corporal punishment oklahoma

The Boost has been sharing reports of corporal punishment still being used in New York schools, despite the practice being banned. (That is, it’s banned in public schools, not private.) In response, lawmakers recently introduced a series of bills that would clarify the regulations and, for the first time, extend the laws to all private schools. Additionally, a new bill, “Keeping All New York Students Safe Act,” has been introduced by New York State Assemblywoman Michaelle C. Solages.

Now, news comes that lawmakers in Oklahoma, where the practice is still legal in both public and private schools, voted “no” on a bill to ban the use of corporal punishment on students with developmental disabilities.

According to Oklahoma Watch, the bill, introduced by Rep. John Talley, a Republican, “would prohibit school staff from using corporal punishment, defined as hitting, paddling, spanking, slapping or any other physical force used as a means of discipline, on any student with a disability.”

“My wife retired as a special ed teacher, district administrator and a principal of an alternative school,” Talley told Newsweek. “So she’s seen a lot of students be misused, mistreated through her work with special needs students.”

Oklahoma Watch said there were 45 votes against (all by Republicans), 43 for, and 13 excused. A notice to reconsider has been filed, it added, “so it could be brought back to the House floor.”

During the bill’s debate, GOP lawmaker Rep. Jim Olsen quoted the Bible to argue against the bill. Which passage did Olsen quote? The Washington Post has the answer: “Proverbs 29: ‘The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame,’” Olsen said. “So that would seem to endorse the use of corporal punishment.”

Oklahoma is one of 19 states that have yet to ban corporal punishment in public schools.

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