A school district in the Midwest will reportedly once again allow teachers to spank students as long as parents have given written permission.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Cassville School in Missouri is bringing it back to the olden days by allowing the now controversial practice of corporal punishment.

"Corporal punishment" is defined as "physical punishment" or "punishment that involves hitting someone" by Merriam-Webster's online dictionary. In the case of corporal punishment in schools, authorities like teachers or principals would traditionally strike a child's behind with their open palm or with a paddle. The practice fell out of favor over time as the generations got softer and softer.

school spanking wooden paddle on pillow prepared for spanking
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A release from the school board was sent to parents notifying them of this new policy, and apparently, it is what most of the parents wanted.

Cassville School District Superintendent Merlyn Johnson told the Springfield News-Leader that his small town is a "very traditional community in southwest Missouri," and added that parents there have long expressed frustration that corporal punishment wasn't allowed in their schools.

Parents have said 'why can't you paddle my student?' and we're like 'We can't paddle your student, our policy does not support that,'" Johnson reportedly said. "There had been conversation with parents and there had been requests from parents for us to look into it."

Johnson said when he took his new job as superintendent a year ago, he was not planning on inserting corporal punishment into the school, but as it was a big request from parents in the district, the return of spanking in schools is something he was "OK" with.

Map of Missouri
Map of Missouri

His school district reportedly rid itself of the practice of corporal punishment in 2001. Now reinstated in 2022, corporal punishment will only be used as a last resort, and parents can opt in or out if they wish.

Surprisingly, some families in the district reacted positively to the news, as opposed to critics on social media.

"We've had people actually thank us for it. Surprisingly, those on social media would probably be appalled to hear us say these things but the majority of people that I've run into have been supportive."


Looks like the Wildcat's first day of school was on August 23rd. I wonder if anyone started out their 2022 school year with a good spanking.

Corporal punishment is legal in 19 states, Alabama, Arizona Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming.


The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) opposes the legalization of corporal punishment in schools and discourages its use as a discipline method.

Corporal punishment signals to the child that a way to settle interpersonal conflicts is to use physical force and inflict pain," the AACAP explains on its website. "Such children may in turn resort to such behavior themselves. They may also fail to develop trusting, secure relationships with adults and fail to evolve the necessary skills to settle disputes or wield authority in less violent ways."


The AACAP claims that research shows corporal punishment "may be harmful" and that there are "many other methods of discipline" educators can wield to achieve the desired results.

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