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Corporal Punishment/Use of Force and House Bill No. 96

School Protection Measures? What about Student Protection Measures?

Missourians, did you know that currently corporal punishment (i.e., spanking) is allowed in Missouri schools? Check out the current Safe Schools Act. It is up to each individual district to have its own policy. There are no guidelines as to how that policy reads or what it must include.

There is a bill winding its way through the house right now--HB 96--which is suggesting that the words "use of force" be added. If you read through the bill, you will see that there is much in regards to protecting the school system, but nothing to protect the students.

Note specifically:

(2) Adds the use of force to protect persons or property to the provisions regarding spanking, which is not to be regarded as abuse as long as the spanking or use of force does not give rise to an allegation of sexual misconduct, and adds the requirement that another employee witness a spanking. The provisions are also broadened to include all employees, rather than certificated employees;


10. Spanking **or the use of force** to protect persons or property, when administered by [certificated] personnel of a school district in a reasonable manner in accordance with the local board of education's written policy of discipline, is not abuse within the meaning of chapter 210, RSMo, as long as no allegation of sexual misconduct arises from the incident, and in addition, in the case of spanking, as long as another employee of the school is present as a witness.

The provisions of sections 210.110 to 210.165, RSMo, notwithstanding, the children's division [of family services] shall not have jurisdiction over or investigate any report of alleged child abuse arising out of or related to any spanking administered in a reasonable manner by any [certificated] school personnel pursuant to a written policy of discipline established by the board of education of the school district.

This bill would not just effect students with disabilities, but all students in our public schools! It does, however, put children with disabilities in a grave situation since it would allow "the use of force" with no restrictions. Contact the author/sponsors of this bill and tell them why they should not move forward with this bill.

Send your correspondence to Maynard Wallace, Mike Thomson, and everyone else on the ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE.

Since my post is noncommercial, I assume I am meeting copyright rules by stating the following: The summaries are prepared by the Research Staff of the Missouri House of Representatives and are used by permission.

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