While a national debate roils about professional athletes whacking kids, it seems useful to remember that 19 states still allow children to be hit in public school, sometimes to the point of bruising. A federal data analysis found that on average, one child is hit in public school every 30 seconds somewhere in the United States.
While 31 states have now banned corporal punishment, these states still allow it: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming. In many places, parental permission is required — and often given. It is more prevalent in Texas; least prevalent in Wyoming. The last state to abolish it was New Mexico, in 2011.
The practice persists because some educators and parents believe it helps modify disruptive behavior despite no conclusive evidence that it actually does. Some students are hit for severe infractions of school rules, and others for minor ones, like being tardy.
How many kids get hit? According to an analysis of federal data from 2009-2010, the Children’s Defense Fund reported in 2014 that 838 children were hit on average each day in public school, based on a 180-day school year, which would be 150,840 instances of corporal punishment a year — less than just a few years earlier but still a rather stunning number. African-American students and students with disabilities are disproportionately subject to corporal punishment in school, data shows.
Wierd never knew this and I’m from one of those states.