A bill to ban spanking in Louisiana schools is being heard in a house committee in Baton Rouge today. HB 649 would "prohibit any form corporal punishment in public schools." The law defines corporal punishment to mean the use of physical force that causes pain or discomfort to discipline a student, not including seclusion or restraint under certain circumstances. There are exceptions for gifted and talented students.

Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

The measure is before the House Committee on Education today. It is expected to pass out of the committee and head to the house floor.

At Least One Local Lawmaker Opposes the Bill

State Representative Danny McCormick of Oil City tells KEEL News he is adamantly against this bill and he will work to kill it if it gets to the house floor. A very similar measure failed last year on a 48-49 vote.

He says this is simply a parental rights issue. He says it should be up to the parents to decide what happens with their children with regard to corporal punishment at schools.

McCormick says local school boards should have the choice. But he says the ultimate decision to be up to the parents. He adds: "I think it's the government trying to be everyone's mother and father and that's what's wrong with this country. We look to government to try to solve every problem."

Is Corporal Punishment Allowed in Local Schools?

Corporal punishment is no longer allowed in Caddo Parish Schools. The school board voted to ban spanking in all Caddo schools back in February 2021.  Prior to this ban, only administrators could enforce it – not teachers.

Louisiana is one of 19 states that still allows corporal punishment. But it can be banned by Parish School Boards.

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