MS Legislative bill could ban corporal punishment in schools

Administrators are working on ways to steer students down the right path by rewarding good behavior, so they don't have to punish the bad. 

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NOXUBEE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)-A bill making its way through the Mississippi Legislature could make paddles a thing of the past.

Corporal punishment is only allowed if the parent of the student gives permission. House Bill 12 would ban the concept entirely.

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Paddles are still in play in the Noxubee County School District.

Administrators are working on ways to steer students down the right path by rewarding good behavior, so they don’t have to punish the bad.

For years students who misbehave in school generally faced 3 options: Detention – Suspension, Corporal Punishment.

But that method could soon be history.

“Children will behave the way they’re allowed to behave. If classroom management is not in place ,children will get out of control,” said Superintendent for the Noxubee County School District Rodriguez Broadnax.

He says the district is working on a way to discipline students before turning to the wooden paddle.

“We are currently looking at new disciplinary measures implementing a new positive behavior intervention support system for all schools and all grade levels,” said Broadnax.

First grade teacher Valerie Franklin says she sometimes resorts to corporal punishment as a consequence for bad behavior.

“You also have to realize when you get to school the teacher is the parent and they’re all my babies so I have to treat them just like I treat my own children at home,” said Franklin.

Franklin also offers a point system to help students stay out of trouble.

“We have a ticket system and we give them 5 chances. And if you do good you can go back down to 0 but if you keep doing bad and doing the same thing over and over and get to 5 the teacher has the authority to paddle you,” said Franklin.

3rd grade teacher Charita Hibbler agrees.

“I don’t use it often, that’s something I don’t rely on. I really hate when it comes down to where I may have to use corporal punishment,” said Hibbler.

That’s why Broadnax is depending on staff and faculty to improve student discipline.

“Things should work out okay because as long as students are engaged in the classroom, as long as they’re performing well ,and classroom management is at a high level we wouldn’t need corporal punishment,” said Broadnax.

The Bill has been referred to the House Education Committee. We will continue to follow its progress through the legislative term.

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