End School Paddling

Our growing awareness of the damaging effects violence and bullying has helped us appreciate how important it is for children to feel safe and emotionally secure in order to learn. We now recognize corporal punishment for what it is: a violent and antiquated method of discipline that is both ineffective and violates a child’s basic human rights.

19 states in the US still paddle children with boards in public schools!  Ironically, students are being hit on a frequent basis in the very schools that promote zero-tolerance policies toward violence.  Each year, conservatively 166,807 children are paddled, spanked or otherwise struck by public school faculty. This does not even include all the children being hit in private schools.

Research shows that paddling children can have harmful, adverse effects on child development.

We know it teaches children that violence is a way to solve problems, and that this message is taught to those who inflict pain, those who receive it, and also those who witness it. It negatively impacts every child in the school. We also know that corporal punishment of children is related to:
  • decreased internalization of moral rules
  • decreased IQ
  • increased aggression and antisocial behavior
  • decreased mental health outcomes, and
  • increased adult abusive behaviors including increased risk of being victimized by abusive relationships into adulthood.
For these reasons, the American Academy of Pediatrics and others have warned against it  These negative outcomes associated to corporal punishment are compounded for children with learning difficulties or mental health disorders. Corporal punishment is also used disproportionately against children with disabilities and African-American schoolchildren. When schools respond to these challenges using harsh methods, at-risk children are often further traumatized.

Special thanks to the creative efforts of Jared Abrams, filmmaker and father who produced “The Board of Education,” an educational and disturbing look at sanctioned violence against children in our schools.

Legal Status of Paddling in Schools

Alaska Administrative Code Title 4 Chapter 7 Section 10-c

  • Prohibited in public schools (1989)

Connecticut Penal Code Section 53a-18

  • Prohibited in public schools (1989) — No explicit prohibition of corporal punishment
  • Allowed in private schools

Delaware Code of Education Title 14 Chapter 7 Section 2

  • Prohibited in public schools (2003)
  • Allowed in private schools

District of Columbia Municipal Regulations Title 5-E Chapter 5-E24 Section 5-E2403.2  (download linked pdf)

  • Prohibited in public schools (1977)
  • Allowed in private schools

Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 302A Section 1141

  • Prohibited in public schools (1973)
  • Allowed in private schools

Illinois Compiled Statutes School Code Article 24 Section 24-24 

  • Prohibited in public schools (1993)
  • Allowed in private schools

S.F. 52; Iowa Code Title 7 Subtitle 6 Chapter 280.21

PDF Version

  • Prohibited in public schools (1989)
  • Prohibited in private schools (1989)

Maine Revised Statutes Criminal Code Title 17-A Part 1 Chapter 5 Section 106-2

  • No record of using paddling in public schools (1975) — No explicit prohibition of corporal punishment
  • Allowed in private schools

General Assembly of Maryland Statutes Education Article Title 7 Section 306

  • Prohibited in public schools (1993)
  • Allowed in private schools

House Bill 2388 and

General Laws of Massachusetts Part 1 Title 12 Chapter 71 Section 37G

  • Prohibited in public schools (1971)
  • Allowed in private schools

Michigan Compiled Laws Revised School Code Chapter 380 Section 1312.3

  • Prohibited in public schools (1989)
  • Allowed in private schools

H.F. 1387 and

Minnesota Statutes Chapter 121A Section 58

  • Prohibited in public schools (1989)
  • Allowed in private schools

Montana Code Title 20 Chapter 4 Part 3-02

  • Prohibited in public schools (1991)
  • Allowed in private schools

Nebraska Revised Statute Chapter 79 Section 295

  • Prohibited in public schools (1988)
  • Allowed in private schools

Senate Bill 354; Statutes of Nevada Chapter 625 Section 392.4633 (page 2622)

  • Prohibited in public schools (1993)
  • Allowed in private schools

New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated Title LXII Chapter 627 Section 627:6

