Corporal Punishment In The Classroom

By: Kimberly Burcham Email
By: Kimberly Burcham Email

Corporal punishment at school is banned in 160 countries around the globe and Kentucky is one of only 21 states in the U.S. where it's still legal in schools.

Recent numbers show even though the punishment is still used, it's on the decline in the commonwealth's education system.

Jennifer Banks says corporal punishment doesn't have much of a place in her classroom at Dennis Wooton Elementary anymore even though she teaches in Kentucky where it's legal.

“When it was a little more common before , I have used the paddle, but I've not in years,” Banks said.

Civil rights data from the last few years shows the number of students being punished in the form of paddling is steadily decreasing every year.

“It was pretty common back then. I think we did it because it was the way everything was done back then. But gradually it went by the wayside and we looked for different alternatives to do,” Nadine Vannarsdall said.

Some parents think their children should be punished just the way they were.

“I think they would know better than to do it the next time if they did get a paddling for it. If they knew the consequence they wouldn't do the behavior,” Diane Johnson said.

Before teachers can use a paddle, they have to have written permission from the parents saying they're allowed to use corporal punishment.

“Some of the parents will fill it out and bring it in front of the child and say, here I've given them permission to paddle you and some, that's all it takes,” Vannarsdall said.

A new report by the ACLU finds that boys are three times more likely to be paddled than girls, African American students more often than white and special education students, also more likely to receive corporal punishment.

For now, Principal Vannarsdall says she'll keep the school's "Attitude Adjuster" put away in her drawer.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Jan Location: Partridge,Ky on Aug 23, 2008 at 03:47 PM
    I thimk teachers need to use the paddle when children don't mind,that's what's wrong with children today. They need paddling not only in school but by their parents too.If teachers and parents don't work together then children don't care about their selfs or others and when they get older, they get out of control and in jail, on drugs or into other things. KEEP PADDLING IN SCHOOLS AND OUR HOMES.
  • by w Location: knott on Aug 23, 2008 at 03:34 PM
    All the lawyers and house bil 91 have killed the education system.. I know there should not be any bulying, or students doing anything to another.. But not if a first grader pushes one of his classmates, they have to call the police....thah is STUPID. If that is all the lawmakers in Frankfort have to do we need to get new ones.
  • by Retired Educator Location: E. KY on Aug 23, 2008 at 02:23 PM
    I don't think paddling a child is the answer in every case. I think that if we teach the child how to behave properly, there will be a very very rare case in which a paddling will be helpful. Most children respond to other means and should be taught what is appropriate and not appropriate. Of course, this must start at home and parents must support the authority of teachers and work with them for the well-being of the child. There are rare occasions where nothing else works and that threat may make a difference. Parents and teachers should do a lot of talking and teaching first...this will cut down on discipline problems. Most humans want to be accepted and will behave in a way to be accepted....and if taught what is acceptable will respond positively. Again, it begins in the home!!
  • by Jay Location: KY on Aug 23, 2008 at 01:59 PM
    One of the main problems is that it isn't "politically correct" to paddle your child anymore...I guess it is "time-outs" now...which is a big load of you know what...we were paddled as children, and none of us turned into raving, lunatic, serial killers. Children are being programmed to know they can point the finger at parents who paddle them (reasonably), to get back at parents and/or teacher who use this discipline. Our society is sliding downhill fast..before long even the ever popular "time-outs" will be deemed against their civil rights...what are ya gonna do then? Let them run wild, I guess...Anyone ever seen "Lord of the Flies"?...
  • by lou Location: printer on Aug 23, 2008 at 06:10 AM
    i think they need to use paddles to the kids when they dont mind that what happened to these kids today they dont get enough whippings .if they need it paddle them .
  • by kelly Location: pineville on Aug 23, 2008 at 05:11 AM
    When I was in school, I always took a paddling over detention when given a choice because it didn't last as long. When my children start school, I'll probably send a paddle or a bag of switches with them.
  • by teacher Location: kentucky on Aug 23, 2008 at 04:30 AM
    Yeah, we sure don't need to use the paddle anymore, nor do we need God in school, and we sure don't even need to make them mind a word. We do these things and wonder why kids are killing each other, on drugs, and have no ambition to do anything. Keep it up and we won't have schools at all.
  • by Billy Jean on Aug 23, 2008 at 04:21 AM
    Bust thier hides good,or raise a fool and jail bird.The fools here are the ones without the paddle.
  • by Tim Location: Winchester on Aug 22, 2008 at 09:07 PM
    This is when our youth started getting out of control when they took Praying & Paddling out of our schools. I got my share of them and I don't think I turned out too bad and never once thought I was mistreated.'Spare The Rod, Spoil The Child'.
  • by Michelle Location: Corbin on Aug 22, 2008 at 05:40 PM
    I think that is what has happened to the the kids today. Schools really have nothing to "hold over their heads" for punishment and they know the school cannot really do anything to punish them.

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