Push to let parents give teachers permission to spank children awaits vote on House floor

Corporal punishment may seem like a thing of the past but it’s still very much a thing in some parts of the state.
Published: May. 4, 2023 at 5:00 PM CDT|Updated: May. 4, 2023 at 6:18 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Corporal punishment may seem like a thing of the past, but it is still very much a thing in some parts of the state. And, some lawmakers here want to make sure you have a say in what happens to your child.

While some believe corporal punishment is a useful form of discipline in the classroom, others, like local Christina Tecce, find it archaic.

“No, it definitely is something that might have been okay in past generations but I don’t think so anymore. And kids just shouldn’t have the threat of violence...anywhere,” said Teece

Christina said her fiancé is a teacher, and she believes he would feel the same.

“I think he would agree with me 100% with that. He wants his students to feel safe with him and be able to come to him, and it’s about learning,” Teece continued.

Republican Stephanie Hilferty is a lawmaker out of the New Orleans area. Just last year, she tried to have the whole thing banned across the state. That plan failed to get enough people on board. That is when she decided to make a counteroffer.

“Listening to some of my colleagues, that is not the direction they were willing to go. So, I really want to make sure that a parent knows that this is occurring in the school system and consents to it. It requires that they send home a form allowing a parent to either opt in or opt out of corporal punishment for that child,” Rep. Hirlferty explained.

One of those against last year’s plan was State Rep. John Stefanski (R).

“I couldn’t support a full elimination of the ability for teachers to be able to discipline, however, as long as they get permission from the parents, I think that’s a good compromise. So, I’ll be supporting her bill this year,” said Rep. Stefanksi.

But even with parents’ permission, some still want to see it done away with altogether.

“I would say I’m pretty much against it just because there are so many cons, like there’s so much that can go wrong. I just think that’s more of a parent job than an educator’s job,” said local Sara Andre.

The bill is currently waiting to be taken up on the Hosue floor for full debate, and so far this year, it seems to have the support it needs.

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