Ten Steps Against Corporal Punishment

August 10, 2009

Does your school district or state permit the use of corporal punishment? Here are ten steps you can take against corporal punishment.

 1.Write to your Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and ask for a copy of your school's discipline code and any policy that deals with corporal punishment and make certain that parents know about and understand these policies. Disseminate the policies and explain what they mean during PTA meetings, within informational brochures, newsletter articles, e-mail notices, or website postings.
 2.Engage with your community to raise awareness of the dangers of policies that permit the use of corporal punishment in schools. Use Impairing Education as a resource. Take the lead with the PTA to change school policies to prohibit the use of corporal punishment and to make clear to students that violence in any form will not be tolerated in school.
 3.Approach the local superintendent and the school board to discuss corporal punishment. Ask for a ban on corporal punishment and request a timeline for the ban to be considered.
 4.Write letters to the local superintendent and school board strongly objecting to the use of paddling and in support of a ban on corporal punishment.
 5.Become an advocate for alternative discipline systems (including Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) that promote safe classrooms and academic success.
 6.Find out if your school district permits parents to opt out of corporal punishment.  If they do, opt out. If your school district does not have an opt-out form, send written requests to your child's teachers and principal instructing them not to not to paddle your child. Unite with other parents in your efforts.
 7.Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper expressing your concerns once you've learned about your school district policies.
 8.Read the discipline policy with your children – make sure they understand and know when the school rules allow them to be paddled. Make it clear that you object to the policy and that you are working towards changing the policy.
 9.Ask your child to tell you every time they are paddled. If your child is injured, take the child to an emergency room or a physician, have photographs taken of the injury, and ask the physician to report the injury to your local child protective agency.
10Contact your local elected officials and ask them to support a ban on corporal punishment in the public schools in your state.

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