Corporal Punishment legal in Ky. despite state’s disapproval of the practice

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Graphic courtesy: MGN Online

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Corporal punishment is legal, and according to state data, continues in Kentucky.

A video taken in Florida of a principal paddling a student has revived conversation around corporal punishment and if it’s an antiquated form of punishment in schools or not.

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“Corporal punishment is not part of our policy” Superintendent Tim Spencer said.

Menifee County’s Tim Spencer says he experienced it growing up in Kentucky, but there’s new ways to address behavioral issues.

“I think, you know with our changing environment and just the different avenues that we have in order to correct behavior of kids. I think we’re moving into a new era to where we can best meet the needs of our kids without having to utilize corporal punishment,” he said.

For the past few years legislation to ban corporal punishment in Kentucky has been drafted but hasn’t received enough support to become law. The most recent version, HB 134, was backed by the Kentucky Department of Education, KDE.

Commissioner Jason Glass releasing a statement Friday.

“Corporal punishment in schools is a barbaric practice. There exists substantial peer-reviewed research demonstrating negative effects on children. It has no legitimate place in any educational setting,” Glass said.

Earlier this week ABC 36 viewers discussed the topic on Facebook too. The post got more than 200 comments with more than 2,000 engagements.

“A spanking isn’t gonna hurt those kids,” one person commented. And then Anissa Bowling commented saying, “I knew it because I received it way back when.”

Others like Betty Logsdon says, “paddling is out and not appropriate under any circumstances anywhere.”

Governor Beshear also released a statement condemning it.

“Our schools should be safe havens for children to learn and grow. Studies have proven corporal punishment does not work and is detrimental to our children,” he said.

According to the state’s school safety data for 2019-2020, there were 96 students reported to have received some form of corporal punishment. Click here to see the data.

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Monica Harkins joined the ABC 36 News team in June 2019 as a Multimedia journalist and Anchor/Producer. She’s born and raised in Austin, Texas and headed “North,” as she calls it, to study broadcast journalism and business at the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou she anchored and reported for KOMU 8 News, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri all four years. During her childhood she played almost every sport, but they always called her “Hollywood” for her love of theatre. In high school, she realized her excitement for theatre and performing was only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s story telling that’s her passion. She’s especially passionate about social media and creative platforms to tell stories. Her most recent experiment is being a FAA certified drone pilot. As a proud Texan she says she’s made of country music, Southern hospitality and Sweet Tea. When she’s not at work you can find her trying new recipes, listening to crime podcasts, reading the latest romance novel or rockin’ out to live music with friends. She says she’s only a tweet or Facebook message away, so say hi and send her the latest on your community. @MonicaHarkinstv or Mharkins@wtvq.com