The Alliance is teaming up with the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) and The New York Foundling, as well as other organizations, such as Stop Spanking, to lead a national campaign to end the hitting of all children in schools and homes. One of the first initiatives we are taking is to have people join together as “ambassadors” to spread the word. If you are concerned about the welfare of children and want to protect children from physical punishment, please join us!
Our Sister Site, provides neuro-developmentally informed parenting information that helps clarify how early spanking and other punitive parenting practices can negatively impact healthy brain development. It also supports studies showing how serious child abuse is linked to spanking. The need to end all hitting of children becomes compelling. Its founder Robbyn Peters Bennett hopes use her site, film clips, and speaking engagements to support professionals and parents. Wonderful videos, lots of links and well thought-out direction.
Lives in the Balance is the non-profit organization founded by child psychologist Dr. Ross Greene, originator of the Collaborative & Proactive Solutions(CPS) approach (formerly known as Collaborative Problem Solving). Our mission is to advocate on behalf of behaviorally challenging kids and their parents, teachers, and other caregivers and to provide free, web-based resources on Dr. Greene’s model, as described in his books The Explosive Child and Lost at School. The website includes demonstration videos, live radio programs, and an immense listening library to help parents, educators, and facilities work with behaviorally challenging children in ways that are non-punitive, non-adversarial, collaborative, proactive, skill-building, and relationship-enhancing.
This group aims to speed the end of corporal punishment of children across the world. Launched in April 2001 in England. The Global Initiative aims to:
To form a strong alliance of human rights agencies, key individuals and non-governmental organizations against corporal punishment;
To make corporal punishment of children visible by building a global map of its prevalence and legality, ensuring that children’s views are heard and charting progress towards ending it;
To Lobby state governments systematically to ban all forms of corporal punishment and to develop public education programs;
To promote awareness-raising of children’s right to protection and public education on positive, non-violent forms of discipline for children;
Lastly, to provide detailed technical assistance to support states with these reforms.
A US based center that has successfully worked for legal in Ohio. This site is chock full of information for activists and parents to learn about the research into the effects of corporal punishment, how to: talk to people about it; relate to certain religious questions; take action for ending paddling in schools; take action about spanking in the home; as well as model legislation and guide for action.
Grassroots Efforts to Oppose the Hitting of Children
Spare the Kids – www.sparethekids.com
Tennesseans for Nonviolent School Discipline – www.forkidsake.org
Churches Network for Non-violence – www.churchesfornon-violence.org
Parenting in Jesus’ Footsteps – www.parentinginjesusfootsteps.org
The Natural Child Project – www.naturalchild.org
The No Spanking Page – www.neverhitachild.org
Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty – www.childrenshealthcare.org
Organizations Committed to Ending Corporal Punishment
The mission of the AVA is to advance health education and research on the recognition, treatment, and prevention of the health effects of violence and abuse across the lifespan. This will be accomplished by (1) Fostering and advancing best science regarding the relationship of violence and abuse to health, including prevention, identification, and care, (2) Accelerating the translation of developing knowledge about violence, abuse and health into healthcare practice, education and public policy, (3) Developing and widely promulgating competencies and standards for quality healthcare addressing the impacts of violence and abuse, (4) Increasing student, policy maker and public awareness about the relationships between violence, abuse and health, (5) Improving the abilities and skills of all healthcare professionals to deliver compassionate, quality care to those affected by violence and abuse. The vision of the AVA is that the recognition, treatment, and prevention of the health effects of violence and abuse are fully integrated into healthcare and society so that people of all ages are safe and healthy.
The American Academy of Family Physicians is opposed to corporal punishment in schools. The AAFP defines corporal punishment in schools as the purposeful infliction of bodily pain or discomfort by an official in the educational system upon a student as a penalty for disapproved behavior. Physical force or restraint which is used by a school official to protect someone from physical injury, to disarm a student, or to protect property from damage is not considered corporal punishment. Evidence indicates that corporal punishment is not as effective as other means of behavior management and may make behavior worse. Positive reinforcement has been shown to be more effective and long-lived than aversive reinforcement. The Academy supports alternative methods of behavior management and modification in the school environment which enhances a student’s optimal learning.
