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Does your child's school still have corporal punishment??

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Corporal Punishment (public school policy)

2122 Views 35 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  supervee
I just got dd's school handbook and I found that corporal punishment is still allowed. I was under the impression that it had been done away with totally
: As if I didnt have enough to worry about sending her to school now I have to wonder about this as well
It got me to wondering how many other schools out there still have this policy so I am including a pole.
This is what it says:

Corporal Punishment Policy

Any principal, assistant principal, or teacher may use corporal punishment is a reasonable manner against any student for good cause in order to maintain discipline and order within the public schools in accordance with the following guidelines:
A: Corporal punishment shall be administered only after other less stringent measures have failed, or if the conduct of the student is of such nature that corporal punishment is the only reasonable form of punishment under the circumstances;
B: The instrument to be used in administering corporal punishment shall be approved by the principal;
C: Corporal punishment shall be reasonable;
D: Corporal punishment shall be administered in the presence of another professional employee;
E: The nature of the punishment will be such that it is in propoertion to the gravity of the offense, the apparent motive and disposition of the offender, and the influence of the offender's example and conduct on others; and
F: In determining the use and degree of corporal punishment, consideration will be given to the age, gender, size, physical and emotional condition of the child.
A disciplinary record shall be maintained and shall contain the name of the student, the type of misconduct, the type of corporal punishment administered, the name of the person administering the punishment, the name of the witness present and the date and time of punishment.
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Wow! I can't believe that some states still allow that! Even some parents that I know that do spank are very against school corporal punishment. I absolutely think that it is criminal for any school employee to physically assault or touch a student unecessarily with the intent of hurting or intimidating him/her. Aren't parents allowed to opt out of ever having their children have cp though? Yet another reason to homeschool...
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I would think that I could tell them and have it put in her file but what if there is a teacher that does it anyway
They have a zero tolerance policy on violence for children against the teachers but nothing protecting the children from the teachers it would seem.
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My DS isn't school age yet, but as DH and I both grew up here and know kids that are in school, corporal punishment is still going strong at the local schools. I know when I was paddled they never even sent a note home or anything to let my dad know. I got them from elementary through high school. I only graduated 5 years ago so it's not a long time ago!
It is shocking how many states still allow corporal punishment.
I would flip if someone ever came near my child with the intent to strike him. Thankfully, I am in Michigan where it is illegal. I also live in a wonderful school district where nobody would tolerate violence against children. On the flip side, I used to teach in a school where parents, teachers, and administrators would smack kids even though it is illegal....what a horrible, sad place.
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Does anyone know if it is possible to sue the school for assault and battery with a weapon if they corporally punish your child?
Wow! I had no idea this was still allowed in schools! I googled and found this:

I'm shocked that as of 2003 it was still allowed in 21 states!
I'm sorry. When I was a kid, you could tell the principal not to use it with your kid. Can you do that? Of course, that doesn't stop your kid from witnessing it.

Activate! Maybe if everyone in your district starts speaking out about it, it will change.

(They've banned it in our whole district.)
Does anyone know if it is possible to sue the school for assault and battery with a weapon if they corporally punish your child?
I would like to know this, too. I bet it falls under the whole group of laws not applicable to kids as minors.
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Melissa, In most states, all you have to do is send a note to school, or better yet, go in yourself and give a note signed by you and your husband. Give one to her teachers, and one to the principal IN PERSON.

Tell them that you WILL NOT allow her to be disciplined using corporal punishment. Tell them you 'll sue the school system if they touch her.

This legally protects her. They can't risk the lawsuit, and they wont be able to paddle her under any circumstance. If they DID dare do it, which i doubt, you would have a legal case.

