Additional Resources for Readers to Investigate
Corporal Punishment in U.S. Public Schools: Prevalence, Disparities in Use, and Status in State and Federal Policy, volume 30, number 1, 2016. Elizabeth T. Gershoff University of Texas at Austin, and Sarah A. Font, Pennsylvania State University.
… from the Abstract:
School corporal punishment is currently legal in 19 states, and over 160,000 children in these states are subject to corporal punishment in schools each year. Given that the use of school corporal punishment is heavily concentrated in Southern states, and that the federal government has not included corporal punishment in its recent initiatives about improving school discipline, public knowledge of this issue is limited. The aim of this policy report is to fill the gap in knowledge about school corporal punishment by describing the prevalence and geographic dispersion of corporal punishment in U.S. public schools and by assessing the extent to which schools disproportionately apply corporal punishment to children who are Black, to boys, and to children with disabilities. This policy report is the first-ever effort to describe the prevalence of and disparities in the use of school corporal punishment at the school and school-district levels. We end the report by summarizing sources of concern about school corporal punishment, reviewing state policies related to school corporal punishment, and discussing the future of school corporal punishment in state and federal policy.
Two of the points their research debunked:
“Difficult children need spanking.”
- Spanking is still a socially accepted parental practice. The belief is that spanking will improve difficult behavior but research has shown that spanking is actually more likely to increase aggressive and antisocial behaviors in children. In fact, a recent meta-analyses that reviewed more than 75 studies, over 50 years, from 13 different countries did not find a single study that showed a link between spanking and better behavior (Gershoff & Grogan-Kaylor, 2016).
“Respect comes through corporal punishment.”
- Hitting a child will not build respect; instead, hitting increases the likelihood for more challenges in the parent-child relationship.
- We do not tolerate adults hitting other adults, children hitting other children, or children hitting adults. The practice of adults hitting children teaches children that hitting is an okay way to handle problems. Hitting to resolve conflict does not demonstrate respect for others. Simons & Wurtele (2010) found that children who experience hitting as a form of punishment were more likely to promote hitting as a strategy to resolve conflict with a peer. Interestingly, 100 percent of the children in the study who did not experience physical punishment wanted to use pro-social skills to resolve the conflict.
- Adult modeling of behaviors will greatly influence the behaviors of children. Children learn by watching and imitating adults
2/4/2018 Organizations Against Corporal Punishment – Gundersen Health System http://www.gundersenhealth.org/ncptc/center-for-effective-discipline/resources/organizations-against-corporal-punishment/
The following organizations have positions against all corporal punishment of children.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Bar Association
American Civil Liberties Union
American Humane Association
American Psychological Association
American Public Health Association
American School Counselor Association
Association for Childhood Education International
Center for Effective Discipline
Council for Exceptional Children
Defense for Children International
Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center
Human Rights Watch National Association for State Departments of Educatio
National Association for the Education of Young Children
National Association of Elementary School Principals
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Association of School Nurses
National Association of School Psychologists
National Association of Secondary School Principals
National Association for State Boards of Education
National Council of Teachers of English
National Education Association
National Foster Parent Association
National Mental Health Association- now Mental Health America
National Parent Teachers Association
National Women’s Political Caucus
Prevent Child Abuse America
Society for Adolescent Medicine
Unitarian Universalist General Assembly
United Methodist Church General Assembly
U.S. Department of Defense: Office of Dependents Schools Overseas