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Thursday, August 25, 2022 – An old-school discipline method is making its way back into some Missouri schools.

The Cassville School District in Southern Missouri is bringing back corporal punishment under a new policy that allows students to be punished with a paddle.

Administrators say it would be the last resort if other means of discipline do not work.

The superintendent said the change is the result of a survey sent out last year. Parents who responded said discipline was one of their biggest concerns.

Superintendent Meryl Johnson said: “The complaints that we have heard from some of our parents is that they don’t want their students suspended. They want another option.

“And so, this was just another option that we could use before we get to that point of suspension.”

Johnson added: “It’s something we don’t anticipate using frequently. This is an opt-in only option for parents, so anyone who disagrees with corporal punishment, they simply do nothing by not opting in.”

Johnson says he understands there will be different views on this decision and the district respects the opinions of parents who choose not to opt-in.

Parent Kimberly Richardson reacted, saying if a child is going to be punished it should be up to the parents. She added that she would prefer the district continue with the other forms of discipline.

Richardson said: “Like in school suspension that would be fine with me. Or even out of school suspensions. Those are just way better than corporal punishment.”

Another parent, Dylan Burns says he doesn’t see a problem with corporal punishment and thinks every parent has the right to choose.

Burns said: “No matter what you choose, I think you need to sit down with your kids and choose what’s best for you and your family. Trust that everyone there at Cassville is not going to do anything that you don’t want done to your child.”

Missouri Statute authorizes corporal punishment as an option for each local school to consider if parents opt-in.

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