Corporal Punishment of Children

Corporal punishment -- most often, paddling -- can cause deep bruising or other lasting physical or mental injury. Furthermore, it creates a violent, degrading school environment in which all students -- and particularly students with disabilities -- may struggle to succeed. The use of corporal punishment in US public schools must end. There are positive, non-violent approaches to school discipline that have been proven to lead to safe environments in which children can learn.


> Report: Impairing Education: Corporal Punishment of Students with Disabilities in U.S. Public Schools

Report: Impairing Education: Corporal Punishment of Students with Disabilities in U.S. Public Schools
8/11/2009 - Students with disabilities face corporal punishment in public schools at disproportionately high rates according to a report by the ACLU and Human Rights Watch. Corporal punishment can worsen students' medical conditions and undermine their education.

Take Action: Stand with the ACLU Against Corporal Punishment >>

Podcast: ACLU attorneys Alice Farmer and Catherine Kim

Impairing Education


 

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> Report: A Violent Education: Corporal Punishment of Children in U.S. Public Schools

Report: A Violent Education: Corporal Punishment of Children in U.S. Public Schools
8/19/2008 - In this comprehensive analysis, the ACLU and Human Rights Watch found that Texas and Mississippi children from 3 to 19 years old are routinely physically punished for minor infractions such as chewing gum, as well as for more serious transgressions such as fighting. The report shows that, as a result of paddling, many children are left injured, degraded, and disengaged from school.

Podcast: Alice Farmer, Aryeh Neier Fellow with the ACLU's Human Rights Program and Human Rights Watch

A Violent Education


 

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PRESS COVERAGE

 

"[the coach] hit me so hard I felt nauseous at my stomach. [Later] I looked in the mirror and I had bruises all over."
- Brittany Y., student paddled in middle school, Mississippi.

"There's always a risk of a teacher hitting too hard. How can you control how hard a kid is hit?"
- Former teacher, Texas.

"What made me so angry – he's three years old, he was petrified… he didn't want to go back to school… I was so worried that this was going to constantly be with him, equating going to school with being paddled."
- Parent whose three-year-old was paddled, rural Texas.

"Think about the mental capacity this kind of treatment leaves our children with. We are telling them we don't respect them. They leave that principal's office and they think, ‘they don't consider me as a human being."
- School Board member, Mississippi.

Selected documents from A Violent Education
Table of Nationwide Prevalence of Corporal Punishment PDF Case Study of Allison Guthrie, Teenage Girl Paddled PDF
Disproportionate Punishment of African-American Girls PDF Discussion of International Human Rights Standards Prohibiting Corporal Punishment PDF

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