Annette Taddeo, Juan Fernandez-Barquin push for parental consent for corporal punishment in schools

Florida is one of nearly 20 states which still allows corporal punishment in schools.

A pair of companion bills from Democratic state Sen. Annette Taddeo and GOP state Rep. Juan Fernandez-Barquin would force public schools to obtain parental consent before administering corporal punishment to a student.

Florida is one of nearly 20 states that still allow corporal punishment in schools.

“Another adult must be present and must be informed in the student’s presence of the reason for the punishment,” reads Section 1002.20(4)(c) of Florida Statutes.

“Upon request, the teacher or school principal must provide the parent with a written explanation of the reason for the punishment and the name of the other adult who was present.”

According to a report from the Florida Phoenix, 19 of Florida’s 67 districts utilized the practice during the 2017-18 school year.

But the bipartisan measure from Taddeo (SB 1058) and Fernandez-Barquin (HB 781) would also require a written notice to go out before the punishment is administered. It also bars teachers from carrying out the punishment going forward. That authority would rest solely with a principal.

“The school principal must notify the student’s parent in writing, and the student’s parent must provide written consent before the principal administers the punishment,” the updated statute would read.

Taddeo attempted to work on the issue last year with state Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez. Taddeo’s measure advanced through the Senate Education Committee before dying. The House version didn’t pass a single committee.

The legislation would also limit corporal punishment to the use of a paddle. The law currently allows “the moderate use of physical force or physical contact by a teacher or principal as may be necessary to maintain discipline or to enforce school rule.”

That statute does not explicitly lay out what tools may be used, though it is typically a paddle. Taddeo and Fernandez-Barquin seek to clarify that portion of the statute to ensure only paddles are used.

The measure also includes an outright ban on the use of corporal punishment on students with disabilities.

Should lawmakers approve the change, the bill would take effect on July 1, 2020, ahead of the next school year.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


  • gary

    November 26, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    Should note be needed! Spank the hell out of these bastards if you want tomorrows America to be great again!

    • Luke Brainwood

      December 6, 2019 at 1:19 pm

      The violence of your words it’s a proof of the long-term consequences of corporal punishments on kids.

  • Marie

    November 27, 2019 at 9:09 am

    So they think parental permission is needed for corporal punishment of a minor but parental consent is not needed for that same minor to have an abortion? What a strange world we live in.

    • gary

      November 30, 2019 at 12:38 pm


    • Jerry Munroe

      December 3, 2019 at 9:27 pm

      This is only the start and a long past due attempt in stopping this legalized abuse altogether. Most of America has ended this violence in it’s schools long ago, but in parts of this state you have these ignorant rednecks (and closeted pervert school employees who sexually get off on doing this to a young person’s buttocks) still beating human beings. It is appalling there is no federal law to stop these assaults against young citizens, and I believe many of those doing this would still own slaves if the federal government had not stopped them doing so,,,(hence the US civil war).

  • James McNulty

    December 3, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    We applaud Sen.Taddeo and Rep.Juan Fernandez-Barquin and join with your efforts to eventually bring about change in helping protect and safeguard young persons. Unfortunately this blatant abuse against school students (including disabled young people) is shockingly still going on in backwards rural Florida school districts like Union County schools, Suwannee county schools, and Jackson county school district just to name just a few. It takes those with real courage and determination to stand up against ignorance, and help stop this violence in our Florida schools. Facebook: (Floridians against corporal punishment in public school)

  • Luke Brainwood

    December 6, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Corporal punishments in school are a total nonsense. USA is the last western world country where there still corporal punishments in school. They are ineffective and with long and serious consequences.

Comments are closed.


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