Florida Democrat Pushes for Reform of School Corporal Punishment Laws

Florida Democrat Pushes for Reform of School Corporal Punishment Laws

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
November 14, 2023

Tallahassee, Fl- Florida Representative Katherine Waldron (D) has filed a bill to modify Florida’s statutes regulating corporal punishment in schools.

Aside from statutory changes, HB 439 would end current exemptions for Charter schools and subject them to the same corporal punishment guidelines public schools are subject to. 

Corporal punishment laws are governed by Section 1003.32(1)(k) of Florida Statutes, which allow teachers or the principal to apply corporal punishment if either “feels that corporal punishment is necessary.”

Representative Waldron’s bill would prohibit teachers from using corporal punishment. 

However, school principals would still be allowed to employ corporal punishment upon parents’ consent via signing a notification form of the school’s intent to use physical discipline. 

Corporal punishment would be barred for certain students, such as those with educational disabilities or those suffering homelessness. 

Additionally, the Principal would have to notify parents of children who have been physically disciplined each time that corporal punishment is used and why it was applied. 

If passed, the bill would go into effect July 1, 2024.

Meanwhile, another of Waldron’s bills was recently passed. Waldron’s resolution condemning Hamas’ attacks on Israel passed last week, November 7th. 

“Today I was honored to have my House Resolution, expressing support for the State of Israel and condemning the Hamas attacks, pass unanimously during our Special Session,” said Waldron via X.

The resolution reaffirms “solidarity with the State of Israel” and underscores Florida’s support for “Israel's right to defend itself” from the recent “unprovoked attack by Hamas.” 


“The Florida House of Representatives stands in solidarity with the State of Israel,” emphasized Waldron. 

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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