Bill Hopes to Ban Corporal Punishment in Schools

It’s hard to believe that hitting kids in school is still allowed, but I guess when you’re into hitting defenseless children it’s hard to give up. A new bill hopes to ban it:

Legislation to ban corporal punishment in most public and private schools was introduced in Congress Tuesday.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) introduced the “Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act,” which would impose the ban on all public and private schools with students that receive federal services.

Though there is no evidence that corporal punishment has any beneficial effect on students, and much evidence that it harms kids, 20 states still allow it.

School districts generally have their own rules for administering corporal punishment, or, in layman’s terms, whacking a kid. Sometimes the rules specify the number of times a kid can be hit, and usually they identify which part of the body can be struck (usually the buttocks but sometimes the hands, too). You can see some of the rules in a recent post here.

A congressional committee recently heard testimony about the subject and here are some of the facts members learned:

*School officials, including teachers, administered corporal punishment to 223,190 school children across the nation during the 2006-07 school year (according to conservative government estimates, the latest year for which national statistics were available).

*As a result of that punishment, 10,000 to 20,000 students requested medical treatment.

*Students are typically hit on their buttocks with a wooden paddle, approximately 15 inches long, between two- and four-inches wide, and one-half inch thick, with a six-inch handle at one end.

*Most students are paddled for minor infractions, violating a dress code, being late for school, talking in class or in the hallway, or being “disrespectful.”

I think this can only be a good thing. Teachers should not be allowed to hit children. Do you agree?