The mission of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is to attain optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. To accomplish this mission, the AAP shall support the professional needs of its members. Core beliefs of the AAP include the inherent worth of all children, they are our most enduring and vulnerable legacy; children deserve optimal health and the highest quality health care; pediatricians, pediatric subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists are the best qualified to provide child health care. Multidisciplinary teams including patients and families are integral to delivering the highest quality health care. 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. Alternative methods of behavioral management have been shown to be more effective than corporal punishment. 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.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry does not support the use of corporal punishment as a method of behavior modification. Corporal punishment includes a wide variety of discipline methods that employ pain as a negative reinforcement to modify behavior. When assessing and treating children and families, child and adolescent psychiatrists should provide information to families about the hazards associated with corporal punishment and encourage and assist parents to modify their child’s behavior by other methods. To this end, child psychiatrists should know and discuss effective and evidence based methods of behavior management with families. Components common in evidence based parenting programs include appropriate limit setting and use of praise to increase positive behaviors, decreasing hostile or coercive family interactions and enhanced family problem solving. These techniques, based on social, cognitive-behavioral and developmental learning theories tend to improve the parent-child relationship and decrease the need or utility of corporal punishment.
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is the nation’s leading voice promoting equity and education for women and girls. In 2010, AAUW wrote a letter to the US Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in support of the Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act, H.R.5628, which would eliminate the use of corporal punishment in both public schools and private schools that serve students receiving federal services, as well as assist in creating a safer learning environment for all children. Aside from the infliction of pain and physical injury that often result from the use of physical punishment, these violent disciplinary methods impact students’ academic achievement and long-term well-being. This legislation is a vital step toward ensuring that our schools are places where students and educators interact in positive ways that foster students’ growth and dignity. AAUW believes that the SASS’s definition of “violence” affecting students, school personnel, and other individuals participating in school activities should encompass both physical and emotional violence, as both can be very harmful to students’ well-being and academic success.
In July 1985, the American Bar Association issued a statement claiming that the organization opposes the use of corporal punishment in institutions where children are cared for or educated and urges that state laws which permit such corporal punishment be amended accordingly. The Association does not oppose such force as is reasonable and necessary to quell a disturbance threatening physical injury to persons or property, to remove a child causing a disturbance who refuses to cease or to leave when so ordered by the authority, or to obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects upon the person or within the control of the child. In addition, the use of accepted educational techniques and treatment approaches used as behavior modification for seriously disabled children does not constitute corporal punishment.
The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.
On November 21, 2016, the American Humanist Association joined with 77 other groups in on open letter calling for local, state, and federal policymakers to address the continued damaging use of corporal punishment in both public and private schools.
The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, now in partnership with The New York Foundling, was founded in 1987, is a nonprofit national organization focused on meeting the needs of professionals engaged in all aspects of services for maltreated children and their families. Given the research evidence about the harms associated with corporal punishment, APSAC opposes hitting children for discipline or other purposes. APSAC calls for the elimination of all forms of corporal punishment in part because it increases children’s risk for physical abuse.
The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) condemns the use of physical punishment (corporal punishment) in the discipline of children and recommends alternative methods that enhance children’s capacities to develop healthy emotional lives, tolerate frustration, regulate internal tensions, and behave in socially acceptable ways. APsaA identifies and advocates for three crucial interventions for the prevention of physical punishment of children: (1) Education about the psychological problems caused by physical punishment and about alternative approaches to discipline. Educational efforts should be directed towards parents, caregivers, educators, clergy, legislators and the general public. (2) Legislation to protect all children from physical punishment and to aid parents at risk. (3) Research about alternative methods of disciplining and managing children and about the best ways to communicate these methods to parents, educators and caregivers
Whereas the resort to corporal punishment tends to reduce the likelihood of employing more effective, humane, and creative ways of interacting with children; whereas it is evident that socially acceptable goals of education, training, and socialization can be achieved without the use of physical violence against children, and that children so raised, grow to moral and competent adulthood; whereas corporal punishment intended to influence “undesirable responses” may create in the child the impression that he or she is an “undesirable person”; and an impression that lowers self-esteem and may have chronic consequences; whereas research has shown that to a considerable extent children learn by imitating the behavior of adults, especially those they are dependent upon; and the use of corporal punishment by adults having authority over children is likely to train children to use physical violence to control behavior rather than rational persuasion, education, and intelligent forms of both positive and negative reinforcement;
therefore, be it resolved that the American Psychological Association opposes the use of corporal punishment in schools, juvenile facilities, child care nurseries, and all other institutions, public or private, where children are cared for or educated.
