Last Updated on March 15, 2016 by bvnadmin

[vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]“Corporal punishment being a matter of concern has multidimensional and obnoxious impacts over the academic performance/career and socio-psychological well-being of the students…Furthermore, evidence has been found through research that corporal punishment plays a significant role to hinder the learning capacity of students and impede the zeal of creativity.”

–International Journal of Business and Social Science

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”grey” align=”align_center” style=”” border_width=”” el_width=””][vc_column_text]Corporal punishment can be defined as the use of physical force intended to cause pain, but not injury, for the purpose of correcting or controlling a child’s behavior.

A recent post by the Brookings Research Institute highlighted how black children in public schools in America are twice as likely as white children to be subject to corporal punishment.

The assessment was based on nationwide data from the 2011-12 school year (the latest year available) reported by schools to the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Education. The report has reminded all Americans that serious disparities remain in how black children are treated in American schools.

The Brookings Institute’s assessment is notable for two important reasons. Firstly, although the majority of states have banned corporal punishment, including California that eliminated corporal punishment in schools in 1986, most states, including California as defined in its Education Code Section 49000-49001, maintain the right for school authorities to use reasonable force and restraint to quell a disturbance that threatens physical injury to others; to obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects; in self-defense or for the protection of persons or property.

Although these caveats exist in California, public school teachers can be charged with child abuse or assault for spanking their students.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”4676″ alignment=”center” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”800×500″][vc_column_text]According to the Brookings institute, there were 42,000 reported incidents of black boys and 15,000 incidents of black girls being beaten by educators in their school during the 2011-12 school year. The report highlighted two important facts. Firstly, black students are more likely to reside in states that use corporal punishment extensively, primarily in the south; and secondly, in a number of states, black students are disproportionately singled out for corporal punishment.

Seven states accounted for 80 percent of school corporal punishments. Not surprisingly those states included Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas. Six of these states including Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, Texas, and Tennessee plus Louisiana accounted for 90 percent of corporal punishment incidents against black students.

The report revealed one reason given for black students being subject to more corporal punishment is that, “they live in those states responsible for most of the corporal punishment of all children.”

Black students are disproportionately beaten in several states in the Deep South. For example, black children are twice as likely to be struck as white students in North Carolina and Georgia, 70 percent more likely in Mississippi, 40 percent more likely in Louisiana, and 40 percent more likely in Arkansas. On the other hand, the report also indicated there are some southern states with a high incidence of corporal punishment where it is administered equally between black and white students.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”4675″ alignment=”center” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”800×500″][vc_column_text]While heavy use of corporal punishment is more common in states of the former Confederacy, the disparity exists in northern states as well. According to the report, schools in both Pennsylvania and Michigan are almost twice as likely to strike black children as white even though these states have overall rates of corporal punishment that are low.

Surprisingly, there is also broad disparity relative to the administration of corporal punishment in schools in places most would not suspect. For example, in the state of Maine, black children are eight times as likely to be punished as white children. However, what is most surprising is in states like California, Colorado and Ohio whose rates of corporal punishment for black children are 70 percent or more higher than for white children.

The data used to prepare the Brookings Institute report is a product of the U.S. Department of Education Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC). The goal of the CRDC is to obtain data related to the nation’s public school districts’ obligation to provide equal educational opportunity. School district participation in the data collection process is mandatory as authorized under the statutes and regulations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 among other state and federal statutes.

Click here to view the CRDC report online.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Avatar photo

S.E. Williams

Stephanie Williams is executive editor of the IE Voice and Black Voice News. A longtime champion for civil rights and social justice in all its forms, she is also an advocate for government transparency and committed to ferreting out and exposing government corruption. Over the years Stephanie has reported for other publications in the inland region and Los Angeles and received awards from the California News Publishers Association for her investigative reporting and Ethnic Media Services for her weekly column, Keeping it Real. She also served as a Health Journalism Fellow with the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism. Contact Stephanie with tips, comments. or concerns at