Gov. Susana Martinez today signed a bill barring schools from paddling students.
“The decision on whether or not to use corporal punishment on a child is one that is best left to a parent,” Martinez said.
New Mexico becomes the 31st state to outlaw paddling students in schools.
Martinez, a Republican, broke with many members of her party in outlawing corporal punishment.
Of the 15 Republicans in the state Senate, only one, Sander Rue, opposed corporal punishment.
Lobbying on the issue was intense. Parents as far away as Tennessee emailed Martinez regularly to encourage her to outlaw spankings in schools.
Thirty-six of New Mexico's 89 school districts still allowed corporal punishment.