The American School Counselor Association’s Position holds that school counselors oppose the use of corporal punishment. School counselors recognize the use of corporal punishment can teach children that violence is an acceptable way to resolve differences. Research shows physical punishment to be ineffective in teaching new behaviors, and it is detrimental in teaching problem-solving skills. Corporal punishment can have negative effects for students. School counselors have a responsibility to protect students and to promote healthy student development. The school counselor serves as a resource to school personnel and families for the use of effective intervention and discipline strategies that will promote positive individual development. School counselors encourage public awareness of the consequences of corporal punishment, provide strategies on alternatives to corporal punishment and encourage legislation prohibiting the continued use of corporal punishment.
The AUCD supports the Keeping All Students Safe Act, which would establish federal minimum standards to limit the use of restraint, seclusion, and aversives including corporal punishment in schools and promote the use of school-wide positive behavioral interventions that have been shown to improve school climate and safety.
The ultimate goal of discipline is to help children develop self-control and self-discipline. Studies show that spanking and other physical discipline techniques can create ongoing behavioral and emotional problems. Harsh, physical discipline teaches children that violence is the only way to solve problems.
The CDC is one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services. The CDC works to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same. The CDC recently published a technical package addressing ending violence against children and preventing child abuse and neglect. The CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention is committed to stopping violence before it begins and their work involves: (1) Monitoring violence-related injuries, (2) Conducting research on the factors that put people at risk or protect them from violence, (3) Creating and evaluating the effectiveness of violence prevention programs, (4) Helping state and local partners plan, implement, and evaluate prevention programs, and (5) Conducting research on the effective adoption and dissemination of prevention strategies. One strategy proposed to accomplish these goals is the change of social norms to support parents by calling for both educational and legislative action to end the practice of corporal punishment and promote positive parenting.
Center for Effective Discipline (CED) is a program of Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center (Gundersen NCPTC). CED provides educational information on the effects and risk factors associated with the use of corporal punishment on children while offering healthy, effective alternatives.
ChildFund Alliance International is a founding member of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children. ChildFund is launching a new initiative in the U.S. to focus our efforts on one area of critical need: child protection and the impact of violence on growth and learning. ChildFund Alliance’s global campaign “Free From Violence” (www.freefromviolence.org) has been set up to advocate to governments for the inclusion of the prevention of violence and exploitation of children as one of the development priorities in the post-2015 agenda and to raise awareness at all levels of these issues.
Child Safe’s mission is to Respond to and Prevent Child Abuse, Help Families Heal, and Restore Childhood Hope. Specialized training is made available for professionals to enhance the skills necessary to effectively recognize abuse and respond to victims. A child abuse awareness campaign is on-going to further the community’s understanding of the problem.
The Children’s Advocacy Institute (CAI), founded at the nonprofit University of San Diego School of Law in 1989, is one of the nation’s premiere academic, research, and advocacy organizations working to improve the lives of all children and youth, with special emphasis on reforming the child protection and foster care systems and improving outcomes for youth aging out of foster care.
The Children’s Defense Fund champions policies and programs that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education and a moral and spiritual foundation. Supported by foundation and corporate grants and individual donations, CDF advocates nationwide on behalf of children to ensure children are always a priority.
The mission of Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty is to end child abuse or neglect related to religion, cultural practices, or quackery through public education, research, legal action, and a limited amount of lobbying. We support Laws requiring medical care of children, including preventive and diagnostic measures, without exception for religious belief; reporting of child abuse and neglect without religious exemption; licensing of child care facilities including those run by churches; ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Churches’ Network for Non-violence (CNNV) was formed to broaden religious support for law reform to end corporal punishment of children and other cruel and humiliating forms of violence against children and to challenge faith-based justification for it. CNNV aims to work with others towards developing a network of support, practical resources and information and to encourage people in all religious communities to play an active role in the movement for reform. CNNV rejects all forms of violence against children including corporal punishment in all its forms. We believe positive, non-violent discipline best models the example set by Jesus. All the recorded encounters between Jesus and children were gentle, respectful and compassionate. CNNV believes that religious leaders and their communities and faith-based organizations should be in the forefront of work towards the prohibition and elimination of all forms of violence against children including corporal punishment.
