An effort to outlaw the use of corporal punishment on students with disabilities narrowly failed in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
House Bill 1028, by Rep. John Talley, R-Stillwater, would prohibit school staff from using corporal punishment, defined as hitting, paddling, spanking, slapping or any other physical force used as a means of discipline, on any student with a disability.
After a debate during which Rep. Jim Olsen, R-Roland, quoted the Bible to argue against the bill, it failed to receive the 51 votes needed to pass. The bill received 45 votes, with 43 against and 13 excused. Talley has filed a notice to reconsider, so it could be brought back to the House floor.
Oklahoma is one of 19 states where corporal punishment in schools remains legal, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Jennifer Palmer has been a reporter with Oklahoma Watch since 2016 and covers education. Contact her at (405) 761-0093 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @jpalmerOKC.
Keaton Ross is a Report for America corps member who covers democracy for Oklahoma Watch. Contact him at (405) 831-9753 or Kross@Oklahomawatch.org. Follow him on Twitter at @_KeatonRoss.