It is still legal to hit public school children in Arkansas as a form of punishment.
But, a new bill could ban the use of corporal punishment on students with disabilities.
State Senator Joyce Elliott is the sponsor of the bill. She says people don’t realize corporal punishment also applies to kids with disabilities.
Senator Elliott tried to get rid of corporal punishment in schools altogether in 2017 but it failed.
Now Elliott is coming back this session with something she hopes has more success.
She says the research is on her side and this kind of discipline is not an effective way to change a child’s behavior.
“That is just so centrally important I think for having kids know how to get along in the world and not think things have to be physical. For example, on the playground we teach kids to be nice to each other, don’t hit one another, have good playground skills and I think we should model that,” Elliott says.
Elliott plans to run the legislation for the first time next week.