The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. (COPAA) is an independent, nonprofit, §501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization of attorneys, advocates, parents and related professionals. COPAA members work to protect the legal and civil rights of and secure excellence in education on behalf of tens of thousands of students with disabilities and their families each year at the national, state and local levels. In 2014, the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates wrote a letter to US Representative McCarthy in support of her proposed Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act of 2014 (H.R.5005). In this letter, the COPAA states: The bill prohibits the Secretary of Education from providing federal funding to any educational agency or institution that allows school personnel to inflict corporal punishment upon a student as a form of punishment or to modify undesirable behavior. The Ending Punishment in Schools Act of 2014 (H.R.5005) supports COPAA’s core values to provide safe, positive learning environments for children with disabilities. We believe it also supports policies that protect the due process rights of parents and students, and end the use of aversive interventions, including restraint and seclusion. The bill additionally promotes an education environment in which teachers are well trained to manage behavioral challenges and schools are not permitted to use disciplinary practices in lieu of good teaching practices for students with disabilities.
The Dignity in Schools Campaign Model Code on Education and Dignity presents a set of recommended policies to schools, districts and legislators to help end school pushout and protect the human rights to education, dignity, participation and freedom from discrimination. This Moral Code on Education and Dignity outlines key elements of school-wide preventative and positive discipline policies, including a recommendation for the prohibition of the use of corporal punishment, restraints, seclusion or physical abuse against students.
The Family Services Network provides the ACT Raising Safe Kids program (ACT-RSK). This is a national violence prevention program that focuses on the early years of a child’s development and on the important roles communities and adults play in such process. The program was developed by the American Psychological Association to educate and empower parents and adults who are raising, taking care or educating children from birth to 8 years of age to live in a safe, stable, nurturing, and healthy environment. Family Services Network has been delivered the ACT Raising Safe Kids program since 2005. Program goals include making early violence prevention part of the community’s efforts to prevent violence and helping Help communities, families and caregivers create violence–free early environments for children.
Futures Without Violence works to promote resiliency for children exposed to violence. Working with violence prevention advocates and educators, FUTURES has worked to break the cycle of violence by developing groundbreaking programs to prevent teen dating violence and promote healthy relationships. Futures offers a number of services and programs, especially to children, youth, and teens in opposition to violence.
In 2015, world leaders made a commitment to end all forms of violence against children by 2030, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Global Partnership and its associated fund (the “Partnership”) to End Violence Against Children was created to help achieve this ambitious undertaking – in every country, every community and every family. The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children offers an opportunity for governments, United Nations agencies, international organizations, civil society, including faith groups, the private sector, philanthropic foundations, researchers and academics, and children themselves, to work together – with a greater sense of urgency, passion and commitment – to prevent and respond to violence against children.
The Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center (Gundersen NCPTC) and its programs, Jacob Wetterling Resource Center (JWRC) and Center for Effective Discipline (CED), work to end all forms of child maltreatment through education, training and prevention, while advocating for and serving children, adult survivors and communities.
In 2010, the ACLU and Human Rights Watch issued a joint statement titled “Corporal Punishment in Schools and Its Effect on Academic Success” for a hearing before the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Healthy Families and Communities. In summary, both organizations – the ACLU and Human Rights Watch – oppose the use of corporal punishment as a means of punishment or discipline and state that the use of violence against students is never an acceptable means of punishment – it harms students physically, psychologically and academically. The use of corporal punishment in schools is interfering with students’ right to be treated with dignity and, as a result, is interfering with their right to a quality education. By prohibiting the use of corporal punishment and helping states to develop safe and effective behavioral practices, this Congress could help to ensure that our nation’s children are able to achieve their full educational potential in a supportive learning environment.
Dr. King serves as the acting US Secretary of Education, a position he assumed upon Senate confirmation on March 14, 2016. He recently sent a letter to state leaders in November of 2016 urging them to ban corporal punishment in schools.
