Oklahoma Congressman John Tully – 33rd District.
Stillwater, Oklahoma (KOKH) — Oklahoma is one of 19 US states that allow corporal punishment in schools.
One state legislator wants to change the conversation by introducing a bill banning the use of that kind of punishment for students with disabilities.
Rep. Tully (R)-Stillwater believes it’s up to parents how they discipline their children. But when it comes to how teachers train their students, especially those with special needs, it’s different.
Corporal punishment is a controversial old school practice.
The author himself experienced it at school.
“Most of the time it means you crouched down and someone hit you in the back with a board,” Rep. Talley said. maybe.”
The Department of State Department of Education has regulations prohibiting the punishment of children with disabilities. But this is a rule, not state law.
When voters called to raise the issue, Rep. Talley conducted his own research to find out how often it’s being done here.
“In the last two years, 63 school districts have had 455 occasions in Oklahoma where students with special needs have been corporally punished,” Rep. Tully said.
According to the latest data released by the U.S. Department of Education in 2017-2018, students with disabilities who served under the Persons with Disabilities Act accounted for about 13% of enrollment nationally, but experienced corporal punishment. 16.5% of students.
A Stillwater representative said preventing this type of treatment is closer to home.
“I’m passionate about children. I’ve worked with them all my life,” Rep. Tully said. “However, my wife is a retired special education teacher, district administrator, and alternate school principal. I’ve seen you.”
House Bill 1028 does not prevent parents from choosing how to discipline their children or prohibiting punishment for all students, but it does prevent certain students from being physically harmed in the classroom. It’s something you don’t want to do.
“I don’t think students with special needs need to deal with that pain because they wonder why this is happening to me,” Tully said.
He added that he doesn’t think banning corporal punishment for all children is a bad idea, but that’s not what he wants to address in this session.
There are no penalties for school districts breaking the law, but Rep. Tully said he was working to add it to the bill.