Proposal Would Limit Corporal Punishment
Special Report - April 29, 2008
Nearly a year after a bill to ban corporal punishment in public schools was defeated by the North Carolina House of Representatives, a legislative study commission is proposing to ratchet down on this form of discipline in the school setting. The Public Health Study Commission approved a recommendation on April 22 that would require corporal punishment to consist only of “hand spanking on the buttocks through the student’s customary mode of dress” and be administered only by a teacher, principal or assistant principal “of the same gender of the student and who has been trained in the administration of corporal punishment.” If approved by the General Assembly in the 2008 Legislative Session, these restrictions would be added to the following existing conditions that must be met before corporal punishment is administered in public school:
- Corporal punishment shall not be administered in a classroom with other children present;
- The student body shall be informed beforehand what general types of misconduct could result in corporal punishment;
- Only a teacher, substitute teacher, principal, or assistant principal may administer corporal punishment and may do so only in the presence of a principal, assistant principal, teacher, substitute teacher, teacher assistant, or student teacher, who shall be informed beforehand and in the student's presence of the reason for the punishment; and
- An appropriate school official shall provide the child's parent or guardian with notification that corporal punishment has been administered, and upon request, the official who administered the corporal punishment shall provide the child's parent or guardian a written explanation of the reasons and the name of the second school official who was present.
Statistics presented during the 2007 Session of the North Carolina General Assembly indicated that close to 60 percent of the state’s 115 local school systems continue to have policies authorizing corporal punishment.
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