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Corporal Punishment Use Found in Schools in 21 States – Education Week

Corporal punishment has declined so rapidly in the United States in the last 15 years that many people think it’s practically nonexistent in modern American public schools.

To the contrary, more than 109,000 students were paddled, swatted, or otherwise physically punished in U.S. classrooms in 2013-14, according to Education Week Research Center analyses of the most recent wave of federal civil rights data.

Corporal punishment is often seen by proponents as a good alternative to suspending students. But in a field that requires specialized certification for all manner of programs and subjects, corporal punishment stands out for the virtual nonexistence of training or detailed procedures on how to paddle children of different sizes, ages, or psychological profiles. And in the absence of such training or guidance, the practice can leave students more vulnerable to injury and districts at greater risk of expensive lawsuits.

Federal civil rights data show students experienced corporal punishment in 21 states and more than 4,000 schools nationwide during the 2013-14 school year.