Two years in a row now the Louisiana Legislature has made the right call on a pair of controversial bills. Now if only it can force Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards to back members on one or otherwise push his negativity aside.
This week, as it did last year, the House of Representatives turned back HB 649 by Republican state Rep. Stephanie Hilferty. This would have forbidden a school district from allowing corporal punishment in its schools. This was the second attempt to get the bill over to the Senate, failing both times barely to obtain the absolute majority of the seated House necessary, meaning without suspension of the rules the measure is dead for the session.
That action replicates the bill’s fate from last year, and for good reason. Research demonstrates that as part of a continuum of disciplinary actions, when it occurs sparingly as a last resort, spanking in combination with other methods creates the optimal regimen for discipline. Further, statute makes use of this discretionary by a district, and only when parents approve in the cases of their children.