In 2019 nearly 1,000 students in Louisiana schools were subjected to corporal punishment. For clarity's sake, corporal punishment in Louisiana is defined as "the use of physical force to discipline students, including hitting, paddling, spanking, slapping or other action that causes pain or physical punishment", according to State Senator Cleo Fields.

Fields is already on record as wanting the practice stopped. In fact, he is currently sponsoring legislation that would direct our state's Department of Education to study the feasibility of ending the practice. His proposal is set to be considered by legislatures in the coming weeks.

Fields maintains the practice is not necessary and should be abolished. In fact, paddling and other forms of corporal punishment are banned in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Senator Fields measure is not the only piece of legislation on the subject that lawmakers will be considering this session.

A piece of legislation written by Stephanie Hilferty who represents constituents in Metairie has similar legislation that is currently being considered by the House of Representatives. In my opinion, Hilferty asked a very good question about the practice in an article that was published on That question is this "Do we believe that public employees should be allowed to hit children while on the public clock in a public facility?"

I guess the question that someone should be asking is this one. If we take away the threat of corporal punishment, what recourse do teachers have to maintain decorum and discipline in their classrooms? As of now, it seems as if educators and administrators are already handcuffed with what they can do to dispel trouble in the classroom or on campus. This legislation reduces their options even further.

So, without paddling, what recourse would you suggest that school officials use to maintain discipline within the walls of their classroom? Since we can't legislate that people learn how to become decent adults before they procreate this is going to be an issue that's going to need some real thought. We'd certainly love to hear your suggestions.

While you contemplate what you're going to tell your legislator, you might want to contemplate this, some of the most amazing ideas that the world has ever seen thanks to the incredible talent and thoughts of some of our state's more inventive citizens.

Acadiana's List of the Top Inventions of All Time



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