Corporal punishment in schools

A former principal at Chickasaw City Schools in Tuscaloosa County, Brent Ward was accused of hitting a student, Chandler Rigdon, three times. It is alleged that he walked up to the student in a hallway at the school and hit him at least three times- once on top of his head, once on the side of his face and once on the back of his head such that Chandler’s face became red and swollen. It is not clear why he let out this kind of punishment to the child. 1

What regulations has the law put in place against corporal punishment?

Spanking, a common form of corporal punishment is a form of discipline method that on met on the child in whom he inflicts pain to the child but not injuring them in order to modify the behavior of the child. In some states, spanking is allowed to some extent in schools, but some states outlaw physical discipline. 3 2

Thirty-one of the fifty states have outlawed spanking and other forms of corporal punishment. Many school districts also have their ban on corporal punishment. In other states, the law gives a green light to corporal punishment in schools. In a case filed in the Supreme Court Ingraham v. Wright, 430 U.S. 651 (1977), the court said that corporal punishment did not violate the student’s constitutional rights. However, at this period, few states had outlawed the practice 2 5

 Is corporal punishment harmful?

There is a controversy whether spanking has any positive effect on the positive change of behavior in children. Many research findings show that this form of discipline results in depression, anger, reduced achievement, drug abuse, and mental illness among others. 2

 What of child abuse?

Even in states where spanking is allowed, one can still sue for the use of physical force against a child in a way that results in injury. In most cases, it results in criminal charges of child abuse, battery, or assault. Spanking that causes rise to such legal procedures includes, bruising, causing bleeding or pain that lasts for several days. 3 5 6

If a teacher is convicted of assault, child abuse, or battery in a childcare center, nursery up to the middle and high school, he or she could face a jail term, restitution (paying the victim’s family for costs incurred for the crime) and probation. The teacher can also lose the license to [practice teaching. It is important that teacher practice restraint when instilling discipline to the children especially the toddlers who are still in the early stages of mental development. 5 6