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19 US States Still Allow Corporal Punishment in their Classrooms

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It is quite upsetting that 19 US States still allow corporal punishment in their schools. Below are some damning statistics taken from 2005-2006. I hope the numbers of students hit per state has dramatically lessened since then, but I somewhat doubt it. Of equal concern is the ratio of black and Hispanic children being metered out this outdated and inhumane form of punishment.

State
Number of Students Hit
Number of IDEA Students Hit
Total Number of Students Hit
Percentage of Total Students
Alabama
33,716
381
34,097
4.6
Arkansas
22,314
261
22,575
4.7
Arizona
16
0
16
<0.0
Colorado
8
0
8
<0.0
Florida
7,185
118
7,303
.3
Georgia
18,249
155
18,404
1.1
Idaho
111
20
131
.05
Indiana
577
36
613
.05
Kansas
50
4
54
.01
Kentucky
2,209
1
2.210
.3
Louisiana
11,080
11
11,091
1.7
Missouri
5,159
35
5,194
.6
Mississippi
38,131
83
38,214
7.5
North Carolina
2,705
31
2,736
.2
New Mexico
705
44
749
.2
Ohio
672
0
672
.04
Oklahoma
14,828
325
15,153
2.4
South Carolina
1,409
12
1,421
.2
Tennessee
14,868
33
14,901
1.5
Texas
49,197
1,973
51,170
1.1
Wyoming
0
0
0
0
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One Response to “19 US States Still Allow Corporal Punishment in their Classrooms”

  1. John Tapscott Says:

    Such statistics are useless unless compared against other statistics related to the purpose of corporal punishment. If there was a set of figures to show behaviour incidents there would be some basis for comparison and measure of the value of or otherwise of corporal punishment.

    It would be a very difficult exercise, no doubt, because of the subjectivity of the data. What behaviours are to be included? What about suspensions and exclusions? How do you measure the severity of behaviours? How did behaviour statistics change in states that abolished corporal punishment? It seems to me that publication of figures of the naming and shaming kind raise many more questions than answers.

    More questions. Does the higher incidence of blacks and Hispanics being hit mean that these children are more poorly behaved? If it does wouldn’t we need to know why they are more poorly behaved? What role does the curriculum play in all of this?

    In the states that allow corporal punishment, what other strategies, if any, do they employ before applying corporal punishment? How do all states teach appropriate behaviour? Do they all teach appropriate behaviour?

    Please excuse me. In Australia we are in the middle of a very long election campaign. We are hearing biassed statistics from both sides produced with a political motive. Thus I am wary of such statistics, which are meant not to shed light, but to mould public opinion.

    When I was at school I received corporal punishment quite frequently. There were other students who didn’t get it at all. I don’t know if it did me any good because I have no experience of me never having had corporal punishment in order to make a comparison. It certainly left me in no doubt that I was not destined for a career in comedy. Sometimes I got it for just being me. The physical aspect didn’t bother me much and I always made a point of thanking the administrator, which always produced a puzzled look, like, “What’s with it with this kid? Is he being smart? does he need another one?” The part that bothered me most was having my name recorded in the punishment book. The result of that has been that I have always associated keeping records with punishment. Don’t ever elect me secretary of anything. I loathe and detest the role.

    Later on, when I became a teacher, I was able to peruse the punishment books of several schools where I worked. My goodness! There were some celebrated names among them: football stars, politicians (not as many as their behaviour today would lead me to think), and business leaders.

    One time, when I knew I was due for a caning, I remembered a kid once telling me that if you have a horse hair across your hand it won’t hurt. I spent recess going along the fence of the horse paddock and found a couple of nice long tail hairs. I was lied to, is all I can say.

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