Special Reports

On Corporal Punishment: US Education Secretary Says Stop Hitting Students As Discipline


Corporal punishment as a form of discipline is being recognized by the United States Education Secretary as a harmful and ineffective act. And according to reports, it is often applied to students of color and with disabilities.

The United States Education Secretary John King is standing by his decision to make sure this kind of discipline is abolished in all schools. King recognizes the need to remove and totally eradicate this kind of practice in schools. On Tuesday, November 22, 2016, King wrote a letter asking his education colleagues to stop this practice in their respective schools.

King points out that using corporal punishment prevents the school from having a positive environment. If the school focuses on such disciplinary measures to curb or address misbehavior, then the school is using physical force as an acceptable way of solving problems.

In addition to eliminating the practice, he urges school staff and educators to create an promote supportive plus effective disciplinary standards instead, cites USA Today. According to the publication, corporal punishment in schools undermines the promotion of non-violent means for conflict resolution.

In a recent study, over 160,000 kids in 19 American states are recorded as probable victims of such corporal punishment in schools annually. On record, African-American kids are more likely to receive corporal punishment than their Caucasian counterparts, especially in some Southern schools. Teachers would paddle or smack the kids.

Elizabeth Gershoff, a University of Texas research, found that 19 American states still allow corporal punishment in their school districts. These states allow that form of discipline in pre-school to high school levels.

American states have received the ban on corporal punishment since 1974. Although the number is steadily decreasing since then, there are still some states or schools that have not followed.

According to reports, the states that do not follow the ban are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming.

Read the full letter here.

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