Corporal Punishment Has to Stop

Insights from Educate, 16th Edition

Jennifer Osborne
Educate.

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Welcome to Insights from Educate, a curated weekly newsletter of professional learning and inspiration from authentic voices in education.

I am sure many of you were just as appalled as I was when this video was released of a Florida principal paddling a young child, while her mother secretly filmed it no less.

Using a paddle to discipline a student is referred to as corporal punishment and is surprisingly legal in 19 states. F. Chris Curran, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Florida, writes:

“In the 2015–2016 school year, more than 92,000 public school students were paddled or spanked at the hands of school personnel, with most of these incidents concentrated in fewer than 10 states, mostly in the South.”

I attended and graduated high school from a very small town in Alabama, where disciplinary paddling was the norm. I regularly watched as students, especially boys, were pulled out of class to be paddled for various offenses. At the time, I had no idea that this was considered abnormal in most parts of the country. In the deep south, parents left teachers and admin to discipline their children as they saw fit.

Despite my experiences, I am just as surprised as many of you to learn that corporal punishment is still in use today. Professor…

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Jennifer Osborne
Educate.

Educational Leadership Policy Ph.D. Student ⎪Editor of Educate. medium.com/educate-pub