Spanking Kids in School Still Common, Especially Among Disabled | The Autism News

September 1, 2009
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Spanking Kids in School Still Common, Especially Among Disabled | The Autism News

a new study by the ACLU and Human Rights Watch, as reported here and here. More than 200,000 U.S. schoolchildren were subjected to corporal punishment during the 2006-2007 school year, the study shows. And the South has a big lead in whacking schoolkids, with Texas, Mississippi and Alabama holding the top three spots.Paddlings in school are still legal in 20 states, and the report suggests they are quite common, based on 202 interviews with parents, teachers, students and school officials, plus federal Education Department data. The courts haven’t afforded students in classrooms the same protection as criminals have against cruel and unusual punishment.Many pediatricians now advise against corporal punishment; some research suggests spanking makes behavior problems worse. And while I admit to having harbored now and then a fleeting wish that my kids’ teachers could smack fellow students whose behavior disrupted class, I never would seriously advocate such a thing.In the saddest finding of the ACLU study, children with disabilities, especially autism, drew corporal punishment at a far higher rate than others, the study found. Children with autism were often punished for behaviors linked to the condition, because teachers lacked the knowledge, training or patience to use other methods of behavior control.

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