Every September, as the school year begins, I am reminded of my annual ritual from the past. I went to each of my children's teachers and politely informed them to not hit my kids. If they had a problem with one of my children, to please call me and I would handle it. Yes, for most of my four children's school years, we lived in a state that permitted corporal punishment in its schools. In fact, more than 20 years later, the state still allows this practice, along with 18 other states, most in the South or the Midwest (see Figure 1).
Corporal Punishment In Schools
In most states that allow it, physical punishment is limited to paddling or other spanking. Schools have rules about how they can use corporal punishment and for what offenses. School corporal punishment is usually executed in the form of "paddling," or striking the children with a wooden or fiberglass paddle on their buttocks or legs, which can result in abrasions, bruising, severe muscle injury, hematoma, whiplash damage, life-threatening hemorrhages, and other medical complications that may require hospitalization (DeNies, 2012). Some schools provide waivers for parents to sign, but not signing one does not necessarily mean a child will be not...
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