boys and 18 girls at Portageville High School received paddlings on at least one occasion during 2013/14.
- Potosi R-III School District
The "Student Discipline" regulation states that "Swats may be given at any stage of the referral if that method seems applicable".
John Evans Middle specifies CP for a whimsical list of crimes: a first or subsequent offense of dishonesty, disrespect, disruption, incomplete work, not participating in PE, theft, and vandalism (but not, for instance, tardies or fighting or public display of affection), and a first offense (only) of extortion or verbal sexual harassment.
At Trojan Intermediate, paddling IS a penalty for fighting, and also for disrespect/disruption (first offense only in both cases).
CP is apparently not used at Potosi High School.
- Ripley County R-IV Schools New!
A first, second and third offense of academic dishonesty here incurs all of these consequences: In-school suspension, corporal punishment and no credit for the work. For certain other violations the student will receive counseling "and in addition may receive corporal punishment". A spanking is also particularly mentioned as an option for the first through fourth offenses of public display of affection, a first offense of truancy, and for arson, assault, bullying, disrespect, failure to work in class, and much else. In all, this handbook features the phrase "corporal punishment" 80 times. "Refusal of corporal punishment will result in out of school suspension for the remainder of the day and one additional day." Parents are not permitted to witness the paddlings.
- Risco R-II School District [DOC]
Very detailed instructions are given here. The student to be spanked "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". This modus operandi is known to be employed in many schools, but it is pretty unusual for it to be spelled out in a school handbook. There is a maximum of 3 swats per incident.
- Scott City R-I School District (New URL)
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; the elementary school has identical wording.
See also this Nov 2005 news item.
- Sikeston R-6 School District
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.
- South Iron R-I School District
At the high school, assault, data security violations, cutting class, disrespect, extortion, public display of affection, false alarms, fighting, cutting lunch line, profanity, and sexual harassment are among the many offenses for which corporal punishment (maximum 3 swats on the buttocks) may be administered. A third, fourth or fifth tardy to class in one quarter may also result in CP. The paddling will not cause permanent physical damage, but "occasional bruises occur and are not indicative of abuse". Students who refuse to be spanked will receive one day's suspension for each swat refused.
The elementary school has a similar policy.
- Southern Reynolds Co. R-II School District, Ellington
Students who refuse CP will be suspended "until such time as they submit to the originally assigned punishment".
- Southland C-9 Public Schools New!
At junior/senior high-school level, corporal punishment is the only penalty provided here for a third offense of improper display of affection and of truancy, and for a first offense of tobacco possession or use.
- Success R-VI School District New!
Paddling (once abolished but reintroduced here in 2008) is an option for misconduct at Levels I, II and III at this K-8 school. Parent permission is sought beforehand.
- Summersville R-II School District
Corporal punishment here shall consist of swatting the buttocks with a paddle.
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". An unusual provision is that parents are explicitly forbidden to witness the 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.
- Union R-XI School District (covers Beaufort, Union)
At the elementary schools, CP ("no more than four swats with a paddle to the buttocks") is administered by the principal. Parents may choose between CP and suspension. Paddling is specifically mentioned for a third offense of not following instructions or failing to attempt to learn, and a fourth offense of profanity or obscenity; also a second offense of truancy or skipping class.
There are also Middle School and High School handbooks, but these make no mention of CP. However, the pan-district board policy document says Middle School students may be paddled if parents request it.
- 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 most 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)
The pan-district policy lists (starting at page 35) 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). An earlier version specified that "students may not receive swats more than TWO times in any semester", but this is now changed to "a limited number of times, determined by an administrator". It remains the case that "students may not receive swats for anything less than a 3-hour detention".
At the Junior High School, 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". It also says "A man or woman spanks depending on the gender of student", but this is no longer the case at Webb City High because a female Assistant Principal paddles boys as well as girls, according to local information.
- Winona R-III School District
Not to be confused with Winona in Mississippi.
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.
- 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 [DOC] (and see this Jan 2005 news item)
Clark County Schools (and see this Sep 2008 news item and this Apr 2014 one)
Fair Grove R-10 School District
Galena R-II School District (and see this Jan 2005 news item)
Green City R-I School District
Henry County R-I School District (elementary schools only)
Holcomb R-III School District
Hollister School District
Jefferson City Public Schools (covers Holts Summit, Jefferson City) (and see this March 2005 item)
Lockwood R-I School District
Mansfield R-IV School District [DOC]
Meadville R-IV School District
Morgan R-2 School District, Versailles
Nevada R-5 School District
North Shelby School District, Shelbyville
Osceola School District
Ozark R-VI School District
Smithton R-V School District
Stanberry R-II School District (at the high school, but apparently not at the elementary school)
West St Francois County R-IV Schools, Park Hills New!
Worth County R-III Schools, Grant City