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Ohio Bans Corporal Punishment

Alice Farmer,
Human Rights Program
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July 20, 2009

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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