No explicit prohibition of corporal punishment, but no reported use as of 2010

  • Allowed in public schools
  • Allowed in private schools

Permanent Statutes Title 18A Chapter 6-1

  • Prohibited in public schools (1867)
  • Prohibited in private schools (1867)

House Bill 172; New Mexico Statutes Chapter 22 Section 5-4.3

PDF Version

(Search 22-5-4.3)

  • Prohibited in public schools (2011)
  • Prohibited in charter schools (2011)
  • Allowed in private schools

New York Code Title 8 Chapter 1 Part 19.5

Prohibited in public, private, and charter schools

  • Prohibited in public schools (1985)
  • Prohibited in charter schools (1985)
  • Prohibited in private schools (1985)

1989 House Bill 1434

2009 Senate Bill 2289

North Dakota Century Code Title 15.1 Chapter 19

  • Prohibited in public schools (1989)
  • Allowed in private schools

Ohio Revised Code Title 33 Chapter 19.41A

  • Prohibited in public schools (2009)
  • Allowed in private schools

Code of Oregon Chapter 238 Section 1.9a; Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 339 Section 250

  • Prohibited in public schools
  • Prohibited in public charter schools (1989)
  • Allowed in private schools

22 Pennsylvania Code Section 12.5

  • Prohibited in public schools (2005)
  • Allowed in private schools

Rhode Island Board of Regents’ Physical Restraint Regulations Section 3.6

  • Prohibited in public schools (1977)
  • Allowed in private schools

South Dakota Codified Laws Title 13 Chapter 32-2

No explicit prohibition of corporal punishment; No report of paddling since 1990

  • Legally Allowed (not used) in public schools
  • Allowed in private schools

Utah Code Title 53A Chapter 11 Part 8 Section 802

Prohibited in public schools unless written permission has been given by the student’s parent or guardian.

  • Prohibited in public schools (1992)
  • Allowed in private schools

Vermont Statutes Title 16 Chapter 25 Section 1161a(c)

Prohibited in public and approved independent schools

  • Prohibited in public schools (1985)
  • Prohibited in approved independent schools (1985)
  • Allowed in private schools

Senate Bill 942; Code of Virginia Title 22.1 Section 22.1-279.1

  • Prohibited in public schools (1989)
  • Allowed in private schools

Substitute House Bill 1064; Revised Code of Washington Chapter 28A Section 150.300

  • Prohibited in public schools (1993)
  • Allowed in private schools

Senate Bill 222; and

West Virginia Code Chapter 18A Article 5-1(e)

  • Prohibited in public schools (1994)
  • Allowed in private schools

Senate Bill 163; Wisconsin Act 303; Statute 118.31(2)

 

  • Prohibited in public schools (1988)
  • Allowed in private schools
Our Children Speak Out Against the Violence

Mississippi schoolchildren talk about their experience of paddling.

How youth cope with violence amongst their peers.

Does paddling improve performance and a bully free zone?

Paddling and Academic Performance: Donald Greydanus

Georgia Coalition to End School Paddling
Nearly 6,000 children are paddled in Georgia’s public schools each year, many more than once. We are working to raise awareness so that laws can be changed to protect Georgia’s schoolchildren.

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  • Help us identify the location of our targeted districts in relation to our coalition members and our coalition allies on our Coalition Map . *Please add your name, city, and zip code!
  • Join our Private Facebook Group and help us share information, have discussions, and get to know each other. We’ll continue to send out updates via email, for those who are not on Facebook
  • Join our Public Facebook Page is to help us spread awareness and gain interest.
References

Corporal Punishment in U.S. Public Schools: Prevalence, Disparities in Use, and Status in State and Federal Policy, 2016

Research Handouts
Research Summary on Spanking

Research Summary on Corporal Punishment in Schools

12 Research Facts about School Corporal Punishment

Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me
Breaking the Paddle
Organizations with a formal mandate against corporal punishment in schools.