Miss. leads the way in paddling students

“I was surprised that we were still doing paddling in this country,” McCarthy said. “We, as adults, when you are in a school setting, are setting a very bad example, in my opinion, that hitting is acceptable.”

Mississippi resident Linda Pee testified at the April subcommittee hearing that her daughter was paddled even though Pee had signed a form saying she didn’t want corporal punishment used on the girl. Pee said school officials claimed to have lost the form.

Mississippi led other states in the number of students — 38,131, or 7.5 percent of the state’s kindergarten through 12th-grade school population — who received some form of corporal punishment in the 2006-07 school year, according to projections by federal education officials.

But Mississippi state Rep. Cecil Brown, chairman of the state’s House Education Committee, said he had never heard a complaint about corporal punishment at public schools and saw no need for a federal ban.

“I don’t see that the Congress needs to get involved in that,” the Democrat said. “I think it’s a local issue.”