Monday, June 22, 2009

LA: Efforts to restrict paddling in school fails

A bid to put new restrictions on corporal punishment in public schools failed in the state House this evening.

State Rep. Barbara Norton, D-Shreveport, tried to require that school nurses conduct a medical examination of students who are subject to corporal punishment, which is usually paddling.

Nurses would then be required to file a written report on the student's condition that would go to the superintendent of the school district, the principal of the school and the student's parents.

"All we have to do is let the nurse check that child," Norton told the House. "All we are doing it protecting our children."

The House rejected the amendment 26-66.

State Rep. Frank Hoffman, R-West Monroe, criticized the measure.

"It sounds good but I don't know if it is very practical," Hoffman said. Hoffman said most schools face a shortage of nurses.

Norton tried to attach her amendment to a school discipline measure, Senate Bill 223. The House passed the bill 101-0.

On Tuesday the House Education Committee rejected a bill by Norton that would ban corporal punishment in public schools.

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