As More Schools Ban Paddling, Others Defend It

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by Rachel Chason | Religion News Service

paddling(RNS) The use of corporal punishment on disobedient students — commonly known as paddling — will be banned this coming school year in three counties in Florida and two in North Carolina.

That still leaves hundreds of school districts in the 19 states where the practice is still legal.

As the number of studies showing the negative effects that corporal punishment can have on children has increased, the number of students paddled in public schools nationally has decreased — going from 342,038 in 2000 to 217,814 in 2009-10, according to the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.

Studies have shown that in states where paddling is allowed, it’s used disproportionately on minority students and those with mental, physical and emotional disabilities.

A 2008 Human Rights Watch report found that although African-American students made up 17.1 percent of the student population nationwide, they made up 35.6 percent of those paddled. The report also notes that children with disabilities in Texas made up 10.7 percent of the student population in the 2006-07 school year but accounted for 18.4 percent of those paddled. [Read the full article here: Corporal Punishment]

photo credit: hrw.org

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