OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) – The St. Landry Parish School Board voted unanimously to remove corporal punishment District Policy Manual.

Superintendent Patrick Jenkins says he was never in favor of the pre existing policy. “I communicated to our administrators since I’ve been Superintendent, that is not a philosophy I have, but a philosophy and policy are two different things.”

Corporal punishment means using physical force to discipline a student with or without an object. This includes hitting, paddling, striking, spanking, slapping, or any other physical force that causes pain or physical discomfort.

The old policy stated it allowed “reasonable corporal punishment of unruly pupils. If such punishment is required it shall be administered with extreme care, tact and caution, and then only by the principal, assistant principal, or a representative designated by the principal in the presence of another adult school employee.”

According to the Louisiana School Board Association, Louisiana is one of 15 states that allows corporal punishment in school districts. “There is legislative action when it comes to special education children. We can’t use punishment on them, so what we do for one group, we need to remove from all children,” says Jenkins.

Nearly 40 parishes across the state still allow paddling in schools. In May, the Louisiana House passed a bill outlawing physical force that cause pain to a student but allows corporal punishment if written permission is given by a parent and/or guardian.

According to the updated policy, district employees can still use “reasonable and appropriate force in defense against an attack from a student or in cases when restraining students from attacking other students.”

The change in the policy will go into effect immediately.