For 40 percent of the United States, corporal punishment is alive and well. We couldn’t believe it either, but in 20 U.S. states, paddling, a type of corporal punishment in which teachers and/or administrators strike students on the buttocks with a wooden board, is legal. Allow NewsFeed to introduce you to Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, the congresswoman trying to stop it.
The “Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act” was introduced to congress by Rep. McCarthy in late June and calls for an immediate ban of physical discipline in public (and private) schools throughout the U.S.
Most recent statistics released by the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights reveal that 223,190 children were paddled at least once during the 06-07 school year, including minimally 41,972 with disabilities. Statistics also reveal that minority students are among those more likely to be paddled in school.
In 1977, in Ingraham v. Wright, the Supreme Court ruled corporal punishment in school is not cruel or unusual. And it is on those grounds that some education officials back the practice. As Kenneth Whalum Jr., a commissioner for Memphis City Schools in Tennessee states, “Corporal punishment would be an arrow in the quiver for teachers to use at their disposal. It’s the best way to get the system right.”
On the other end, McCarthy says, “The bottom line is that if we don’t allow beatings in prisons or in mental institutions, then it’s time we stop allowing it in our schools.”