Is Corporal Punishment Legal in United States

A study on the link between gender and corporal punishment in China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand and the United States, which used interviews with approximately 4,000 mothers, fathers and children aged 7 to 10, found that in the United States, 38% of girls and 36% of boys had experienced “light” corporal punishment (beatings, Knocking or hitting with your bare hand; Hitting or hitting the hand, arm or leg; Shake; or hitting with an object), and 4 per cent of girls and 5 per cent of boys had experienced severe corporal punishment (hitting or hitting the child in the face, head or ears) by a member of their household in the past month. A smaller percentage of parents felt corporal punishment was necessary for child-rearing: among girls, 17 per cent of mothers and 11 per cent of fathers considered it necessary; among boys: 13% of mothers and 16% of fathers. Research has shown that corporal punishment is associated with unintended negative consequences for children. Child care – Corporal punishment should be prohibited in all early childhood care facilities (nurseries, kindergartens, kindergartens, family centers, etc.) and in all daycares for older children (day centers, afternoon daycares, daycares, etc.) in the United States. Schoolchildren are punished for a range of behaviours involving corporal punishment. Interviews with physically punished students clearly show that some of the triggering incidents are very serious, such as fights with classmates, setting off fireworks at school, or drunk while traveling (Human Rights Watch and ACLU, 2008). In North Carolina, 63% of corporal punishment cases in the 2013/2014 school year involved disruptive behaviour, fights, assault, disorderly behaviour or bullying, while the remaining 37% involved bus misconduct, disrespect for staff, cell phone use, inappropriate language and other misconduct (North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015). The differences documented above should raise concerns among local, state, and federal policymakers about the continued use of corporal punishment in public schools. But the problem of unequal use is only one of many important concerns about corporal punishment in schools. The main concerns expressed about corporal punishment in schools are as follows.

Thirty-four leading national organizations have spoken out publicly against corporal punishment in schools. Professional associations representing a range of disciplines, including education (e.g., National Association of State Departments of Education (2015), National Association of Elementary School Principals (2013)), medicine (e.g., American Academy of Pediatrics (1984), American Medical Association (1985)), mental health (e.g., American Psychological Association (1975)) and law (e.g., American Bar Association (1985)), have statements or policies against corporal punishment in schools. and calls for its abolition. In a statement, the Society for Adolescent Medicine called corporal punishment in schools “an ineffective, dangerous and unacceptable method of discipline” (2003, p. 391). Non-profit organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch (Joint Statement (2010)) and Prevent Child Abuse America (2013) also oppose corporal punishment in schools. In addition, the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (1973) and The United Methodist Church (2008) have each passed resolutions calling for an end to corporal punishment in schools, while the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA (2012) has called for an end to all corporal punishment. The complete list of national organizations opposed to corporal punishment in schools is provided in Table 6. About 70,000 public school students were subjected to corporal punishment such as paddling in the 2017-2018 school year, the most recent year for which federal data is available. But in many states, there`s one place where it`s allowed to hit, hit, or hit: school. Corporal punishment in schools has received little attention from the federal government. In 2014, the U.S.

Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice released a widely circulated joint report entitled Non-Discriminatory Administration of School Discipline, which summarizes racial differences in suspensions and expulsions. No data on corporal punishment was provided, and the only mention of corporal punishment was a brief remark that it can be used in a discriminatory manner (U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice, 2014). In a guidance document published by the U.S. Department of Education (2014), corporal punishment was not mentioned once. Corporal punishment was also not mentioned in a report by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the United States. Department of Education, specifically on inequalities in school discipline by race, gender, and disability status in the 2011-2012 school year (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, 2014a). Even in OCR`s most recent annual report to the President and Secretary of Education (U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 2015a), no corporal punishment was mentioned.

This lack of information and attention to corporal punishment in schools is surprising given that OCR has been regularly collecting data on corporal punishment in public schools for more than 30 years to fulfill its mission to uphold civil liberties in public education.