Louisiana Lawmaker Makes Another Attempt To Ban Corporal Punishment In Public Schools

Louisiana Lawmaker Makes Another Attempt to Ban Corporal Punishment In Public Schools

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Louisiana legislators will once again be faced with the decision of whether or not to continue allowing the use of corporal punishment in public schools.

Representative Stephanie Hilferty, a resident of New Orleans, who previously proposed a similar bill last year, will present a new bill to the Louisiana Legislature. This bill aims to ban the use of physical force that causes pain or discomfort as a means of disciplining students. However, the previous attempt to pass this bill failed to gain support in the House, with opponents arguing that it was an overreach of government power.

Hilferty highlights the inconsistency in current disciplinary practices, stating that prisoners in the correctional system and juveniles in the detention system are not subjected to physical punishment. She questions why it is deemed acceptable to use such methods to discipline students in the school system.

On the other hand, Representative Danny McCormick, from Oil City, who voted against the bill last year, expressed concerns about the state interfering with schools’ disciplinary practices and how it could potentially lead to the government telling parents how to discipline their own children at home.

When asked if she anticipates similar opposition this year, Hilferty clarifies that her bill does not seek to limit a parent’s ability to appropriately discipline their child through spanking in the home. In fact, she believes that it actually empowers parents by providing them with a better understanding of how their child is being disciplined within the school system.

Support for the bill comes from the American Academy of Pediatrics, who recognize the detrimental effects of corporal punishment on children. Research conducted by the pediatricians group has shown that children subjected to physical discipline are more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior and experience hindered brain development.

Furthermore, students who experience corporal punishment tend to score lower on IQ tests, and the use of such disciplinary measures is considered a traumatic experience with potential long-term consequences, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Hilferty is optimistic about the progress of her bill and hopes for greater success on the House floor this time around.

Louisiana Illuminator, which operates as part of States Newsroom, is an independent news bureau supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. For any inquiries, please contact Editor Jarvis DeBerry at info@lailluminator.com. You can also follow Louisiana Illuminator on Facebook and Twitter.

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