Getting Your State to Ban Corporal Punishment:
A Youth Campaign to End School Corporal PunishmentWhat can groups of young folks do to get corporal punishment banned in their states? See the resolution below passed by United Methodist Church youth in North Carolina. They studied corporal punishment and reviewed the United Methodist Church resolutions calling for an end to this practice. They drafted a resolution reflecting their study, debated and voted on the document, signed it and sent it to organizations that might help them achieve a goal of ending corporal punishment in North Carolina Schools.What can groups of young folks do in paddling states to end this barbaric practice?
Study school corporal punishment use in your state. Look for statistics and laws about your state on www.stophitting.org
Draft a resolution calling for an end school corporal punishment, pass it and distribute it with a letter calling for a ban to groups such as the following:
State Legislature - Education committees of the House and Senate and leadership of the political parties. Email and snail addresses can be found on the web.
State Superintendent and State Board of Education - contact information can be found on the web.
Editors of major newspapers asking them to editorialize against corporal punishment in schools.
Your school board members
Model resolution Concerning Corporal Punishment in North Carolina Public Schools
Whereas, Black's Law Dictionary defines corporal punishment as punishment that is inflicted upon the body including imprisonment, and
Whereas, North Carolina is one of eleven states in the United States of America that grants authority to school boards to permit corporal punishment within statutory guidelines (Center for Effective Discipline), and
Whereas, During the 1999-2000 school year, 5,717 students enrolled in North Carolina public schools were subjected to corporal punishment (National Coalition to Abolish Corporal Punishment in Schools), and
Whereas, In North Carolina public schools, principals, assistant principals, teachers, and substitute teachers are permitted to use corporal punishment in an effort to quell a disturbance threatening injury to others; to obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects on the person or within the control of a student; for self-defense; for protection of persons or property; or to maintain order on school property, in the classroom, or at a school-related activity on or off school property (NC Gen. Stat. 115C-391), and
Whereas, In North Carolina public schools, principals, assistant principals, teachers, and substitute teachers are permitted to use reasonable force to control behavior (NC Gen. Stat. 115C-391), and
Whereas, Reasonable force is a subjective term and it is open to the interpretation of individuals administering corporal punishment as a means of discipline to children in the North Carolina public school system, and
Whereas, In North Carolina public schools, school officials are not required to obtain permission from a child's parent or guardian before using corporal punishment as a means of discipline (NC Gen. Stat. 115C-391), and
Whereas, This statutory guideline infringes upon the rights of parents with children in the North Carolina public school system who chose not to discipline their children with physical force, and
Whereas, All children need guidance and deserve to grow up in an environment free from physical harm (Center for Effective Discipline), and
Whereas, Corporal punishment of children provides a poor model for solving interpersonal problems, leads to a pro-violence attitude, and contributes to the cycle of abuse (Center for Effective Discipline), and
Whereas, Violence to children is a preventable harm (Center for Effective Discipline), and
Whereas, Preventing physical violence to children includes learning and using non-violent discipline methods (Center for Effective Discipline), and
Whereas, Research concerning the effects of corporal punishment on children suggests that physical punishment, when administered regularly, increases antisocial behavior such as lying, stealing, cheating, bullying, assaulting a sibling or peers, and lack of remorse for wrongdoing (Center for Effective Discipline), and
Whereas, Physical punishment serves as a model for aggressive behavior and for inappropriate ways of dealing with conflict (Center for Effective Discipline), and
Whereas, Physical punishment adversely affects cognitive development (Center for Effective Discipline), and
Whereas, If we are ever to turn toward a kindlier society and a safer world, a revulsion against the physical punishment of children would be a good place to start (Dr. Benjamin Spock, The Center for Effective Discipline).
Therefore be it resolved that we, the 53rd Annual Conference Session of the United Methodist Youth Fellowship of the North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church place the responsibility of physical discipline upon the parents of the children and not the school system.
Therefore be it further resolved that copies of this resolution be sent to The Center for Effective Discipline, The National Coalition to Abolish Corporal Punishment in Schools, Superintendent of North Carolina Public Schools Michael Ward, and The North Carolina State Board of Education.
The resolution passed on Wednesday, July 21, 2004.
Submitted to the Center for Effective Discipline by:
Sue Ellen Nicholson
Director of Children, Youth and Young Adult Ministries
NC Conference UMC