This Week at the Capitol
Before I dive into my column, I want to briefly update my constituents on my health.
As some of you may know, I had five bypasses done last year. The operations were successful and I am doing well. This summer, I’ve been busy hauling hay, remodeling bathrooms and meeting at the Capitol.
I do want to apologize to my constituents in Tamaha and Quinton, as I had to miss two events I had planned on attending due to contracting COVID. I am getting energy back and am ready to get around and meet people in our district.
A recent issue garnering much discussion at the Capitol deals with keeping certain school issues at a local level.
Last session, a bill was filed to make it illegal to use corporal punishment on a student with any kind of disability, even including kids with learning disabilities. While some research has shown it is not good to paddle, this research has confounding variables. Research has demonstrated 92% respond to positive discipline and has shown 8% of the children in the classroom cause 95% of the discipline problems.
Throughout my career, I have served 155 schools in Oklahoma. I have encountered severe behaviors that required immediate action, such as taking a gun away from a child, stopping a student who physically attacked a teacher, intervened when a student hit a teacher across the head with a fire extinguisher, and many, many other situations. With behaviors like these, schools are not sure how to handle the behavioral issue and where to even begin, which is why it is so important to have services available to help these districts.
In the last three years alone, I have evaluated over 44 students who have said that they were going to blow up a school or kill a teacher. When hearing these issues, one should be a professional in serving students for their safety and the safety of everyone else in the school.
For my dissertation, I wrote 177 pages focused on managing aggressive children in the classroom. I have extensively researched articles dealing with these issues, including a recent article from Texas indicating that in many cases paddling improves the outcome of misbehaviors. From my research, I can tell you I would never spank a child facing an emotional or neurological problem. However, I would use corporal punishment if this is a technique that the parent wanted as their choice.
The bill in question, House Bill 1028, ultimately passed the House floor last year after several rounds of edits to amend it to prohibit corporal punishment on students with severe cognitive disabilities. However, the bill was not heard in the Senate, though it remains alive for consideration next year. The bill’s author is presenting an interim study on it next month and does anticipate pursuing this topic again.
It is my strong personal belief that the Bible supports the use of corporal punishment, and I know as a psychologist that this is necessary in specific situations. Again, I would only use this technique if the parents and the school chose to utilize this technique. We do not need legislators making decisions on how our schools and parents should manage children.
I want everyone in District 15 to know that I am a Christian, father, grandfather, and a legislator that supports these issues when all the facts are known. This issue needs to be stopped at the Capitol and I will continue to keep you in the loop.
Hooray! I am healthy, I am working and I am proud to serve you as constituents in District 15. I will continue to let you know the bills I am working on and the issues I am working on at the Capitol. Your representative treasures life and our God, who has taken care of me. I truly feel blessed to serve you.
Rep. Randy Randleman, a Republican, represents House District 15 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. His district includes Haskell County and portions of McIntosh, Muskogee, Le Flore and Pittsburg counties.