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Making spanking worse: Spanking of children in Missouri Schools

Update – More research on spanking is: here.

Evidently, in Missouri, teachers are still allowed to spank children in school. I think that is appalling. And, it makes me think that some activists should probably focus on making sure no schools in any state are allowed to use corporal punishment on children. It is outrageous that a civilized country would allow people to hit children.

I disagree with parents using corporal punishment. But, if parents believe they need to, maybe someone could say it is necessary to keep children “safe” from the dangers of fire, or harm or something. Though, there is absolutely no reason to lay hands on students at school. School is meant to educate and nurture. If teachers or a school can’t reach out to a child in a way that creates harmony and growth, the student should find another school or stay home from school.

The news in Missouri (which is being translated wrong by some news outlets as “proposed law allows schools to spank children”) is that the Missouri House has passed a law which includes new measures concerning spanking in school. So, first of all, the legislature should probably not casually condone spanking, by itemizing details about it in state law. In addition, the new rules require that two adults be present in the room when a child is spanked. They believe that that will make it better. It could make it worse – more humiliating, etc.

I think the legislature, who is starting to understand the problem with spanking, should either ignore the situation OR write a law clearly outlawing spanking in schools. No child should go to our compulsory school system, and be faced with grown-ups who may commit ritual violence on them. And, to do so in front of other children, ie: in the classroom. Anyone who has gone to college to be a teacher and cannot figure out a way to outwit a 5 year-old, a 10-year-old, is ridiculous. They need another line of work. (Wonder how old you are allowed to spank? Wonder if in Missouri they allow male teachers to spank 16-year-old girls?)

Below is an excerpt from a news story in the state.

(I can’t help but find it ironic that another news story of the day, is the 9-year-old who shot his father and his father’s roommate. Evidently, the boy had told the police that he did not want to receive his 1,000th spanking.)

(excerpt from) KansasCity.com / AP
Missouri House approves school safety legislation

JEFFERSON CITY | Missouri school districts could require student uniforms and it would be harder to sue teachers under legislation passed by the House on Wednesday.

The provisions are part of a broader measure, approved 160-0, that lawmakers hope will improve school safety. Besides school uniforms and lawsuit protections, the legislation restricts but does not legally prohibit the disciplinary spanking of students…

Another provision is designed to tighten a Missouri law that lets school districts permit employees to spank students. Lawmakers are concerned the provision could be used to restrict investigations into incidences when a teacher spanks a student with sexual intent.

Under the measure approved Wednesday, a second school employee would need to be present when a student is spanked. It also specifically states that spanking is permissible under state law only if there is no allegation of sexual misconduct.

30 Responses

  1. Are you freaking kidding me? Look at today’s youth compared to 15 years ago when spanking was allowed in school. I think they should bring it back immediately in all schools across the country. Children need discipline. Humiliation? If your child does something that deserves a spanking, then he or she deserves to be humiliated that’s how we learn about choices. Make the wrong choice, pay the consequences. It’s also a choice by the parents to allow your child to be spanked in school by signing a release form. And why even bring up the point of spanking a 16 year old girl? That’s ridiculous. By this age spankings are out and detention is in. Wake the hell up and please shut the hell up. Its people like you that are destroying this great country and what it stands for. I guess you probably feel sorry for the illegal immigrants too? Why don’t you go protest with them so they can have a better life as well? Screw that! Better yet, why don’t you along with all the other protestors and complainers in this country pack your bags and get the hell out. Or maybe a good old fashion spanking will do. Bend over!

    • Lovely.

      I guess you are trying to give a satiric example of how stupid, aggressive, and sexually charged spanking is?

      Excellent points, then…

      If you want to go back in time and compare events and consequences, you should probably be a little more scientific. A lot of things were different 15 years ago. Don’t think we want to just revert back.

    • Greg,
      Why is it that Alabama Alabama and Mississippi students ranked 49th and 50th in Math. Teen Pregnancy are higher i n the South with Mississippi being the highest
      More than one in five 16- to 24-year-olds were dropouts in Florida and Georgia
      So Greg, do you see that treating them like slave masters used to treat slaves by physically assaulting them isn’t working Mr!


    • I’m sorry but you are a moron. Spanking is nit discipline, it’s abuse. It teaches children that the correct way to resolve conflict is with violence. It’s nit only wrong but it’s ineffective.

  2. Teacher’s should not spank kids in school. I have no priors but if a teacher touches my kids I will have an assault on my record. I don’t play when it comes to the kids in my family spanking kids that are not yours can leave them scarred. Where do we live at where a gov’t can now hit our kids.

  3. I believe that schools should be able to spank the children. When children were spanked, there was respect. When children were spanked, parents supported the school by spanking them again! Now our society has created little monsters that just dare an adult to correct them, and parents that see nothing wrong with their child defiant to a teacher. I am not wanting to see children hit for any reason, but I do want to see children respectful of parents, teachers and society. If a child needs to bend over in front of the class for a few minutes to achieve this, I say great!

