Posted: June 8, 2009 07:25 PM
Updated: June 9, 2009 06:03 PM
The issue of corporal punishment is about to heat up in Louisiana. Representative Barbara Norton, D-Shreveport, has proposed a bill that would prohibit the punishment in public schools. House Bill 571 goes before the House Education Committee Tuesday afternoon.
Several school districts in Acadiana will be watching the bill's progress closely. Public schools in Iberia, St. Landry, Vermillion and St. Martin parishes all condone corporal punishment.
"It is in policy, but it's up to the administrators to determine if corporal punishment is necessary, but generally as stated in the policy it is not the first line of discipline," said Richard Lavergne, superintendent of Saint Martin Parish Schools.
Lavergne says several factors are considered before administering corporal punishment.
"You have to take into account the age of the student, the size, the gender."
Dalton Alexander has five children in St. Martin Parish Schools. He says he is not against corporal punishment, so long as parents are informed.
"It is a physical action so you would want to consult parents before taking that action," said Alexander.
In St. Martin Schools, the handbook states parents must give consent before their children are disciplined using corporate punishment.
"Some parents encourage it, they want it and others do not, and by knowing your parents and students, administrators just can make a good decision," said Lavergne.
Representative Norton has planned a rally in support of her bill on the steps of the capitol for 11:00 a.m. Tuesday.