Corporal Punishment In Schools Remains Controversial Topic

Corporal punishment in schools remains a controversial topic across the state and is still practiced in most parts of Eastern Kentucky.

It's this type of "board" of education that can cause fear in a school's faculty, anger in a parent, and leave a true impression on a student. It’s corporal punishment, the legal paddling of misbehaving students in Kentucky schools that ultimately is up to the discretion of each individual school district to allow or disallow.

A generation ago, many Eastern Kentucky students can most likely remember receiving physical punishment for things they did wrong, but safety officials say that in today's legally and politically correct world, it's quite a different story.

"Be honest with you, it's not used a lot. It's kind of a last resort," said Perry County School Superintendent John Paul Amis.

"There seems to be a real appetite to prosecute principals and teachers for engaging in corporal punishment," said Criminal Defense Lawyer Ned Pillersdorf.

And while many school districts across the state began to shy away from paddling in recent years and focus on suspensions and detentions, many in Eastern Kentucky have maintained the corporal punishment option.

"You do have, at least in this area, some parents that recommend you use that type of punishment against their child," Amis said.

Permission from a parent is required for a paddling in most districts which is done by a principal and a witness.

The Kentucky Center for School Safety says that roughly 50 out of the 175 school districts in the states still practice corporal punishment.

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