A Florida lawmaker is pushing to ban corporal punishment in the state’s public schools.

Senate Bill 1120 seeks to “prohibit public school employees from using corporal punishment on a public school student; removing corporal punishment as an option for teachers and other instructional personnel to use to manage student behavior, etc.”

State Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami, filed the bill Monday.

Her proposed ban would define corporal punishment as “the use of physical force or physical contact to discipline a student or to enforce school rules.” The proposal includes an exception for circumstances when school staff members must defend themselves or protect students.

Highlands County is the only one in the Tampa Bay area that has reported corporal punishment as a form of discipline as of September 2018. There were 1,442 instances of corporal punishment in the state during the 2016-2017 school year.

School corporal punishment is legal in 19 states across the country as of January 2018, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health.

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