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In April 2016, a viral video showed a Georgia school principal paddling a five-year-old
student.
The video prompted a public debate on the effectiveness and legality of corporal punishment,
which continues in many US schools despite efforts to outlaw it.
So we wanted to know, where is it still legal for teachers to hit students?
Well, in the United States, there is no federal law that addresses the use of corporal punishment
in schools, meaning that it’s up to states and individual school districts to regulate
it as they see fit.
As of August 2016, 31 states had outlawed the disciplinary practice and 19 allow it
to a certain extent, or with permission from a parent or guardian.
However it should be noted that corporal punishment is not pervasive in many of these states,
it just hasn’t been outlawed yet.
According to data from the Department of Education, more than 70 percent of children who were
disciplined with physical force reside in one of five states - all of which are in the south.
Corporal punishment has been used in US schools since the birth of America as a country, as
the practice was brought over by British colonizers.
Such discipline was, and continues to be justified by the common law doctrine “in loco parentis”,
which literally translates to “in the place of a parent”.
The idea is that because the child’s parent or guardian isn’t present, their teacher
automatically assumes all disciplinary rights and responsibilities.
And although adults inflicting pain on children may seem like an obvious breach of their rights,
it’s actually constitutional.
In 1977, the Supreme Court found that physical discipline does not violate a student’s
rights, even their freedom from “cruel and unusual punishment”
So exactly how pervasive is corporal punishment?
Well federal data suggests that nationwide, one child is hit every 30 seconds in school.
This number increases considerably for black students, who receive corporal punishment
at nearly three times the rate of their peers.
Not even special ed students are exempt from such discipline.
According to a 2007 study by the Office for Civil Rights, nearly 42,000 disabled students
received corporal punishment over the course of a single school year, even though they
were likely misbehaving as a result of their disability.
Some educators argue that physical force is the most effective way to discipline.
However a slew of evidence suggests otherwise.
Countless studies have shown that students who are subjected to corporal punishment are
more likely to struggle academically and face psychological problems like depression, PTSD
and social anxiety later in life.
Reports like these have led a number of organizations, including the UN and the US Department of
Education, to strongly discourage the use of corporal punishment in school.
Most countries have ceded to these recommendations.
The practice is only unregulated in 10 countries, most of which are in the Middle East and Africa.
Meanwhile 106 countries have either outlawed or committed to outlawing corporal punishment
in any setting.
As with other aspects of its educational system, it may take a while for the US to catch up
to the rest of the world.
-
Concern for students well being doesn’t stop at corporal punishment.
Many schools, particularly those in war-torn countries, are so unstable that students and
faculty fear for their lives.
To learn more about these dangerous schools, check out this video.
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Is It Legal For Teachers To Hit Students?

8596 Folder Collection
Sh, Gang (Aaron) published on December 4, 2016    Sh, Gang (Aaron) translated    Mandy Lin reviewed
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