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KDE approves new regulations on corporal punishment in schools

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 10:18 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - At their regular December board meeting, members of the Kentucky Department of Education passed amended regulations regarding corporal punishment in Kentucky’s schools.

The new regulation defines corporal punishment as the deliberate infliction of physical pain on a student’s body as a penalty or punishment. It requires a school district that allows corporal punishment to get written consent from a student’s legal guardian within the first five days of the school year. The school must also receive verbal consent from the guardian before the punishment is given.

The regulation also requires the punishment to be given by a principal or assistant principal in the presence of one additional certified staff member who is of the same gender as the student. The punishment needs to be recorded in the student information system. After the punishment, the student must receive a minimum of 30 minutes of counseling provided by a counselor, social worker, psychologist or other qualified mental health professional by the end of the next school day.

Each school board must also adopt a policy on corporal punishment. Currently, 156 of 171 school districts in the state explicitly prohibit corporal punishment, four allow it and 11 have no clear policy.

“I’m on record as saying I consider this a barbaric practice,” said Education Commissioner Jason E. Glass. “I’m embarrassed that it exists anywhere in the state of Kentucky.”

The regulation must now be filed with the Legislative Research Council on or before December 15 and would likely go into effect in July 2022.

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