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Arizona schools still allow corporal punishment

PHOENIX — The lawsuit that put national attention on the Deer Valley School District for putting a 7-year-old boy in a padded room last year is nearly settled.

The Noyes family sued the district after discovering their child was put in a “seclusion room” for hours without their knowledge.

The case sparked new legislation, forcing schools to get written approval from parents before they used the rooms.

That’s not the only way schools can punish students if they’re acting out.

According to the Center for Effective Discipline, Arizona is one of 19 states still allows corporal punishment.

“Right now, according to the Arizona legislature, corporal punishment is allowed,” said Hope Kirsch, a lawyer representing the Noyes.

While the family’s lawsuit shed light on seclusion rooms, it did not fully protect students from corporal punishment.

That’s because Arizona leaves it up to each district’s governing board.

“Every governing board can have a policy on corporal punishment. In other words, you can have corporal punishment. There’s no prohibition against it,” said Kirsch.

Kirsch said, effectively, it’s up to the parents to call their district and ask exactly how their child’s school disciplines students.