Sponsor Statement for HB 14
House Bill 14 would allow a public or private school to adopt a policy authorizing the use of corporal correction. Under current regulation, 04 AAC 007.0010(c), "The use of corporal punishment in Alaska public schools is prohibited." This state policy was established by regulation and not a law voted on by the elected representatives of the people; consequently, it effectively prohibits local public schools from making a local decision regarding the use of corporal correction.
House Bill 14:
Safeguards are built into the bill, as described above, so that the application of corporal correction is to fall within certain written guidelines. I would envision that local school boards would put in place a policy that reflects the community's wishes. Corporal correction is viewed, by some, as a form of child abuse; however, many see it as a tool that may be used by educators to maintain decorum in the
classroom and instill discipline in the students. Current application of study hall, detention, suspension, and expulsion do not seem to be keeping order in the halls of our schools. Perhaps just the threat of corporal correction would be enough to remind students that they owe a duty to teachers and to other students to conduct themselves in such a manner that all can take advantages of the educational opportunities offered them.
Constituents in House District 11, as indicated by a recent survey conducted by my office, have indicated overwhelming support for the use of corporal punishment in classrooms.