You could also leave a place on the typed letter and make the teachers/principal sign it too. Even better.
I live in Union County, North Carolina, and have fought the fight to get corporal punishment banned in our District, and now am working on getting a change in state law.
It has been my experience in advocating for children and families across the nation that the teachers who injure children with paddles are protected by the system.
For example, here in North Carolina, I am assisting a child who was beaten black and blue by an educator last school year. The local board of education refused to do anything to the teacher, and the state board of education has no jurisdiction. The Department of Human services is not allowed to investigate teachers. Teachers can report parents for abuse, but parents cannot report teachers for abuse. It is a law that needs to be changed.
Here in Union County, we do have a ban of sorts, yet it is still on the books. This after I was able to demonstrate that Union County does not comply with state law in giving parents and students a list of offenses that can lead to the use of corporal punishment. Union County also hit more disabled children in a year than any other county in North Carolina or South Carolina. Parental consent is not mandated, nor is there an opt out form. So in essence, my four children could be beaten with a wooden paddle without my knowledge or consent, for reasons unknown, and if my child is injured, my only option is a lawsuit, and I will probably not win that. I have seen it time and time again.
For those of you interested, see
See the section for NC, and a petition that you can sign if you live in NC.
Go to
See the pictures of injured school children, and pay special attention to the
8th photo down. Despite a formal complaint to the local and state boards of education, the teacher who bruised this child is teaching, no action taken.
I have mailed photos to Dr. Phil, have emailed Oprah, 20/20, etc, with no luck yet. It is the type of story that needs national exposure. I am glad to heighten anyone's awareness of this issue. It is still legal in 21 states for a teacher to hit a child with a wooden paddle. Thankfully, it's use is on the decline, and many districts in paddling states have banned it. We have more work to do.
Peggy Dean
Member, Board of Directors, PTAVE
[email protected]
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Gee, am I being unfair, or is beating other people's children predominately a Southern thing?
bible belt thing, IME (having lived all over)
In The United States
Top ten paddling states
1. Mississippi
2. Arkansas
3. Alabama
4. Tennessee
5. Oklahoma
6. Louisiana
7. Texas
8. Georgia
9. Missouri
10. New Mexico

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 2000 Elementary and Secondary School Civil Rights Compliance Report.

Top ten lynching states
1. Mississippi
2. Georgia
3. Texas
4. Louisiana
5. Alabama
6. Florida
7. Arkansas
8. Tennessee
9. South Carolina
10. Kentucky

SOURCE: The Charles Chesnutt Digital Archive
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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Gee, am I being unfair, or is beating other people's children predominately a Southern thing?
It's legal in Ohio. That's not the south. I grew up there and never realized that it was, as the decision about whether to allow paddling varies from district to district.
U.S.: Statistics on Corporal Punishment by State and Race
States Banning Corporal Punishment

State Year Present Statute
Alaska 1989 AK Statutes Section 04AAC 07.010
California 1986 CA Education Code Section 49000-49001
Connecticut 1989 CT Penal Code Sec. 53a-18
Delaware 2003 DE Education Code Sec. 702
Hawaii 1973 HI Rev. Statutes Sec. 302A-1141
Illinois 1993 IL Compiled Statutes, School Code Sec. 5/24-24
Iowa 1989 IA School Code Sec. 280.21
Maine 1975 ME Criminal Code Sec. 106
Maryland 1993 MD Code Education Sec. 7-306
Massachusetts 1971 MA General Laws , Education Sec. 37G
Michigan 1989 MI Compiled Laws, Rev. School Code Sec. 380.1312
Minnesota 1989 MN Statutes Sec. 121A.58
Montana 1991 MT Code Annotated Sec. 20-4-302
Nebraska 1988 NE Rev. Statutes Sec. 79-295
Nevada 1993 NV Rev. Statutes Sec 392.4633
New Hampshire 1983 NH Rev. Statutes Ann. Sec. 627:6
New Jersey 1867 NJ Permanent Statutes, Education 18A:6-1
New York 1985 NY Regulations of the Board of Regents, 8 NYCRR 19.5
North Dakota 1989 ND Century Code, Elem. and Sec. Education Sec. 15.1-19-02
Oregon 1989 OR Rev. Statutes Sec. 339.250
Pennsylvania 2005 22 PA Code CHS. 7 and l2, Sec. l2.5
Rhode Island 1977 Wolfweseder v. Woonsocket, Commissioner of Education
South Dakota 1990 SD Codified Laws, Sec. 13-32-2
Vermont 1985 VT Statutes, Education Sec. 1161a
Virginia 1989 VA Code, Education Sec. 22.1-279.1
Washington 1993 WA Administrative Code 180-40-235
West Virginia 1994 WV Code Sec. 18A-5-1 (e)
Wisconsin 1988 WI Statute Sec. 118.31


State Year Present Statute
Ohio 1994 ORC 3319.41 (A) (B) (D) Corporal punishment is banned unless a school board follows several procedures before voting to allow corporal punishment. Parents in districts which allow it may refuse to have their children paddled.
Utah 1992 UTCA 53A-11-802 Corporal punishment is banned unless a parent/guardian gives written permission for its use.

*Dates listed are when the law was enacted, unless otherwise noted.

Some states banned corporal punishment by law and some by regulation. Some states banned corporal punishment by removing permission for its use. Contact [email protected] for specific information.


