Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Corporal Punishment, School Law


Published on

Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Professor, PhD Program in Educational Leadership, PVAMU, The Texas A&M University System. School Law, Corporal Punishment, Due Process, Freedom of Expression

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

Corporal Punishment, School Law

  1. 1. Corporal Punishment in Public Schools: A Teacher’s Perspective William Allan Kritsonis, PhD Corporal Punishment in Public Schools
  2. 2. Corporal Punishment in Public Schools A Teacher’s Perspective
  3. 3. Discipline…not the same as Punishment <ul><li>Learning how to effectively discipline a child is an important skill that all parents and teachers need to learn. </li></ul><ul><li>Discipline is not the same as punishment! </li></ul><ul><li>Discipline has to do more with teaching , and involves teaching a child/student… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>right from wrong </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how to respect the rights of others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>which behaviors are acceptable and which are not </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how to be self-confident, self-disciplined, and how to control his/her impulses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to not get overly frustrated with the normal stresses of everyday life </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Do we spare the rod and spoil the child or use corporal punishment to correct inappropriate behavior? </li></ul><ul><li>These two viewpoints are quite controversial… </li></ul><ul><li>Some are very passionate about spanking </li></ul><ul><li>Others are adamant about using alternative disciplinary measures </li></ul><ul><li>Discipline can be PAINFUL or PLAUSIBLE depending on who is on the receiving end! </li></ul><ul><li>Corporal Punishment: painful, intentionally inflicted physical penalty administered by a person in authority for disciplinary purposes. Forms of CP: beating, whipping, paddling, flogging </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative measures: peaceful, calm, and usually entail counseling, instruction, and chances for betterment. </li></ul>
  5. 5. I think we can all agree that this is NOT the time to lay blame and point fingers, but to work TOGETHER to find solutions.
  6. 6. <ul><li>establish clear behavior expectations and guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>focus on student success and self-esteem </li></ul><ul><li>seek student input on discipline rules </li></ul><ul><li>use a “systems approach” for prevention, intervention and resolution </li></ul><ul><li>develop levels of incremental consequences </li></ul><ul><li>enforce rules with consistency, fairness, and calmness </li></ul><ul><li>plan lessons that provide realistic opportunities for success </li></ul><ul><li>monitor the classroom environment continuously to prevent off-task behavior and student disruptions </li></ul><ul><li>provide students with social skills training and instruction, character education, student recognition, and involve them in peer mediation </li></ul>How to prevent Corporal Punishment from starting…
  7. 7. Arguments Against Corporal Punishment <ul><li>It perpetuates a cycle of child abuse and it teaches children to hit someone smaller and weaker when angry. </li></ul><ul><li>CP is often not used as a last resort, but as a first resort for minor misbehaviors. </li></ul><ul><li>Injuries can occur, bruises are common, there can be broken bones, and even deaths have been reported. </li></ul><ul><li>Schools are the only institutions in the United States in which striking another person is legal . CP is not permitted in prisons, mental hospitals, or the military. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Arguments Against Corporal Punishment Cont… <ul><li>Educators should understand… </li></ul><ul><li>they expose themselves to potential personal liability for damages when they paddle children. </li></ul><ul><li>despite of authorization by local/district policy and parental consent , suits can still be filed alleging the paddling was excessive or negligent, resulting in bodily injury. </li></ul><ul><li>every year there are reported cases in which parents have filed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Abuse charges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Criminal complaints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SBEC complaints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal suits for damages </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. The Facts Behind Corporal Punishment <ul><li>Corporal punishment in public schools is legal in 23 of our U.S. states. </li></ul><ul><li>Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming </li></ul><ul><li>According to estimates from the federal Department of Education, one third of all the cases of CP occur in just two states: Texas and Mississippi---add Arkansas, Alabama, and Tennessee, these five states account for almost three quarters of all the nation’s school paddlings. </li></ul><ul><li>CP is used much more often on poor children, minorities, children with disabilities, and boys---the U. S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, reported that African-American students comprise 17% of all public school students in the U.S.; yet, statistics show Black students are at 38% when it comes to having CP inflicted on them, which is more than twice the rate of white students. </li></ul>
  10. 11. Ingraham v. Wright “ The Court ruled that corporal punishment of public school students, “did not require any formal due process measures, such as notice and a hearing and under no circumstances could be considered “cruel and unusual punishment” as that term is used in the Eighth Amendment. Thus, in effect, the Supreme Court (by a 5-4 margin) left the regulation of corporal punishment to state and local officials (Walsh, Kemerer, and Maniotis, p. 322).” Corporal Punishment Court Case
