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ERIC Number: EJ781980
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 23
Corporal Punishment in Public Schools: Is the United States Out of Step?
McCarthy, Martha M.
Educational Horizons, v83 n4 p235-240 Sum 2005
Few topics evoke more emotion than how to discipline children in public schools. And not many people are neutral in their views toward corporal punishment. Surprisingly, the United States stands almost alone on its position regarding the legality of corporal punishment. Among thirty-five industrialized countries, only the United States and the Outback regions of Australia do not ban this disciplinary technique. And other than its use in public education, corporal punishment is banned in most U.S. government institutions, such as prisons and military bases. Although many European countries have prohibited corporal punishment in schools since the 1800s, the practice was not banned in the United Kingdom until the late 1980s, and there was no national ban of this disciplinary technique in Canada until 2004. Despite the absence of a national prohibition on corporal punishment in the United States, an increasing number of states and local school districts have adopted laws or regulations prohibiting corporal punishment in public schools. Only one state, New Jersey, prohibited corporal punishment by law in 1970, but by 2004, twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia had barred this disciplinary strategy in public education. In an additional state, Rhode Island, all local school districts prohibit corporal punishment even though there is no state law to that effect. Also, in nine states that still authorize corporal punishment in public schools, more than half the students are enrolled in districts that have adopted policies prohibiting this disciplinary technique. Most states still permitting corporal punishment are located in the southern region of the country. This article discusses the constitutional and state law issues of corporal punishment in public schools. (Contains 2 notes.)
Descriptors: Public Schools, State Legislation, School Districts, Foreign Countries, Punishment, Public Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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Identifiers: Ingraham v Wright; Fourteenth Amendment; United Kindgom; Canada; United States