In A Flash

Corporal punishment ban for Louisiana public schools one vote shy of approval

By: - May 11, 2022 7:16 pm
child facing a corner

Compared with most other states, Louisiana requires less evidence to place someone’s name on a state registry of child abuse perpetrators, according to a report from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor. (Canva image)

For the second time this legislative session, the Louisiana House struck down a ban on corporal punishment in public schools.

House Bill 649, authored by Rep. Stephanie Hilferty, R-New Orleans, would have outlawed “the use of physical force that causes pain or discomfort to discipline a student” in Louisiana schools. 

Correctional employees are not allowed to physically discipline juvenile or adult offenders in the state’s detention facilities, Hilferty said, so it makes no sense that schools are allowed to hit children. She sponsored the same proposal last year, with opponents labeling it government overreach.

Rep. Jon Stefanski, R-Crowley, brought forward an amendment that would only allow corporal punishment in schools if a parent or guardian signed off on it. He withdrew it after Hilferty signaled she didn’t want the change to her proposal.

Her bill failed to pass, 52-32, just one shy of the 53-vote threshold needed for approval.

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JC Canicosa
JC Canicosa

JC Canicosa is a former Louisiana Illuminator reporter. Prior to working with the Illuminator, Canicosa worked for Investigate-TV and The Loyola Maroon. Canicosa earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Loyola University New Orleans. At Loyola, he was the senior staff writer at The Maroon and the president of the school's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Off the clock, Canicosa enjoys playing basketball, watching movies and dabbling in comedy writing.