More limits on corporal punishment in Kentucky schools recommended

Published 12:29 pm Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Kentucky education officials plan to discuss a proposal that would add more limits on the use of corporal punishment in schools where it is still allowed.

A proposed administrative regulation will be up for discussion Wednesday during a Kentucky Board of Education meeting, the Daily News reported.

The current state statute permits the use of physical force by a teacher or other caregiver if they believe “that the force used is necessary to promote the welfare of a minor or mentally disabled person.”

Most Kentucky schools no longer allow physical force to be used for discipline. More than 150 school districts prohibit corporal punishment, four permit it and and 11 have no clear policy, the newspaper reported.

The proposal would make students with disabilities, those who are homeless or those who are experiencing the foster care system exempt from corporal punishment and limit its use on other students. It would require schools that allow physical force for discipline to have a clearly defined policy that limits it to a last resort, limits who can administer it and provides counseling to students afterward.

“Throughout this regulation, we’re seeking to minimize the harmful and documented effects of corporal punishment on Kentucky students,” said Matthew Courtney, a policy adviser in the department’s Office of Continuous Improvement and Support.