Florida counties using corporal punishment in schools


Natalia Cullins, Contributor

Have you ever heard stories of corporal punishment from your parents or even grandparents?  Well, in 19 counties in Florida, corporal punishment is back and seen as completely normal.  

The topic of corporal punishment was brought up following a Hendry County principal being caught on video aggressively paddling a first grader. Gainer, now a Florida senator says, “It’s all right to spank them, but don’t beat them. It’s OK if the intention is to teach them a lesson, but don’t leave no marks” (NWFDaily). He goes on to say that spanking has a place in the school system but should not be confused as a beating or hurting the child.  

Florida is one of 19 states where corporal punishment is legal and 19 out of 67 counties that allow corporal punishment is primarily rural and small (NWFDaily).  Ted Roush, the Superintendent of the Suwannee County School District in Northeast Florida, said that there is a cultural link between counties that still accept physical punishment in schools. Suwanee County’s defense against this is that corporal punishment might look high on paper, but the total number of disciplinary referrals is low. Also, all paddling that is administered is heavily documented and is discussed with the student and parent, and is witnessed by a certified adult.  

Many people are not on Florida’s side and say that spanking should be treated as a criminal offense. How do you feel about corporal punishment in elementary schools?