The mission and vision of the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law is to protect and advance the rights of adults and children who have mental disabilities. In regards to education, the Center states that schools have also tried zero tolerance policies and corporal punishment to improve behavior, but neither has been effective in teaching social skills and maintaining a positive school climate, and both raise significant civil rights concerns. Instead, the Center strongly supports school-wide positive behavior support (SPBS) programs because they are effective in creating a climate that builds on students’ capabilities and promotes success—a climate where students are rewarded for good behaviors and are therefore more likely to stay in school, achieve academically, and graduate.
Launched in New Delhi in November 2014, the Initiative was established as a collective response by individuals from multilateral institutions, non-governmental organizations and funding agencies concerned about the global impact of violence in childhood and the lack of investment in effective violence prevention strategies. The Initiative also brings together a diverse, multi-sectorial group of researchers who are organized in three Learning Groups and has commissioned over 30 major global research papers covering three key settings where children experience violence: in the home; in schools or institutions; and within the wider community and in public spaces. Know Violence in Childhood will act on three broad fronts: building evidence and showcasing solutions; engaging leadership; and energizing national, regional and global advocacy.
In regards to parenting and discipline, MassKids proposes that it is quite possible to discipline children without yelling or hitting, and without punishment or abuse. Punishing, hitting, spanking, yelling, or shaming a child will likely serve to stop the misbehavior only when a parent is nearby and has significantly detrimental effects to a developing sense of self-worth.
In their “Position Statement 45: Discipline and Positive Behavior Support in Schools,” MHA states that as a leading advocate for the mental health and wellness of children and adolescents, Mental Health America (MHA) opposes corporal punishment and zero tolerance policies. MHA supports individuated school disciplinary processes that take account of mental health conditions and emotional disturbances and promote the healthy mental and emotional development of our country’s youth. More proactively, MHA supports evidence-based school-wide positive behavior support and “no reject, no eject” policies aimed at providing a child who misbehaves with the necessary resources to promote behavior change in positive, non-punitive ways.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation’s largest professional organization of early childhood educators, is committed to actions that address two major goals: First, to decrease the extent of violence in all forms in children’s lives by advocating for public policies and actions at the national level. A key component of this first goal includes prohibiting corporal punishment in schools and all other programs for children. Second, to enhance the ability of educators to help children cope with violence, promote children’s resilience, and assist families by improving professional practice in early childhood programs.
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
In 2011, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners issued a position statement on corporal punishment in which the organization claims that it is committed to promoting quality health care for children, including the provision of a safe and healthy environment in which children can grow and develop. Parents must be educated about harmful effects of corporal punishment (CP) and effective alternative forms of discipline for home and school. NAPNAP believes that it is necessary to eliminate CP in the home, schools and other settings where children are cared for or educated. NAPNAP opposes the use of CP in the home as well as schools and supports the use of alternative, non-violent, age-appropriate discipline strategies.
In 2015, the National Association of School Nurses issued a position statement titled “Use of Restraints, Seclusion, and Corporal Punishment in the School Setting”. It is the position of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) that the registered professional school nurse is an essential advocate for the health and well-being of all students. Promoting a safe and secure environment is vital to the educational success and emotional development of children. The use of restraints, seclusion or corporal punishment can potentially cause injury or death. School nurses must provide leadership in Recognizing that school nurses should advocate for reduction of the use of restraint/seclusion and the elimination of corporal punishment in schools by: encouraging the use of policies and procedures to keep students and school personnel safe, identifying the meaning/purpose of student behavior, which may lead to the use of restraint/seclusion; promoting a systematic approach to assessment, intervention and evaluation as the best means of response to behavior; and recognizing that adequate consistent staffing ratios in all classrooms are necessary, especially in at-risk classrooms; and recognizing that schools should provide prevention strategies, including positive behavioral support training and de-escalation methods for all school staff and administrators.
In their position statement on corporal punishment: The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) opposes the use of corporal punishment in schools and supports ending its use in all schools. Further, NASP resolves to educate the public about the effects of corporal punishment, to provide alternatives to its use, and to encourage research and the dissemination of information about corporal punishment’s effects and alternatives.
In the NASSP position statement regarding corporal punishment, the NASSP affirms its opposition to the practice of corporal punishment in schools and its support for alternative forms of discipline. NASSP believes that the practice of corporal punishment in schools should be abolished and that principals should use alternative forms of discipline. There are numerous solutions that can be initiated and supported by principals, classroom teachers, and other educators and can help provide an atmosphere conducive to learning and self-discipline.
