Legislative Reform

Seeking change through legislative reform is a long-term focus of the U.S. Alliance to End the Hitting of Children. We recognize that the battle to end all forms of corporal punishment will be a long one, and we and our partnering organizations are committed to seeing this through. 

Standing against paddling in American schools.

Our growing awareness of the damaging effects violence and bullying has helped us appreciate how important it is for children to feel safe and emotionally secure in order to learn. We now recognize corporal punishment for what it is: a violent and antiquated method of discipline that is both ineffective and violates a child’s basic human rights.

Research shows that paddling children can have harmful, adverse effects on child development. We know it teaches children that violence is a way to solve problems, and that this message is taught to those who inflict pain, those who receive it, and also those who witness it.

Why should we ban spanking?

In the wake of the Adrian Peterson case, there has been growing awareness that spanking is linked to physical abuse of children. Some say, Peterson crossed the line, and yet that line is arbitrary based upon personal belief. The courts can’t even draw a clear line between spanking and abuse, where there has even been a shift to loosen the definition of abuse. At the same time, there is a shift to clarify the definition of abuse in the child abuse code. 

 Both Delaware and Pennsylvania have modified the child abuse code. Delaware modified the child abuse code to include “intent to cause pain,” essentially including spanking as child abuse. Pennsylvania followed, by declaring forcefully shaking, slapping, or otherwise striking a child under 1 year of age as child abuse.

First Impressions: Exposure to Violence and a Child’s Developing Brain

Corporal Punishment in Schools and its Effect on Academic Success

Partnering Organizations

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