OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Whether to ban corporal punishment use for students with disabilities was debated on the House floor and ultimately failed to pass onto the Senate.

Dozens of Republicans voted against the bill, with some citing scripture.

“It is plain that it is the will of the Lord wants us to use God’s word and God’s counsel as we make laws for the State,” said Rep. Jim Olsen (R-Roland), arguing against the bill and in favor of corporal punishment.

House Bill 1028 would ban spankings and paddling on students with disabilities.

It was authored by Rep. John Talley (R-Stillwater).

Physical punishment on students with special needs does not belong in the classroom, according to the author.

“Accountability and grace go hand in hand,” said Talley.

Olsen disagreed with the idea that students with disabilities should be exempt from spankings and paddling.

 “Many of them understand right and wrong, many of them understand good and bad behavior,” said Olsen.

The Republican from Roland called on God’s word to guide his decision Tuesday.

“If you will not use the rod on a disobedient child, you do not love that child. That’s what the book said,” argued Olsen.

Democrats were not impressed with Olsen’s arguments.

Forrest Bennet (D-OKC) took to Twitter, calling out Olsen and Randy Randleman (R-Eufaula).

“It’s 2023 outside; it’s 1880 in here,” said Forrest.

Randleman supported corporal punishment because it keeps kids on the right life track.

“If you don’t balance out nurturing and discipline, you will have many people in prison,” said Randleman.

A personal argument came from Democrat Floor Leader Cyndi Munson who shared a story from her past.

“My mother used chopsticks to slap my back so that I would listen to her,” said Munson. “She’d pull my hair. So I would listen to her.”

Munson said school was always a safe place for her and it also should be a safe place for students with disabilities.

“I knew that was where I could be my full self. I can make mistakes. I could say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing. But my teachers would always have my back,” said the Democrat leader.

The vote on the bill was 45-43 in favor of its passage, meaning most lawmakers present today voted to ban the punishment.

But in the House, they need a majority of all lawmakers – which is 51 votes – in order to pass a bill, so it ultimately failed.

Talley did ask for the bill to be brought up again sometimes next week when more representatives are on the floor.