Child Abuse

Barbaric Practice Of Corporal Punishment Is Unbelievably Still Legal In 19 States

By  | 

corporal-punishment-schoolsI can’t believe, in 2104, it is still legal to paddle kids as a form of discipline at school in 19 states. There are five more counties banning the practice this year - three in Florida and two in North Carolina – but there are hundreds across the country that still allow it. Even more disturbing than the practice itself, is that studies show “it’s used disproportionately on minority students and those with mental, physical and emotional disabilities.” What possible good can come from this form of discipline? And how do parents sign off on this?

From USA Today:

The parents of Trey Clayton sought legal help when their son fainted and fell — fracturing his jaw and five teeth — after being paddled by the assistant principle of his Mississippi high school in March 2011.

“If the parents had done this, they would be behind bars and probably never see him again,” said Joseph Murray, an attorney who represents Clayton’s family.

But Murray said that both the district-level court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit have rejected the argument that Clayton’s constitutional rights were violated.​

Disgusting. How can something that would be considered assault and battery on an adult, be considered an acceptable form of punishment for a child? If you paddled an animal it would be a crime. But not a child? Why are we leaving our children so vulnerable? This is not an issue that should be left up to the state, obviously.

Deborah Sendek, the program director of the Center for Effective Discipline, a group that seeks to abolish corporal punishment in U.S. schools, said that the potential for injury shouldn’t be downplayed.

“We teach educators how to manage a playground, oversee a cafeteria and teach a curriculum,” Sendek said. “But there’s no one teaching you the ‘right’ way to hit a kid.”

James McNulty, founder of Floridians Against Corporal Punishment in Public School, says paddling goes on in mostly rural areas. Although more counties are banning the practice, he says, “In the places where it goes on, it’s out of control.”

This practice makes even less sense when you think about the fact that teachers are mandatory reporters of abuse and neglect in 48 states. I guess in the 19 states were abuse of schoolchildren is legal, they get to skip it.

This is criminal. If the states can’t or don’t want to protect children, the federal government should step in. We’re not just letting our kids down, we’re condoning their physical abuse – which has proven time and time again to be an ineffective form of punishment anyway.

(photo: Vitaly Korovin/ Shutterstock)