Ohio Bans Corporal Punishment

When Ohio's children return to school in just a few weeks, they'll finally have long-overdue protection from corporal punishment (or "paddling") in their public schools. Last Wednesday, the Ohio legislature passed a ban on corporal punishment as part of the state's biennial budget. With Gov. Ted Strickland's signature, Ohio became the 30th state to ban corporal punishment.

You can send Gov. Strickland a message supporting this move here:

Corporal punishment is still legal in 20 states. It typically takes the form of students beaten with a wooden "paddle" or board about 1 ½ feet long, 6 inches wide, and 1 inch thick. The ACLU has interviewed students who were beaten for a wide range of misbehavior, from being late, to fighting. Students can be seriously injured by this punishment. You can see more in our report, A Violent Education.

Now that corporal punishment has been banned in Ohio, children there will be able to learn in safe, secure environments. Corporal punishment is ineffective and abusive; it discourages children from learning and has been linked to higher drop-out rates. Better methods of disciplining children, including Positive Behavior Intervention and Support, provide safe, secure schools where children can learn. The ACLU congratulates Ohio in this important move for securing a better future for its children.

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Joseph D. Smith

I believe we should leave corporal punishment to the parents, and take it out of the schools. Ohio has made a great move.


It is not innaffective, and does not encourage violence. I had to "grab my ankles" many of times and I believe I was a better person for it. These kids are not "beaten" but given one swat in the behind. You're going to see an increase in disipline problems now that this form of punishment has been removed. This is why home-schooled and private schooled children are much better behaved than those in public "education", where the kid; not the adult, controls the asylum.


What kids learn from "corporal" punishment is that violence as a way of solving problems. Only those who succumb to parental and school bodily punishments are keen to advocate its usage. When punishments like this are banned and other sanctions are used, the result is more confident kids who will not perpetuate using violence on kids.

Daniel Harrison

It's about time for Ohio to completely ban corporal punishment. Most school districts in the state had already abolished it years ago.

Sissy Panty Buns

Apparently Steve has never had a real paddling. His "one swat" story doesn't sound at all credible. If severe enough, which some are, they can be not only unbearable and indescribably painful but can cause permanent emotional trauma. I hope the article is incorrect about the thickness of the paddles used since the kind of paddling I referred to is often administered with paddles that are between half an inch and 5/8 of an inch thick. The lighter ones welt more and the heavier ones bruise more. I should know since I, as an adult heterosexual masochist, am in the minority having been on the receiving end of severe consensual paddlings. I acquired that proclivity receiving non-consensual hairbrush spankings when I was young. What I find truly bizarre is how people can reconcile advocating the non-consensual corporal punishment of children and at the same time claim that corporal punishment involving consenting adults is perverse.


Tracy...If corporal punishment encouraged kids to perpetuate "..using violence on other kids", then our school systems back in the 40's and 50's would have had to be some of the most violent, crime-ridden institutions in the country, because corporal punishment was used as a common form of disipline back then. Look at public education then....and look at it now. Corporal punishment is almost unheard of these days, yet what is the state crime and violence in the public schools now as compared to then? Go into any good size high school and talk to the teachers who are physically treatened and sexually assaulted, told to f*** off, have to put up with gang violence and drive-by shootings, and they will long for the days in the 40's and 50's when common problems were paper airplanes, gum chewing, tardiness, ect. Sissy....it WAS only one swat, and I can count the times on one hand that I had it done to me, in other words, it didn't take long to learn my lesson.

roy radcliffe

hi, im a vet who has issues with the va and mental healtj systen of fairfield county ohio.my condition has been misdisginosed,ill treated.confinentuality agrements broken.denied phsy.tratement with veterns add. for 4 years and 3 case manegers.very tramitiesd,but wont trust the systems.need majore help.thanks

Charles Jaeger

It's too bad this blog is set up the way it is and that the search engine works so poorly on civil liberties issues. The Categories should list the Articles and Amendments to the Constitution, the search should not have a cut-off of 1994, and there should be links to Citations or annotations from the ACLU's 100 Greatest Hits.
The issue here is (corporal punishment in schools) has a relationship to the SCOTUS decision "In Re Gault". Minors have civil liberties too. The Eight Amendment applies. The search engine had trouble finding Nadine Strossen and it seems like most of the records even on a Google search are missing with respect to Professor Angela Y. Davis. Apparently they disappeared along with most of the other subjects of Cointelpro. Maybe those Supreme Court decisions are classified now. If memory serves me correctly there was a court ruling that the right defend ones self (Pro Se) did not preclude the right to the assistance of council (i.e. in Gideon v. Wainwright). I thought that was one of the precedents that came out of the United States v. Angela Davis. The ninth amendment says that the enumeration of certain rights shall not be construed to deny others retained by the people. It follows therefore that one listed right (representing ones self) should not be used to deny another listed right (a lawyer as co-counsel).


This is rediculous, as is most of the ACLU activity. For now, they will support a ban on corporal punishment. Next, the ACLU will say a teacher can't put little Johnny in the corner for slapping his classmate, because little Johnny will be emotionally scarred for life. Nevermind the classmate and the bullying that will affect that child's self esteem and right to a harrassment-free classroom. Let's just say that all discipline belongs in the hands of the parents. That will solve everything, correct? It would if ALL parents loved their children enough to discipline, and we know that is clearly not the case. I'll pray for our schools, those children that need love and discipline, and for the teachers who have their hands tied. If you want some real insight into our public school system downfall, look at many of the trends since prayer was taken out in '69. ACLU, this is still one nation under God, whether you say it is or not. You have no idea how powerless you really are. God is still in control, and you cannot legislate against that.

Vegetarian Anti...

Steve and Mike, do you both eat red meat, just out of curiousity?


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