NASBE believes that each state board should assume an active leadership role to identify educational needs, priorities and plans of implementation for the state, including this program principle: Child abuse, including the psychological maltreatment of children and the use of corporal punishment in schools, is wrong and should be condemned. Additionally, in order to ensure that schools have safe, positive learning environments for all students, NASBE recommends that state policies regarding school discipline promote implementation of positive behavioral interventions, restorative justice practices, peer mediation, counseling, and other discipline prevention strategies designed to improve school climate, maximize student learning, and minimize exposure to the juvenile justice system.
The 1985 position statement of the NCTE claims that all children have the right to a humane education, free from fear and physical punishment. Informed opinion maintains that such punishment produces no lasting benefits and can cause serious physical and psychological damage. Be it therefore resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English condemn cruel, degrading, and humiliating treatment of students and call for an end of physical abuse and corporal punishment of all students in schools and other institutions where they are taught or cared for; and that NCTE urge school districts and governing boards to provide in-service training in alternative and educationally sound classroom management and humane and just student discipline, and urge colleges of education to require pre-service education that includes the same.
In May 2015, Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) introduced the Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act of 2015 (HR 2268). This bill will prohibit the US Department of Education from providing education funding to any educational agency or institution that allows school personnel to inflict corporal punishment upon a student. It also will authorize grants to states to assist them in improving school climate and culture by implementing school-wide positive behavior supports. NDSS strongly supports this bill.
NESRI proposes that every young person has the human right to a quality education and to learn in a safe, respectful school environment. Yet, in our public schools use harsh, punitive discipline practices that deny students the opportunity to learn. NESRI believes that human rights offer a framework for how to transform our schools based on principles of equity, accountability, dignity and community participation. We work with community partners to support national and local coalitions, generate human rights analysis and training resources, and engage in advocacy efforts. NESRI supports the DSC Campaign.
In 2010, the NEA sent a letter to the House Education and Labor Committee on Corporal Punishment in Schools. This letter states that the NEA believes that all educators and students have the right to work and learn in a safe school environment. Educators know that a positive, effective learning environment leads to successful student outcomes. We also know that there is no evidence to support the use of corporal punishment in schools as a strategy that leads to positive student engagement and learning. NEA categorically opposes the use of corporal punishment as a school discipline technique. It is more than ineffective – it is harmful.
In their position statement on corporal punishment, the NFPA states: Whereas, the National Foster Parent Association would be remiss if it did not join the groundswell of public and professional protest against corporal punishment of children, in the home and in the schools, as well as the stated opposition to corporal punishment by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Child Welfare League of America, American Bar Association, and others, the assembled members of the National Foster Parent Association adopt the following position statement: Numerous studies have overwhelmingly confirmed that hitting, spanking, slapping and other forms of physical punishment are harmful methods of changing childrens behavior and alternative forms of discipline are more effective, and, a workshop on violence and public health, convened by Surgeon General Koop, recommended that a major campaign be carried out, with the help of the media, to reduce the public’s acceptance of violence in general and violence against children in particular, including physical punishment, and further, that the American people come to understand that corporal punishment should be abolished, and the use of physical punishment is deeply ingrained in American society and will be difficult to eliminate, but the detrimental effects of physical punishment indicate that the time for action is immediate and urgent, the National Foster Parent Association adds its voice to those urging the abolition of corporal punishment of children and those efforts to heighten public awareness of other forms of discipline more effective and less damaging to the bodies and spirits of children.
In their position statement and recommendation on corporal punishment, the National PTA states: Recognizing that acts of violence are repugnant wherever they occur, and that societal emphasis today calls for the protection of individual human rights, and that schools should provide an environment conducive to learning and to the development of self-discipline through the democratic process; the Education Commission moved that the National PTA embark upon a program of education and information relating to the issue of corporal punishment; its usage, effectiveness, and alternatives. This program should be conducted with the cooperation of an organization, such as the National Center for the Study of Corporal Punishment and Alternatives in the Schools at Temple University, so that curriculum and bibliography for parent study groups could be developed and disseminated. Our state congresses should be encouraged to appoint task forces, to review present law, to survey individual school districts on implementing regulations, policies, and practices, to compile information concerning the administration of corporal punishment in public schools, to conduct parent education workshops on the subject, and to reach out wherever possible to legislators and the general public with a view to finding alternative methods to the utilization of corporal punishment as a technique of behavior modification within the educational environment. National PTA will support efforts to abolish corporal punishment and efforts to develop alternative discipline programs to provide an orderly climate for learning.
