LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A proposed bill would ban paddling as a means of disciplining students in Kentucky schools.
According to a news release, the proposed legislation, which would make paddling illegal, is expected to be considered by state lawmakers during next year's legislative session.
It would not be the first time a proposal to prohibit corporal punishment in schools was brought before legislators. A similar proposal was considered in the General Assembly's 2017 session. It did not pass into law.
Rep Jim Wayne says he was inspired to put the proposal forward after he had a conversation with three students at St. Agnes School. They said they debated and approved a similar proposal in the Kentucky Youth Assembly, described as "a learning program in which students play roles in a model state government."
Elizabeth George, who now attends Sacred Heart Academy, was one of those students.
"Most states prohibit corporal punishment in schools and their experience shows that such bans do not lead to more discipline problems in schools," George said in a statement included with the release. "In fact, research shows that physical punishment in schools is counter-productive because it tends to make kids more aggressive."
Alex Young and Charlie Gardner also spoke with Rep. Wayne. They now attend St. Xavier High School.
"Students should see teachers as trustworthy, steady and measured in their actions," Young said, in a statement. "But those characteristics are diminished when we have inconsistent policies that allow teachers to impose physical pain on students. It's not a form of discipline that leads to deeper understanding and a long-term improvement in a child's behavior."
"Kentucky needs a uniform policy on this issue, not one that changes from district to district," Gardner said, in a statement. "There are more effective ways to discipline a student and correct bad behaviors, including detention, suspension, or expulsion when needed."
The General Assembly's 2019 session is scheduled to begin on Jan. 8 and adjourn on March 29.
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