StateImpact Florida
2:44 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

To Thwack Or Not To Thwack; Corporal Punishment Is Not Just Florida’s Dilemma

Corporal punishment, like paddling, is allowed in schools in 19 states.
Credit Hin255 / freedigitalphotos.net

Florida is on a shrinking list of states that still allow corporal punishment in schools.

Education Week’s Alyssa Morones looked at how states are grappling with corporal punishment:

Even as an increasing number of districts and states abolish the practice, corporal punishment remains a legal form of discipline in 19 states, most of them in the South, according to the Center for Effective Discipline, a nonprofit based in Columbus, Ohio, that provides educational information on corporal punishment and alternatives to its use. That’s a decrease from 2004, when 22 states permitted the practice.

… Numbers collected by the U.S. Department of Education’s office for civil rights and released in March 2008 showed that 223,190 students were physically punished in American schools in 2006, the most recent year available.

In Florida, it’s up to school districts to decide whether or not to allow physical discipline of students.

StateImpact Florida has been following the on-again, off-again authorization of corporal punishment in Marion County schools (currently: on). You can find out more about Florida’s history with physical discipline—who does it, how they do it, what the rules are—by checking out our series on corporal punishment.