STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – A Republican state lawmaker wants to eliminate corporal punishment for kids with disabilities, clearing up language in existing law.

It might surprise you to know that corporal punishment – spankings and paddling – are legal in the state of Oklahoma.

State law bans the practice “on students identified with the most significant cognitive disabilities.”

But there is an opt-in for parents that support it.

Representative John Talley, of Stillwater, said that his bill would end that opt-in for students with disabilities.

“Whatever they’re diagnosed with, we want to protect them,” said Talley. “They a lot of times may not know why they’re being punished, and to harm someone who doesn’t understand doesn’t make sense to me.”

In the 1970s, the US Supreme Court ruled that corporal punishment was legal.

Most states have since banned the practice, but Oklahoma is one of 19 states that hasn’t.

Corporal punishment on students with disabilities doesn’t happen all that often, but for Talley once is too much.

“We had 63 school districts in the last two years, 455 times,” said Talley. “And these numbers come from the federal government because you have to turn them in.”

His bill would not ban corporal punishment for all students.

Holly Gray, a mother in McAlester, said she would like to see it banned entirely.

“I can’t imagine paddling a six year old,” said Gray.

The mother of middle school kids, Holly said last October on the way home, her children started crying because a friend was paddled at school.

“My seven year old started crying like, hysterically,” said Gray. “I was like, ‘What is going on? What are you so upset about?’”

Since that incident, Gray said she has been advocating for the end of corporal punishment in her district.

“It’s like a cultural issue, and for me, that’s the hardest to break down,” said the mother.