Getting a Coalition Started to Abolish
Corporal Punishment in Schools
In order to get corporal punishment in schools banned, many people must be committed to the effort. At the local level, school boards must be persuaded to adopt policies prohibiting corporal punishment as a means of disciplining children. At the state level, legislation must be passed to abolish corporal punishment in all schools. Teachers and legislators must be educated that there are many liability issues involved in allowing this practice to continue and that there are far better ways to maintain order in schools. Legislators must be educated that it is their duty to protect children from the harm corporal punishment causes children. They must be persuaded to join the 30 states which now ban corporal punishment in schools.
You can start a coalition in your community. That coalition can have a significant effect on public policy change and on educating the community. Here’s how to begin:
- Identify possible advocates for your cause in the community. Identify members of statewide organizations as possible advocates if their national organizations have adopted policies against corporal punishment in schools.
- Set up an initial meeting to discuss the issue and share information about it. Establish further meetings to develop plans of action. Invite local pediatricians, psychologists, and child abuse experts.
- Survey local school districts regarding their policies and collect local discipline policies.
- Identify school districts which are likely to ban corporal punishment with some help from your coalition. Identify advocates in those districts who can help in contacts with the boards.
- Meet with local school boards and request that corporal punishment be banned.
- Develop media contacts- statistics on children paddled, parents views, letters to the editors. Give awards to districts which have banned corporal punishment and invite the media.
- Make contacts with state legislators. Get letter writing going to them to ban corporal punishment in schools. Have petitions in malls, stores, etc. asking state legislators and local school boards to ban corporal punishment. Send them to the boards and legislators.
Working together we can get corporal punishment abolished in the U.S. Won’t you help?