Corporal punishment is still allowed in some Alabama schools, including Madison County Schools.
The debate over corporal punishment has reignited as an Alabama mom is pushing to have spanking banned in all U.S. schools.
Wendy Chandler started an online petition after receiving a permission slip about corporal punishment, or paddling, at her kid's school in Leeds. That slip asked whether Chandler would allow corporal punishment to be used on her child. She said no, took a picture of her response, and sent it in to the New York Times. She also started an online petition urging the reintroduction of a bill that would prohibit corporal punishment across the United States.
As of right now, it's up to a local school district to decide whether to allow paddling in each district. Huntsville City Schools do not allow the punishment. Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski said, "We're trying to teach our children to work in a civil society. We're trying to remove violence from our schools, and it seems inappropriate, at least in Huntsville, that as a means of discipline, we've reintroduced violence when we're trying to teach children that's not really the way to resolve conflict."
Meanwhile, Madison County Schools do allow paddling. The district's superintendent says they've actually had some parents request using corporal punishment as a means of discipline. David Copeland said, "It's the last of our alternatives. We certainly don't encourage and don't encourage principals or educators to take part in, but it's certainly on the books. Many times it's the parents that request it, and so it's just one of those one step in a long step of disciplinary actions that we can take."
Alabama is one of just 19 states that still allow corporal punishment.