Articles tagged with corporal punishment

Spare the rod; corporal punishment an outdated practice that still exists

SpankingThe phrase “corporal punishments in schools” brings to mind Agatha Trenchbull, the absurdly aggressive, vile principal from the children’s movie, Matilda. Or the 1930s nuns armed with rulers, recalled by our grandparents.

Yet this backwards method is actually a part of today’s reality?  Research  has shown nearly a quarter-million students in our country are punished through physical means each year.

I thought we were in the 21st century here, not a recurring nightmare.  My mistake.

It seems so outrageous to say any U.S. school still partakes in this, that it’s nearly impossible to believe that striking pupils as a means of discipline is still legal within 20 states in our country. 

Most of these states are in the south or rural areas—aka places that are highly embedded in tradition and often resistant to change. Somehow, these government officials actually believe this old-fashioned practice is still a good idea. 

“Each year, prodded by child safety advocates, state legislatures debate whether corporal punishment amounts to an archaic form of child abuse or an effective means of discipline,” a New York Times reporter writes.

Seriously? What’s the debate about? Striking youth as a means of punishment is abusive, plain and simple.

Naomi Dillon|March 30th, 2011|Categories: Governance, School Climate, American School Board Journal|Tags: |

Corporal punishment still, inexplicably, being meted out some school districts

SpankingIn many cases, a wide sweeping federal mandate is not the best solution for setting policies in schools.  Individual school boards are much better able to evaluate and work with their schools on a personal, local level that national programs just can’t match.

But what about schools that refuse to mandate a change that seems so pressing, and so obviously necessary, that it is a wonder they didn’t do it decades ago? A Washington Post report tells the story of Temple—a city in central Texas that still uses corporal punishment on misbehaving students.

New York Congress member Carolyn McCarthy plans to unveil legislation to put a federal ban on paddling students. One would hope a national ruling against educators striking kids would be unnecessary in modern times (even prisons have outlawed physical forms of punishment), but apparently not. Twenty states still allow corporal punishment and, in Temple, that means paddling.

 John Hancock, the assistant superintendent of administration for Temple schools told the Washington Post, “the school system had banned corporal punishment about six years ago because a state law change made what was permissible uncertain. Follow-up made clear that schools could paddle.”

Naomi Dillon|April 20th, 2010|Categories: Governance, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , |
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