'I would never spank an emotional problem': Oklahoma Republican opponent to anti-corporal punishment bill
An Oklahoma Republican state lawmaker, psychologist, and self-described "mental health expert and foremost authority on classroom management and discipline," on Tuesday argued against legislation that would ban children with disabilities from being spanked by school personnel. Before voting against the bill, Rep. Randy Randleman referred to students living with a disability who have emotional or neurological challenges by the term "emotional problem," or "neurological problem."
"A child could have dyslexia, and then you couldn't spank him, correct?" Rep. Randleman asked the bill's sponsor (video below), to which he received a "yes, sir, that is correct."
"I know that you have always heard me talk that I would never spank an emotional problem, I would never spank a neurological problem, but if a parent has a choice, and they know that they can stop a misbehavior or a behavioral problem, is this bill stopping that?" Rep. Randleman asked.
"It's stopping the school personnel, you as a parent have the right to go down to the school and check your student out and do what you need to do," explained the bill's sponsor, Republican John Talley.
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On his official Oklahoma legislature website, Rep. Randleman's bio reads: "Dr. Randy Randleman has a passion for children. As a mental health expert and foremost authority on classroom management and discipline, Randy has worked in 155 school districts and 135 head start centers across Oklahoma, including those in his very own District 15."
"Randy is certified as a teacher, counselor, principal, psychometrist, superintendent, and licensed psychologist," it says, adding that he has a master's degree in counseling from Northeastern State University, "and was certified in school psychology and psychometry at Oklahoma State University."
He also has a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University (OSU) "in a combined program focusing on school and clinical psychology. Randy's dissertation was 'Managing Aggressive Children in the Classroom,' and he has also helped develop an alternative education program that received national awards," his bio reads.
"Randy has worked with troubled and challenged kids for his entire life to help restore hope and find a path for success. Helping humanity succeed is his life's mission, and he is honored to bring his expertise as a psychologist to the Oklahoma House of Representatives as he represents the interests of his constituents in District 15. Randy works to bring mental health issues to the forefront of minds in the Capitol building."
The bill failed to pass, as KOKH reports, meaning it will still be legal for teachers and school officials to use corporal punishment – spanking, sometimes with a heavy wooden paddle – on children living with disabilities.
Rep. Randleman also opposes bans on anti-LGBTQ conversion therapy, a disgraced practice which some have likened to psychological torture.
Watch Rep. Randleman below or at this link.
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