  11. 12. Corporal Punishment Court Case Cunningham v. Beavers Two kindergartners were caught “snickering” and were given swats with a wooden paddle by both the teacher and the principal. The paddling even left bruises on the two young girls, but the Fifth Circuit Court concluded there was no constitutional violation of either due process or equal protection and if there were a violation of law, it was a matter for the state courts, not the federal ones.
  12. 13. Corporal Punishment Court Case Fee v. Herndon In this situation, the parents “authorized” appropriate personnel to punish their emotionally disturbed child with three paddle swats; and even though these parents consented, they filed suit against the principal for this beating, claimed their child spent six months in a psychiatric hospital which costs them $90,000, and brought action against the special education teacher who allegedly failed to intervene in the spanking. The District Court for the Southern District of Texas, dismissed the case for failure to state a claim, and the parents appealed. The Court of Appeals dismissed the case as well and stated that: 1) Texas law afforded adequate post punishment civil and criminal remedies, and 2) Texas law did not impose upon the teacher a duty to intervene in the corporal punishment.
  13. 14. Corporal Punishment and the Judicial System <ul><li>Public school children have no recourse in federal court under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment for allegations of abuse of corporal punishment. </li></ul><ul><li>There have been efforts to eliminate corporal punishment, but NO ONE has succeeded! </li></ul><ul><li>Even when corporal punishment has been arguably excessive, federal courts have remained unmoved. ( Cunningham v. Beavers ) </li></ul><ul><li>Even when corporal punishment has been authorized by parents , federal courts have stuck to their guns. ( Fee v. Herndon ) </li></ul><ul><li>To lessen the chances of damage suits, most schools specify that corporal punishment can be used only </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>under certain circumstances </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>by certain people </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>in accordance with certain procedures and policy </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 15. GOD Ordained Corporal Punishment as a Method of Discipline <ul><li>Many believe that corporal punishment is a GOD ordained method of discipline, that there are situations where it is the best option; and that completely ruling it out as a discipline option is in direct conflict with GOD’s advice! </li></ul><ul><li>GOD tells us: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Proverbs 13:24 states, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proverbs 22:15 states, “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proverbs 23:13-14 says, “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Along with the aforementioned Bible verses, some will argue: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CP did them no harm and they live productive lives. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They are resilient to harm and sarcasm. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is effective, especially in emergency situations like a kid running in the street or touching something that could harm them. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They stress that abuse and spanking are two different things. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. My Perspective on Corporal Punishment <ul><li>I am an advocate of CP. </li></ul><ul><li>Corporal punishment should be a means of discipline if all other measures of correction have exhausted themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>There should be levels of punishment, chances, warnings, counseling sessions, and parent involvement. However, if those still do not work then we should try an alternative method which should be CP. </li></ul><ul><li>I feel that this act helps a child to remember that pain is not pleasant and if you do not want to experience such pain then don’t keep misbehaving. </li></ul><ul><li>I feel this will save a great deal of paperwork such as referrals and detention notices. </li></ul><ul><li>CP will free the office, in school suspension rooms, detention halls, and alternative campus learning centers of misbehaved children. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers should explain their reasoning for the paddling and show the student that all other means were tried and were unsuccessful. This way, the student sees the reasoning behind the punishment and can hopefully see that it was HE/SHE who could not apply themselves and follow the rules and it was US who went above and beyond in trying to address misbehavior before it came to this final measure!!! </li></ul>
  16. 17. RESOURCES <ul><li>Center for Effective Discipline. (2007a). School corporal punishment alternatives. [On-line]. Available: </li></ul><ul><li>Center for Effective Discipline. (2007b). Arguments against corporal punishment. </li></ul><ul><li>[On-line]. Available: </li></ul><ul><li>Center for Effective Discipline. (2007c). U. S. : Corporal punishment and paddling statistics by state and race. [On-line]. Available: </li></ul>
  17. 18. RESOURCES cont… <ul><li>The Young Earth Creation Club. (2007). Corporal punishment (spanking) is strongly supported by God in the Bible. [On-line]. Available: </li></ul><ul><li>Walsh, J., Kemerer, F., & Maniotis, L. (2005). The educator’s guide to Texas school law. Austin: University of Texas Press. </li></ul><ul><li>World Corporal Punishment Research. (2007). Corporal punishment in US schools. [On-line]. Available: </li></ul>