A new state law says corporal punishment cannot be administered to children with disabilities.

"The New Albany School District has policies in place supporting this law, and administrators have been properly trained," said Superintendent Dr. Lance Evans.

Corporal punishment is used “sparingly” in the New Albany School District, officials said.

“Parents still have the choice for their children to receive corporal punishment if they so choose,” the district said in a statement. “Corporal punishment is never administered in our district without the request and direct consent of the parent.”

There are multiple options available to help correct inappropriate student behavior, the district's statement added.

The Union County School District's handbook says corporal punishment should be administered after “other measures have failed to produce the desired results” and should not exceed three licks per day.

“At the beginning of each school year, parents have the responsibility to request in writing that corporal punishment may not be administered to their child or children,” the Union County School District handbook says. “School officials will attempt to comply with every request; however, Mississippi Law permits corporal punishment to be applied as a disciplinary action for Mississippi Public School students.”

The Lafeyette County School District this month eliminated corporal punishment from its discipline procedures.

Corporal punishment was not used much in the district anyway, said Lafayette County School District Superintendent Dr. Adam Pugh. It was basically only used in the lower grades at the insistence of a parent, he added.

There are better ways to discipline a student other than corporal punishment, Pugh said. Doing away with corporal punishment also eliminates potential liability issues, he noted.

The new law says students with individualized education plans under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act cannot receive corporal punishment.

Likewise, students with a Section 504 plan under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 cannot receive corporal punishment either.

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