Paddling Still Legal in State of Wyoming


WACK! Although it’s been many years since a student has been paddled at SVHS it is still legal in Wyoming.

Max Jensen, staff writer

Ever seen somebody get slapped with a paddle in geometry class by a teacher at Star Valley High School? Well, the teachers still have the legal right to paddle you if necessary.

“My understanding it is still legal in Wyoming, but it is not a current practice at SVHS or part of our discipline process,” said Principal Farren Haderlie.

Corporal Punishment traditionally has involved hitting offenders with things such as paddles, rulers, or sticks. Some students would take the swat over other alternative disciplinary measures. Junior Karter Jenkins said, “I’d rather be paddled than have detention because it’s faster.”

On the other hand, senior Ava Morgan said, “Personally, I don’t think it should be used. I think there should be some type of punishment, but that is a little harsh, and my parents would agree with me.”

Many teachers who went to school over thirty years felt the sting of the paddle, including Mr. Haderlie. “Yes, I have a couple of personal stories on being paddled. I am pretty old, and it was a long time ago when I was in school.” Mr. Fullmer reports than he was corporally punished in school four times from elementary to junior high. He said,

“In 8th grade I was sitting in history class watching the teacher move a globe around the room. He set the globe on the desk of the kid in front of me, and as the kid leaned in for a closer look, I shoved the back of his head so his forehead hit the globe and knocked it onto the floor. It cracked. The teacher said ‘You have just earned yourself a swat.’ I had to wait until a few minutes before the bell—that’s when swats were administered—and go up in front of the class. I had to bend over and he laid a good one on me, but I had my wallet and Nibs in my back pockets so it didn’t hurt that badly.”

Counselor Mr. Jeff Johnson tells a story of putting glue in a girl’s hair in elementary school, an act that got him spanked by his teacher—and later his parents—and paddled by the principal.

“Yep—lots of us were paddled back in the day,” said Haderlie.

Although it is still legal in Wyoming, don’t expect to see your friends being paddled soon. Even with the support of the school and the law, Mr. Moore would not paddle a student. “I’d just give them a detention, and good luck finding a teacher that would,” said Moore.