Their mission is to make the prevention of interpersonal violence a national priority and to encourage healthy relationships by linking science, practice, policy and advocacy. Through our many partnerships and collaborations, the NPEIV is beginning to make great strides in pursuing this goal and becoming an umbrella partnership of the many organizations, agencies, and advocate/victims working to end interpersonal violence in the U.S. Guiding principles include acknowledging and understanding the impact interpersonal violence has on individuals and society; recognizing the mental, physical, legal, medical, social, and economic burden of interpersonal violence; respecting an individual’s basic right to live without violence; valuing human dignity; promoting consensus-based practices while maintaining cultural sensitivity; and considering and addressing the unique needs of unserved/underserved populations.
Recently, the NWLC wrote an open letter to local and state educational agencies & policymakers urging for an end to corporal punishment of children in schools. This letter was co-signed by 80 organizations also in favor of trying to end violence against children.
NC Child implements a variety of strategies to promote effective public policy that benefits children in North Carolina. North Carolina remains on the list of nineteen states that allow corporal punishment, which tarnishes our state’s image and, most importantly, means it is still legal for school officials to intentionally inflict pain on children. It is beyond time for our state’s elected officials to stop this ineffective and archaic practice.
PVFF provides education, programming, and resource referral to critical issues. Partnered with the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize, and Hardin Counties support groups are open to all and are offered free of cost. PVFF also supports evidence-based programs in each of the prevention focus areas of child abuse, teen dating violence, child sexual assault, problem gambling, mental illness and suicide.
In their Resolution on Corporal Punishment dated 11/14/02, the Prevent Child Abuse America organization states: Whereas, age-appropriate discipline may be necessary in school and institutional settings, nonviolent means of discipline, such as giving time-outs, explaining rules, or taking away privileges, have been shown to be more effective than violent discipline. Whereas, the use of physical punishment teaches children how to use physical violence to control others rather than peaceful means of solving problems. Whereas, 365,508 school children were subjected to corporal punishment during the 1997-1998 school year. Whereas, currently nearly 50 percent of all states (23) allow corporal punishment in schools. Whereas, the use of physical force against an adult is considered a crime of battery or assault. Therefore, be it resolved, that PCA America supports: Banning, in every state, the use of corporal punishment against children in all schools and institutions. Providing initial and ongoing training to all teachers and staff on alternative means of discipline. Promoting positive and appropriate behavior in school by teaching children appropriate behavior and coping skills through effective and proven educational and school-based programs that award good behavior and encourage accountability and peer mediation.
PsycHealth provides a full range of services for mental health and substance use recovery. The PsycHealth team and its providers speak many languages and come from diverse cultures. PsycHealth, Ltd. promotes human rights, non-violence and healthcare services.
Rights4Girls is a human rights organization working to end sex trafficking and gender-based violence in the U.S. We advocate for the dignity and personhood of young women and girls – so that every girl may possess the right to be safe and live a life free of violence and exploitation. Based in Washington, D.C., Rights4Girls works to make the lives of U.S. young women and girls a human rights priority. Our U.S.-based human rights work for young women and girls focuses on the following goals: advance public policy that protects the dignity and rights of young women and girls, especially those from vulnerable communities; develop public awareness and social media campaigns to give visibility to gendered violence in the U.S.; create global partnerships with international human rights and women’s rights organizations to include the experience of violence against young women and girls in the U.S.; dismantle the sexual abuse to prison pipeline; end domestic child sex trafficking; and empower young women and girl survivors to foster a new generation of leaders.
The SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality. The SPLC seeks to fight hate, teach tolerance, and seek justice. Issues of interest and activism include hate and extremism, children’s rights, immigrant justice, LGBT rights, economic justice, and criminal justice reform.
