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Santa Rosa County phasing out physical punishment
SANTA ROSA COUNTY -- SANTA ROSA COUNTY - Santa Rosa County schools are phasing out spanking for students who misbehave. They're following other districts that have already eliminated physical punishment.
James McNulty has been a longtime advocate against corporal punishment in Florida's public schools.
"They're promoting an environment of hostility, of fear, it's punishment by pain" said James McNulty, Advocate
When he learned Santa Rosa County still paddled its students for misbehavior he wanted to know how often corporal punishment was used.
Through public records requests, he learned students were spanked more than 400 times over the last two years.
Students were disciplined mostly for tardiness, skipping class, disrespect and cell phone violations.
Santa Rosa County Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick says the district rarely paddle students and it's only done with parents' permission.
The district is phasing out corporal punishment because some parents filed complaints with the Department of Children and Families after their child was punished by school administrators.
Wyrosdick says he wants to protect school employees from those kinds of situations.
Parents we spoke to for the most part agree it's time to leave that kind of discipline at home.
"Corporal punishment no, do I think there needs to be a punishment, yes" said Dennis Rainwater, parent.
"I don't think it should be practiced in school, it's up to the parents to do that, it's archaic, outdated and cruel" said Stella Willet, parent.
Escambia and Okaloosa County school districts stopped using corporal punishment years ago.
The Santa Rosa School Board will decide on its corporal punishment policy in its June School Board meeting.