Being the enlightened parenting genius that you are, you probably consider corporal punishment to be a vestige of your parents’ generation and the homes of NFL running backs. So it might come as a slap in the face to learn that it’s still technically legal for teachers to physically discipline their students in 19 states.
That’s according to a recent piece in The Atlantic, which cites Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Indiana, North and South Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee as the states where you might need to keep an eye on your kid’s teacher. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem like those teachers are actually using their legal right to whack-a-kid — the latest civil rights report from the U.S. Department of Education found about 167,000 kids were physically punished in the 2011-2012 school year. Seventy percent of those cases were restricted to Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas — in case you’re wondering where not to move.
If you asked a teacher or administrator in a Florida school who supported the policy why it was in place, they might quote you the statute, which defines corporal punishment as “the moderate use of physical force or physical contact by a teacher or principal as may be necessary to maintain discipline or to enforce school rule.” Of course, you could very easily counter by pointing out there is absolutely zero evidence that such tactics work even a little bit.
Maybe that’s why, in many of those states largest school districts — like Houston, Texas and Memphis, Tennessee — the practice is banned despite state policy.
[H/T]: The Atlantic