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Secretary Cardona Calls for an End to Corporal Punishment

U.S. Department of Education building

Today, in a letter to Governors, Chief State School Officers, and School District and School Leaders, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona urged his colleagues to put an end to corporal punishment in schools. In his correspondence, Cardona highlighted data that shows “students of color, boys, and students with disabilities are reported to be disproportionately subjected to corporal punishment.” Cardona stated that the practice of imposing physical punishment on students, including spanking, paddling, and more, should be replaced with evidence-based multi-tiered systems of support interventions that create safe and positive school environments.

While many states have laws that prohibit corporal punishment, the letter states that “the use of corporal punishment in school is either expressly allowed or not expressly prohibited in 23 states. Furthermore, researchers have determined that the use of corporal punishment in schools is likely underreported.” The impacts of corporal punishment are damaging- it can lead to serious physical injury and mental health issues, as well as lower cognitive ability, brain development, and academic achievement among students subjected to the practice.

The letter concludes, “Let's all work together to move away from this harmful practice and to create learning environments that are safe and supportive for all students.” CEC supports ending corporal punishment in schools, and has endorsed the Protecting Our Students in Schools Act which would ban the practice.

View the full letter here

Posted:  24 March, 2023

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