Last week, I published this blog post on the legality of spanking in Oklahoma schools. Well, apparently I’m not the only one who has contemplated this topic lately. Today, the Daily Oklahoman published this article on their website, discussing the use of “paddling” in Oklahoma’s public schools.
According to the article, about 10 percent of Oklahoma’s 518 public schools still utilize “paddling” as a method of discipline. That’s roughly fifty-some schools. I must say that I was quite surprised at that number. I did not know that physical strikes were that common. However, according to the article, several school districts have prohibited the method and districts that still permit it have policies in place that limit use of the method to administrators and principals.
While I have never encountered in my practice a case involving spanking or corporal punishment in schools, I have encountered excessive force used in a day care. I once represented a mother who’s child was practically strangled in a once-prominent daycare. These facilities accept children into their care, and they charge handsome fees for it. When they accept such children, they are undertaking a responsibility to care for those children in their custody. Further, they are holding themselves out to the public that they are trained and capable of caring for these children. After all, that is why they charge as much as they do. And when a daycare accepts a child within certain behavioral issues, they are further making a representation that they are trained and capable of handling such a child. They cannot thereafter recant and claim because of the difficulty in controlling such a child that they are permitted to resorting to physical abuse.
If you have concerns about the treatment of your children in any type of facility, whether a public school or a private daycare, please do not hesitate to consult with a qualified lawyer. I will gladly speak to anyone with these concerns.