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 rulesdecreased 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. When schools respond to these challenges using harsh methods, at-risk children are often further traumatized. Corporal punishment is disproportionately used against children with disabilities and African-American schoolchildren.

Spanking and Child Development: We Know Enough Now To Stop Hitting Our Children. Gershoff, E. , 2013 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3768154/pdf/nihms-488975.pdf

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

Brookings Institute Report: Schools, black children, and corporal punishment. 2016

Civil Rights Data Collection, EDU.gov http://ocrdata.ed.gov/StateNationalEstimations/Estimations_2011_12

Corporal Punishment in Schools and Its Effect on Academic Success Joint HRW/ACLU Statement, 2010