    • Adam,

      I totally disagree.

      I think that spanking has sexual/aggressive overtones that model to children that they can use force to resolve problems between people.

      I also think that if someone has to resort to spanking to earn respect and to keep order in a classroom that person must be too stupid, maladjusted, or boring as a teacher to keep students’ attention.

      Also, if one student is bad, and is spanked in front of the classroom, that is causing angst and taking class time away from the other students who do not deserve to also be penalized and to have residual shame. A public spanking in front of young people is using the other students to do your dirty work.


      • Sorry, Kim, you are wrong. As I said, I do not believe children should be hit for just any reason, but when a child is not reasonable, then a teacher spanking a child is not losing control, it is taking control.

        • Until what age should children be hit?

          Children reach the age of reason around 8 years old.

          If a teacher is articulate, he/she should be able to reason with a child to do the correct thing.

          And, if a student is under 8 years old, a teacher should be able to distract the child, engage the child, or any other number of strategies instead of hitting.

          People hit when they are dumb or speechless. Actually, you learn in the field of education and special education that students who are hitters or biters usually need speech lessons. Usually, a child becomes physical, when they are lacking in the the usual ways of communication with others–verbalizing, making agreements, controlling their environment civilly–is not working for them.

          Perhaps people and teachers who feel the need to hit should be given speech and/or social skills lessons.

          I taught in a variety of school settings and a variety of ages. I never had to hit a student. There are a million other strategies.

          • When my eldest son was in third grade, he started having a serious attitude problem. Grades went down and he was defiant. One day on the playground, he refused to come in when it was time. He laughed as he continued to climb the monkey bars. The teacher called the principal, who got him down, marched him to the office, and paddled him. After that, he never again defied anyone. (He got the strap from me at home after!) Now in high school, he is at the top of his class academically, and is well liked and respected by his peers and teachers. Can’t argue with results.

          • Not a very scientific sample.

            Also, you are choosing when you take the snapshot and say “good result.” Maybe he will express his disappointment in how you and the principal handled it later on.

            I was thinking, if people “need” to have the option to spank or paddle children, then how come there are so many states, school systems, and families where they do not use that method. And, many of the children turn out alright?

            Spanking is unnecessary. And, somewhat demeaning for the spanker and spankee.

  4. Apparently, we will never agree on this issue. I will say it again…children should NOT be spanked for every little thing…but no matter how much you want to link spanking to sexual issues, it is a tool that parents have been given the right to use by the Bible, and you can scream and cry all you want about ruining children forever, it does not. People who spank are not stupid or inferior. I am a surgeon, and I save lives every day. My wife and I love our sons, and we have decided upon spanking in certain circumstances for our boys. It is rarely used, but when it is, we make sure it hurts! Our boys are well aware of what it would take to get one. We are a close family. We have placed our children as the priority above all else in our lives. The decision to spank is done out of love for our boys. We will not have them running wild. I see young people in the ER daily. They have been drinking and ended up in an accident, or they have been fighting, etc. It is usually the parents who are the last to find out their child is in the ER. They come in and wonder who would do this to their child. They don’t know who their kids hang out with! We will have none of this. I am glad your kids turned out fine without spanking. (If you have any!) Our turned out fine with it.

    • Okay. Now, you said that children should not be spanked for every little thing.

      So, say there is a child who’s parents start spanking them for small things. Because, spanking is allowed. And, maybe the parents are frustrated. Who gets to tell, and what stops, spanking from becoming overused or wrongly used?

      Just because you did spanking with a good heart, and did not abuse your child, everyone is not as smart, tuned in, and compassionate as you. What about bad, ill-tempered, or ignorant parents or teachers, who are given permission to use this “weapon” against children?

      • I can recall a child who came into the ER as a result of a parent who dunked their child’s head into the toilet for punishment. The child’s skull was fractured, and it took 15 staples to close the fracture. Spanking is not the problem. When a parent is out of control, then any punishment can become abuse. Any punishment that severely injures or risks life and limb is what you get from your “ill-tempered, or ignorant” people. Normal, sane people can properly use time out, grounding, privilege removal, and yes, even spanking. You need a license to drive, but not one to reproduce. Any person who strikes a child to abuse them should be stopped. A parent who chooses to use spanking with love and compassion should be praised. Any punishment can be an abusive weapon. You can abuse your child with words. Sometimes what is said to children hits harder than a paddle!

        • I agree.

          Verbal abuse is wrong, too.

          But, it is a much more simple line to draw in the sand to say “do not lay hands on your child if you are angry.”

          And, there is no reason to spank a child.

        • There is no need to spank a child until there is one!

