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Corporal Punishment and "Use of Force" in Missouri

HB 1543, an omnibus bill dealing in part to improve school safety, is currently moving its way through the Missouri House of Representatives. It is my understanding that this bill, which looks a lot like HB 96 from last year, was discussed in the Education Committee last Wednesday.

Among the amendments adopted was one that bans corporal punishment of special education (IEP) students. This is great news for those who have been identified as special educated students, but is Missouri going to continue to fight to keep corporal punishment legal in Missouri schools?

Besides that issue, there is the continuing problem where school districts are left to conduct their own investigations if there are abuse allegations after spanking or use of force to protect persons or property. Children's services would not be allowed to conduct an investigation unless the school district finds itself liable for abuse.

As in last year's bill, "use of force" and "property destruction" are not defined, and since Missouri does not ban prone restraint (or other harmful methods of "force"), a child can legally be held face down for property destruction as minor as ripping up paper. In other words, what is happening currently to this child will continue to be LEGAL.
(4) Adds the use of force to protect persons or property by
school district personnel to the provisions regarding spanking.
Neither act is to be considered as abuse that would be
investigated by the Children's Division within the Department of
Social Services as long as the spanking or use of force does not
give rise to an allegation of sexual misconduct and another
employee is present as a witness at a spanking;

Your help is urgently needed to push for real reform for the safety of children attending school.

Consider contacting the Missouri House Special Standing Committee on Children and Families :
http://house.mo.gov/content.aspx?info=/bills101/commit/com488.htm and Elementary and Secondary Education Committee: http://house.mo.gov/content.aspx?info=/bills101/commit/com455.htm

And the Missouri Senate Education Committee: http://www.senate.mo.gov/10info/comm/educ.htm and the Joint Committee on Education: http://www.senate.mo.gov/10info/comm/statutory/jced.htm


Copy and paste URLs:

HB 1543: http://www.house.mo.gov/content.aspx?info=/bills101/bills/hb1543.htm
HB 96: http://nomoseclusion.blogspot.com/search?q=HB%2096


Mrs. C said...

You have been very understanding of my reposting your stuff in the past, so I went ahead and reposted your entire post with credit and link at bottom on my blog today.

THANK YOU for all you do.

Ange said...

Mrs. C, do what you need to to get the word out and get people to act! As you have been doing, just point them back here if they need an easy way to search/research the information. I try to keep this as a collection mostly, so people see the blurb of articles but are directed to main sites for the full story. I don't have time to write an opinion/summary of all restraint and seclusion news out there, but I try to make sure people don't miss the info. Thanks for continuing to act! :)

Mrs. C said...

ALERT Copy and Pasted from HSLDA... what do you think of this:

Missouri--Act Now to Prevent Expansion of Compulsory School Attendance

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Representative Sara Lampe is working to lower the age of compulsory
school attendance from age 7 to 5, and we need your help to stop her.

House Bill 1543 will come to the floor of the House of Representatives
in the very near future, and Lampe says she will try to amend it to
lower the compulsory attendance age. Her strategy is to tack her
amendment on and let it piggyback into law with the rest of the bill.

The bill itself is likely to pass because of its significance on
several educational issues, so it is vital that we work to prevent it
from being amended to expand compulsory attendance.


Today send a letter or email to your representative asking him or her
to oppose any amendment lowering the age of compulsory attendance.
Express your views in your own words, but feel free to make use of the
points below. To find contact information for your representative, go
to our Legislative Toolbox http://www.hslda.org/toolbox .

When HB 1543 comes to the floor of the House, other amendments could
be offered that are harmful to freedom. Having a big crowd of
homeschoolers at the Capitol could help keep lawmakers "honest." The
date has not yet been scheduled, but please plan to come to the
capitol when we know the date. We may have 24 hours notice or less,
so please stay flexible!

Also please plan to attend a major homeschool rally at the Capitol in
Jefferson City on March 2. A large turnout by homeschool families will
convince lawmakers that we remain highly interested in what they do.
Families for Home Education will distribute more information about the
rally as the day grows closer.


Many education experts have concluded that beginning a child's formal
education too early may actually result in burnout and poor scholastic
performance later.

Lowering the compulsory attendance age erodes the authority of parents
who are in the best position to determine when their child's formal
education should begin. The bill would restrict parents' freedom to
decide if their children are ready for school.

Another significant impact of expanding the compulsory attendance age
would be an inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom space
and teachers to accommodate the additional students compelled to
attend public school.

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=2051.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.,
HSLDA Senior Counsel

The HSLDA E-lert Service is a service of:

Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, Virginia 20134
Phone: (540) 338-5600
Fax: (540) 338-2733
Email: info@hslda.org
Web: http://www.hslda.org

Ange said...

Mrs. C,

This is my answer to parts of it: http://nomoseclusion.blogspot.com/2010/02/representative-lampe-autism-insurance.html

tcfpbis said...


I just wanted to let you know that this issue in now the top post on our blog: http://tcfpbis.blogspot.com/2010/02/mo-hb-1543-corporal-punishment-and-use.html.

I too used excerpts from your post and will be analyzing this bill in much finer detail later tonight - just like we did with HB 96 last January. I'll send the analysis to you once it's completed - probably within the next few days - to get your feedback.

I'd like to say I can't believe they're trying this again, but nothing surprises me any more. Just know we share your concerns.

I also sent this info onto my contact on the House Ed Committee and asked that this info be circulated widely. More attention needs to be paid to this.

Please let me know else how we can help.

Best regards,


Jennifer Searcy
Founder/Director of Public Policy & Affairs
The Coalition for Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports

Ange said...

Thank you so much. I am getting alerts (because of the homeschooling amend) and they are saying this bill could be discussed on the house floor tonight or tomorrow. I am struggling keeping up with this one, and I am baffled that all parents aren't concerned about this one! I am going to throw together an action alert tonight and get it out through e-mail to anyone I can find an e-mail address for.