It is estimated that corporal punishment is administered between 1 and 2 million times a year in schools in the United States.1 Thirty states have statutes that allow school officials to use corporal punishment.
The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that corporal punishment may affect adversely a student's self-image and his or her school achievement, and that it may contribute to disruptive and violent student behavior.2-4 Alternative methods of behavioral management have been shown to be more effective than corporal punishment.2-4 It is also recognized that physical force or constraint by a school official may be required in selected situations to protect students or staff from physical injury or to disarm a student. In carefully selected circumstances, the use of physical force or constraint may also be justified to prevent property damage.
The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents, educators, school administrators, school board members, legislators, and other adults to seek (1) the legal prohibition by all states of corporal punishment in schools and (2) the employment of alternative methods of managing student behavior.
- Copyright © 1991 by the American Academy of Pediatrics