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St. Landry Parish (La.) school board votes to end corporal punishment of students

Aug. 9, 2022
A revised policy says district employees may still use reasonable and appropriate physical force to defend against physical attack by a student.

The St. Landry Parish (La.) school board has voted to prohibit corporal punishment of students.

The Daily World of Opelousas reports that corporal punishment will no longer be used on students for misbehavior.

According to the Louisiana School Board Association website, Louisiana is one of 15 states that allows corporal punishment in public schools.

“We are no longer going to use corporal punishment in our school system,” superintendent Patrick Jenkins said.

St. Landry had been one of an estimated 38 statewide parishes where some form of corporal punishment was district policy for all students except those who have special needs or who were designated as gifted or talented students.

The revised policy in St. Landry states that district employees may still use "reasonable and appropriate physical force in defenses against physical attack by a student or in cases where restraining students from attacking other students or preventing certain acts of misconduct are necessary."

In May the Louisiana Legislature passed legislation outlawing the use of physical force that causes pain and discomfort to students who are disciplined. The law also includes a provision that schools would be allowed to administer corporal punishment if students’ parents or legal guardians provide written consent.

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