Principal Seeks To End Corporal Punishment In Wyoming Schools
Is getting paddled by the principal still a thing in schools across America? Many people through that practice came to an end a long time ago. But not so in every state.
A Sheridan County middle school principal is advocating to have corporal punishment outlawed in the state’s public schools. This comes after his doctoral dissertation’s research found that the practice is significantly harmful to students. Corporal punishment includes spanking and paddling as correctional behavior. (Wyoming Public Media).
“I stumbled across corporal punishment as I was preparing for [a U.S. history] lesson,” said Jeff Jones, principal of Tongue River Middle School in Ranchester. “At that time, I'd been in education [for] 25 years, and was still shocked to realize that 19 states still protected it legally in their public schools.”
His advocacy efforts aren't new. He's been researching the effects of corporal punishment for about 5 years
He's read the policies of all 48 districts in the state. 20 don't list corporal punishment at all in their board policies. Several say that it is not an allowable method of discipline in their districts.
But several Wyoming school districts still mention it as an option, though if they actually use it or not is not known. So he contacted those districts.
“The vast majority of them, their response to me was, ‘We had no idea it was still in policy,’” he said. “So, to my knowledge, as of today, there's only two school districts in Wyoming that still have it in their policy.” (Wyoming Public Media).
So some schools in Wyoming still have the policy but do not use it. Some did not even know it was still allowed in their school.
Wyoming state legislators have looked at the issue but no bill was ever passed.
Most schools across the nation that still allow the practice only do it if the parents have given permission. Many parents do not, so the school principal looks for alternative forms of punishment for teaching a lesson.
“I feel like it is such an apathetic thing. I think there's so many people that just don't even…it's not even on their radar, because they don't see it. It's not a part of their world. And thankfully, I'm glad of that. But there's a really good reason why it shouldn't be legally protected, either.” (Wyoming Public Media).