The Council for Exceptional Children is a professional association of educators dedicated to advancing the success of children with exceptionalities. The Council for Exceptional Children supports the prohibition of the use of corporal punishment in special education. Corporal punishment is here defined as a situation in which all of the following elements are present: an authority accuses a child of violating a rule and seeks from the child an explanation, whereupon a judgment of guilt is made, followed by physical contact and pain inflicted on the child. The Council finds no conditions under which corporal punishment so defined would be the treatment of choice in special education.
NCP works toward a world in which all children are treated with dignity, respect, understanding, and compassion. Their site includes articles and advice by leading writers on attachment parenting, unschooling, and child advocacy, helping parents and professionals see all of life, including all forms of punishment, from the child’s point of view. One such article by Jan Hunt, titled “Ten Reasons Not to Hit Your Kids,” portrays the site’s opposition to violence and corporal punishment against children.
Founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1869 as a home for abandoned children, The Foundling today offers an expansive array of services for underserved children, families, and adults with developmental disabilities. Whether it’s an abused child in need of a foster home, a young mother who lacks the skills to care for her child, or a young person lost in the juvenile justice system, The Foundling provides the resources necessary to rebuild lives and rebuild families. The Foundling’s Child Abuse Prevention Program (CAPP) has been at the forefront of giving children the tools they need to prevent and report child abuse. CAPP believes that every child should receive their basic right to safety so that they can have the opportunity to grow and thrive. With their award-winning Child Safety Workshop, CAPP has found an effective and engaging way of teaching children the skills they need to recognize and resist abuse. The Foundling also offers a positive parenting workshop designed to help parents understand the difference between physical abuse and corporal punishment, spanking, and to learn positive parenting skills as an alternative to corporal punishment.
In their 2003 position paper published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the Society for Adolescent Medicine stated their belief that the vast majority of the evidence leads to the conclusion that corporal punishment is an ineffective method of discipline and has major deleterious effects on the physical and mental health of those inflicted.
The 1973 General Resolution of the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association states their opposition to the corporal punishment of children in schools, juvenile detention facilities, and other public institutions where children are cared for or educated and urges that members of UUA societies work actively through school boards, legislatures, and courts to help arouse public opinion to bring an end to the practice.
In 2004, the United Methodist Church General Assembly adopted a resolution stating: WHEREAS, schools and child-care facilities are the only institutions in America in which striking another person for the purpose of causing physical pain is legal; WHEREAS, corporal punishment is humiliating and degrading to children and sometimes causes physical injury; WHEREAS, it is difficult to imagine Jesus of Nazareth condoning any action that is intended to hurt children physically or psychologically; WHEREAS, corporal punishment sends a message that hitting smaller and weaker people is acceptable; WHEREAS, corporal punishment is used most often on poor children, minorities, children with disabilities, and boys; WHEREAS, there are effective alternatives to corporal punishment that teach children to be self-disciplined rather than to submit out of fear; WHEREAS, schools and child-care centers should inspire children to enjoy learning and school and child-care personnel should be able to encourage positive behavior without hitting children; Therefore, be it resolved, that The United Methodist Church calls upon all states to enact laws prohibiting corporal punishment in schools and day and residential child-care facilities.
Our Mission, “To break the cycle of child abuse by empowering children, families and communities” focuses on improving long-term outcomes for all Texas children and reducing recidivism in child abuse by focusing on five key markers that we know will forge a path to a future free from abuse.
Incorporated in 2012, the US Department of Defense Education Activity issued regulation stating that corporal punishment by teachers, principals, or other persons employed by DoDEA is prohibited.
Additional Foreign and International Organizations
U.N Committee on the Rights of the Child – www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/
Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children – www.endcorporalpunishment.org
Global Summit on Ending Corporal Punishment and Promoting Positive Discipline – www.smu.edu/psychology/html/globalSummit.html
Save the Children – www.savethechildren.org
Human Rights Watch – www.hrw.org
Attachment Parenting International – www.attachmentparenting.org
Children Are Unbeatable (United Kingdom) – www.childrenareunbeatable.org.uk
Observatoire de la violence Ã©ducative ordinaire (France) – www.oveo.org
Education pour le Mieux-Ãªtre de l’Individu et le DÃ©veloppement de l’Afrique (Cameroon) – www.emida-cameroon.org
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