Study Finds 15 States Still Legally Allowed To Spank Students In School

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS Atlanta) — According to information researched by Civil Rights Data Collection and released by The Center for Effective Discipline, at least 15 states still legally allow spanking and other physical forms of discipline in schools, including Georgia.

Other states that are still legally permitted to administer spankings include Texas, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Recent research from the data collection agency also shows that, in some states, over 5 percent of enrolled students have been subjected to spankings. In Mississippi, approximately 7.5 percent have been punished using physical means.

Deborah Sendek, program director for the center, said that those numbers are declining as time goes by for a number of reasons.

“In the states using [corporal punishment], there are a number of districts who don’t use it,” she told CBS Atlanta. “If you look at major metro areas … or university settings, you’ll find they are not using it.”

Added Sendek, “It tends to be used in more rural areas, in those areas where old habits die hard.”

Younger teachers entering the profession are also bringing with them a different mindset in regards to punishment and classroom management.

Sendek attributes the shift to access to knowledge regarding how physical punishments affect children, both in the short-term and long-term.

“We all make mistakes … but think about what the consequences are going to teach children,” she said. “It teaches the child to avoid punishment, as opposed to making positive choices. And it teaches them that, when frustrated, you should act through aggression.”

More recent information from CRDC will reportedly be made available in the coming weeks, pertaining to the 2009-2010 school year.

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