Corporal Punishment in U.S. Public Schools
2002-2003 School Year: data released November, 2005

In the 2002-2003 school year, 301,016 school children in the U.S. were subjected to physical punishment. This is a significant drop of 12%, continuing a steady trend from the early 1980's. Bans now exist in 28 states and the District of Columbia. Data for the remaining 21 states are listed below.

STATE Number of Students Hit Percent of Total Students
Alabama 37,390 5.2
Arizona 64 < 0.1
Arkansas 34,113 7.6
Colorado 71 < 0.1
Florida 9,223 0.4
Georgia 24,248 1.7
Idaho 7 < 0.1
Indiana 1,605 0.2
Kansas 46 < 0.1
Kentucky 2,846 0.5
Louisiana 17,200 2.3
Mississippi 45,197 9.1
Missouri 6,875 0.8
New Mexico 1,119 0.4
North Carolina 4,866 0.4
Ohio 621 0.1
Oklahoma 17,046 2.8
South Carolina 2,781 0.4
Tennessee 37,419 4.3
Texas 57,817 1.4
Wyoming 2 < 0.1
U.S. TOTAL 301,016 0.6

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 2002 Elementary and Secondary School Civil Rights Compliance Report.


The 10 worst states, by percentage of students struck by educators in the 2002-2003 school year:

Rank State Percentage
1 Mississippi 9.1
2 Arkansas 7.6
3 Alabama 5.2
4 Tennessee 4.3
5 Oklahoma 2.8
6 Louisiana 2.3
7 Georgia 1.7
8 Texas 1.4
9 Missouri 0.8
10 Kentucky 0.5


Black students are hit at a rate that is more than twice their makeup in the population. Blacks comprise 17% of students, but receive 38% of paddlings.
Teachers in Texas account for 19% of all school paddlings in the country.


Number of Students Struck Each Year in U.S. Public Schools

1976 992,675 65 447,314 29 1,521,896 3.5
1978 940,467 65 411,271 29 1,438,317 3.4
1980 901,032 64 403,386 29 1,408,303 3.4
1982 no statistical projection was made this year
1984 852,427 64 374,315 28 1,332,317 3.3
1986 659,224 60 345,411 31 1,099,731 2.7
1988 549,572 61 255,296 28 898,370 2.2
1990 346,488 56 208,543 34 613,760 1.5
1992 295,050 53 215,684 39 555,531 1.3
1994 256,363 54 182,394 39 470,683 1.1
1997 241,406 53 178,114 39 457,754 1.0
1998 199,572 55 135,523 37 365,058 0.8
2000 181,689 53 132,065 39 342,038 0.7
2003 159,446 53 115,819 38 301,016 0.6

Compiled By:

Center for Effective Discipline
155 W. Main Street, Suite 1603
Columbus, Ohio 43215
tel: (614)221-8829
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I can't help being "struck" (excuse the pun) by the red state/blue state northern/southern divide myself....

Barney & Ben

Originally Posted by wildmonkeys
I can't help being "struck" (excuse the pun) by the red state/blue state northern/southern divide myself....

I noticed the same thing.
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The Department of Human services is not allowed to investigate teachers. Teachers can report parents for abuse, but parents cannot report teachers for abuse. It
In NJ they can and do. My DS former (and awful!) school was being investigated-all calls made by parents. They were not called in over and physical incidents.

I have seen Montel do stories on Corporal Punishment in recent years. I remember seeing shows on it as a kid and being freaked out. It has never been accepted here but I remember parents telling teachers they could hit the kid if they felt necessary. It never ever happened. I now know it was b/c even back then they knew they could be sued...
bebesho2 said:
In NJ they can and do.

New Jersey banned corporal punishment in schools way back in the year 1867,that is not a typo, 1867! In contrast, here in 2006, primarily in the southern states, children are being beaten black and blue. You can't imagine the things that are tolerated in a school district that applauds adults picking up wooden boards and hitting children. Here in Union County, NC we have had all sorts of reports of teacher misconduct, but the district turns a blind eye.
It is a big issue to me, and I am fighting a mindset and a culture as much as the corporal punishment.
See and look at the photos of injured school children. The 8th photo down is that of a child here in North Carolina that I am helping. Despite pleas to the local and state board of education, the teacher had no action taken against him, and remains in the classroom, armed with his weapon, the paddle, free to hit any child he wants to hit. The Department of Human Services cannot do a thing. There is a major flaw in this system. Ironically, this same teacher could report bruises on a child that he detects at school, and the DHS would be at the home the same day, as they should. Mandated reporters should not be in the business of paddling and bruising children.
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