Louisiana House committee approved a bill that would ban spanking in public schools


Representational imageTaylor Wilcox

A Louisiana House panel voted to give an 11-0 approval to a bill that would prohibit any form of corporal punishment in public schools. HB 649 defines corporal punishment as the use of physical force that causes pain or discomfort to discipline a student.

The bill is sponsored by Metairie Republican Rep. Stephanie Hilferty. Hilferty said:

We don't allow juveniles in our detention centers or (inmates) in our prisons to be hit; I'm asking for the same treatment for our children while they're in school. Male students and Black students are more likely to be targets of such punishment.It does not restrict parents to spank or discipline their children outside of school.

Spanking children as a punishment used to be commonplace but faced severe pushback in recent years for being aggressive and potentially leading to negative outcomes for kids. While 31 states have now banned corporal punishment, Louisiana still allows corporal punishment in public schools.

The bill will now move on to the full house for consideration. If it is approved by the house, it will move to the Louisiana State Senate and closer to becoming law. A similar bill introduced by Hilferty last year made it to the House floor, where it was defeated narrowly by a 48-49 vote.

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