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OCALA, Fla. (AP)- Three years after banning paddling, the Marion County school board agreed Tuesday to let elementary school principals resume the practice to punish misbehaving students.

Officials approved the measure, which has been banned since 2010.

According to the Ocala Star-Banner, paddling can only be used in elementary schools, and only if a parent gives a standing written approval once a year. In addition, the principal must receive verbal permission before paddling the child. And a student can be paddled just once a semester.

The newspaper reports that before the practice was banned, Marion County was one of the largest districts in the state that still used corporal punishment.

The motion to bring back paddling was made by board member Carol Ely, a retired principal who believes it is a good option for discipline.

But board members Bobby James and Angie Boynton voiced concerns.

“This is going to open up a whole can of worms,” said James. He also suggested corporal punishment could end up being used disproportionately on minority students.

Boynton suggested that the district’s in-school suspension program is a better alternative to paddling. The program, called Positive Alternative to School Suspension, gives parents of students recommended for suspension a place to send their children. The PASS program started in 2010, after paddling was banned.

Mark Vianello, the executive director of student services in Marion County, said more behavior specialists were added to schools after paddling was banned

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5 thoughts on “Fla. School Board Allows Paddling Students after Banning Practice

  1. As a teacher and a parent, I’m glad. Maybe more will follow and we can get back to teaching without class disruption and disrespect. I try to give my all as a teacher everyday, but I swear, I say excuse me and please be quiet repeating . I feel like I have to beg to get a word in. A lot of times the kids don’t mean any harm, but we have gotten so far a way from appreciating education and respecting authority that they don’t realize that they are out of order. Maybe, society will also bring prayer back.

    • Joe Maxwell on said:

      Absolutely Disgusting. While the rest of the country is trying to eradicate Bullying and Violence this backward school system is trying to promote it. An educator uses his intelligence to teach but when he/she needs a weapon to try to do it, then they have failed. Beating teaches hate, contempt, fear, rage and revenge and more violence, but it never has and never will teach respect. Remove the trouble makers and place the responsibility where it belongs on the parents. Schools will also use the pathetic excuse for violence stating parents agreed to have their child beaten, and then they trade FREEDOM (detention ) for VIOLNECE (paddling). Legalized child abuse pure and simple.

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