Monday, October 17, 2016

Why Are 19 States Still Allowing Corporal Punishment in Schools?

Why Are 19 States Still Allowing Corporal Punishment in Schools?:

Why Are 19 States Still Allowing Corporal Punishment in Schools?

corporal punishment in schools

In 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court legitimized the use of corporal punishment in schools by deciding that the practice did not qualify as “cruel and unusual punishment.” Despite the ruling in Ingraham v. Wright, corporal punishment – the use of physical force (usually paddling) on a student intended to correct misbehavior – would soon decline rapidly across the country. Between 1974 and 1994, 25 states would ban the practice, recognizing that it was an ineffective and inappropriate school discipline measure.
Since the mid-1990s, however, only five more states have joined those ranks, leaving 19 states that currently sanction the use of corporal punishment in schools.
Despite being on the books in these states, is corporal punishment more policy than practice, existing merely in a school handbook but widely ignored?
Unfortunately, quite the opposite. States that have it, use it, some more than others. During the 2011-212 school year, 163,000 schoolchildren were subject to corporal punishment.
The widespread use probably comes as a surprise to many people, says Dr. Elizabeth Gershoff, a developmental psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin.
Gershoff, along with Sarah Font, assistant professor of psychology at Pennsylvania State University, recently analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Education Civil Rights Office to pinpoint the prevalence of corporal punishment in schools and presented their findings in a report published by the Society for Research in Child Development.
Most alarming are the blaring racial disparities in how this punishment is meted out. Students of color, predominantly African American boys, are on the receiving end of a paddle significantly more often than their white counterparts.
“Most people assume that corporal punishment has already been abolished across the U.S. Even people in states where it is legal do not always know it is so,” explains Gershoff.  “We know that it is increasingly being used only in rural areas, which means fewer children and families have experience with it, and that may have contributed to its falling from view.”
Corporal punishment is concentrated in southern states and, to a lesser extent, in some states out west. More than half the school districts in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama, use corporal punishment, a level that surprised Gershoff.
“I had assumed it would be only a few pockets of districts still using corporal Why Are 19 States Still Allowing Corporal Punishment in Schools?:
corporal punishment in schools

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