Students with disabilities will now be protected from corporal punishment in public schools after a measure to prohibit the spanking of children with ADHD and other developmental disabilities received final legislative approval. Mom of an autistic child in St. Charles Parish, Allison Badgerow, says teachers physically restraining her son to say the pledge of allegiance significantly set him back.

“I am all for saying the Pledge of Allegiance but he didn’t even understand what was expected. You’ve got to start somewhere, you have to teach him what’s expected instead of physically restraining him.”

Badgerow says in a school where physical punishments were allowed, her son was showing violent behaviors. But she says her family moved to another town where corporal punishment is not permitted and her son is thriving.

“He has not displayed any of those behaviors at all. He went from knowing only the four letters in his first name to now knowing every letter in the alphabet and what sounds they make in three weeks.”

Michelle Hurst with the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council also voiced her support for the measure. She says often times students with limited social or communication skills possess more intense and challenging behaviors.

“Educators tend to use this approach instead of seeking alternative ways to either provide consequences to the student or develop more effective teaching strategies.”