  5. I agree with spanking in school myself. In the eighties, when I grew up, there was spanking in my schools. It wasn’t carried out by the individual teachers, but was handled by the principal. I think it would be wrong to do it in front of a class, but in the pricipals office is a more appropriate place. I can say that knowing that being spanked at school was a possibility I stayed out of trouble. I would also get spanked again at home if that happened at school. It’s always going to be a problem with a large number of women because they don’t want anyone hurting their little babies. I say if you don’t like it then home school your kids or choose a private school that doesn’t do it. School is not a daycare and when kids are bad then it disrupts the system. Anyone that disagrees shouldn’t have to worry about their kids getting spanked, because their alternative methods have produced perfect angels that wouldn’t ever get in trouble anyway. To the lady that links spanking with sexual intentions must wear a mask and alot of leather in bed because their was nothing sexual about spankings I got as a child or give as a Dad. Maybe something happened to you as a child that linked the two, but not for the most of us. I could go on forever.

    • Levi, I disagree with almost everything you said.

      Also, it is not realistic to say that most families could just choose private school or homeschooling. People need to have a certain level of education and a certain amount of money for those. So, by your reasoning, poor people would be trapped with their children subject to spanking, but not rich people.

      I am the person who said that there is sexual content in spanking.

      Tell me, do you think one person could touch another person’s ass and not have any sexual thoughts arise?

      But, if you think I am wrong, google “spanking”. You will see what it leads to for most people…

  6. i live in missouri IT”S not Legal too spank in missouri schools. theirs a law on the books for years and years making it illegal. over three quarters of the disticts have removed here in Missouri. Please write or call your congressman theirs a bill in congress putting a federal ban on it President Obama said he will sign it. also check out these sites,


    • i too live in missouri, and yes it is legal. my son has attended 2 different schools where it is in the school handbook in the “disciplinary actions” section listed as “corporal punishment”. there are guidelines that go along with it, but Missouri does allow it.

  7. I don’t think any kid, should be spank for any reason. Kids will be kids…I read a story about a 3 year old getting her butt spanked because she was untying her shoe and playing with a air conditioner knob. Are you kidding me?? I mean seriously!!! I am from Ohio and I will be damn if anyone EVER I mean EVER put their hands on my kids. I am sorry but I am totally against the govt or anyone touching my kids. They are my WORLD and it’s my job to protect them. I will be locked up with assault charge. If a child/chilren is out of control they need to be sent home.

  8. Child buttock-battering vs. DISCIPLINE:

    Child buttock-battering for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

    Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

    I think the reason why television shows like “Supernanny” and “Dr. Phil” are so popular is because that is precisely what many (not all) people are trying to do.

    There are several reasons why child buttock-battering isn’t a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

    Plain Talk About Spanking
    by Jordan Riak,

    The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
    by Tom Johnson,

    by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.

  9. Most compelling of all reasons to abandon this worst of all bad habits is the fact that buttock-battering can be unintentional sexual abuse for some children. There is an abundance of educational resources, testimony, documentation, etc that can easily be found by doing a little research on “spanking”.

    Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child buttock-battering isn’t a good idea:

    American Academy of Pediatrics,

    American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,

    Center For Effective Discipline,

    PsycHealth Ltd Behavioral Health Professionals,

    Churches’ Network For Non-Violence,

    Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,

    Parenting In Jesus’ Footsteps,

    The LDS Church (http://education.byu.edu/youcandothis/spanking.html click “quotes on spanking”)

    Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,

    United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    In 26 countries, child buttock-battering is prohibited by law. In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

  10. I think spanking is necessary for misbehaving of student.teacher have a right to remove uniform of student and complete naked then beat with stick very roughly in presence of school student.

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  12. There is a petition to ban corporal punishment of children in the US.
    Do you all realize that the majority of states that allow for corporal punishment are former slave states.
    These days, African Americans and women are considered equal to men. What population is left for the powerful group to opprese? Children.
    For those that are advocates of children please help change the law that allows the phyiscial assault of children to continue as thoose who fought for rights of African Americans and women.


  13. There are several professionals and non-profit organizations working to eliminate such practices. There are several educational resources available at http://www.nospank.net, the web presence of Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education.

  14. I am a 27 year old female teacher working in a mixed-gender school in Missouri. I have to say that I do use spanking as a disciplinary tool, and it works. I never employ the paddle, but spank with my hand on the bare bottom. This is always done in private and never in anger. For an 8 year old boy to have his trousers and pants removed and be placed across my lap is humiliating. I spank hard, so it is also painful. Very few of them come back for more, and it does make a difference to their behaviour. Missouri has got it right.

    • LOL!

      Thanks, “Dominique”, for your wonderful, satire.

      It was pretty easy to tell that you were not really a 27-year-old teacher who spanked! And, when I looked up your ISP/Who is link, it confirmed that by showing that you are in the Netherlands.

      Though, I appreciate you trying to illustrate the concerns and silliness of spanking with some comment-performance-art.


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