Action #1: Tell your legislators to vote “YES” to H.R. 1234 – Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act of 2021.
(Trigger warning – violence towards a child.) Video cameras inside our smartphones are affecting justice in ways we could not have conceived of a decade or so ago. A brave teenager’s footage of the murder of George Floyd put a bad cop in jail. Now, we’re hoping that a mother’s video, who filmed the violence as proof that it happened, will be the end of this abusive and racially discriminatory practice of corporal punishment in our country. But it will need your voice to happen.
The principal may be in legal trouble, not because she beat a student, but because the school happens to be in Hendry County, one of the 20 counties out of 67 in Florida that does not permit corporal punishment. (When did your state ban corporal punishment? Here. Where does it still happen? Here.)
There is a lot of research available proving that children who have been subjected to hitting, paddling or other harsh disciplinary practices have reported subsequent problems with depression, fear and anger and frequently withdraw from school activities and disengage academically. The American Academy of Pediatrics stated that “corporal punishment may adversely affect a student’s self-image and school achievement, contributing to disruptive and violent behavior.” This includes increased rates of bullying and aggression in school in the months and years following the punishment and increased aggressive conduct toward their siblings, parents, teachers, and schoolmates, and increasing the chances that a child “graduates” to our prison system. It’s illegal to flog adults in our prisons (1952) or military services (Navy – 1853, Marines – 1957). Why do we still allow this to happen to kids?
H.R. 1234 – Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act of 2021 includes the following points:Continue reading “America hurts its kids. It’s time to stop. “YES” on H.R. 1234 – Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act.”