New law hitting the mark

Published 12:26 am Friday, September 30, 2011

Slowly but surely, corporal punishment is coming to an end in North Carolina schools – not through a statewide ban, but on a district-by-district movement.

The latest victory was announced Thursday in a report issued by Action for Children North Carolina, a nonpartisan, nonprofit child advocacy group.

Of the 115 school districts in the Old North State, 88 have banned the use of corporal punishment. Many have done so in the three months since the General Assembly passed a law allowing parents to opt their children out of corporal punishment.

North Carolina is one of only 20 states that allow corporal punishment and is the only place where an adult cannot be sued for striking an unrelated child (as long as the child is uninjured). A statewide average indicates that corporal punishment was administered on nearly five children a day during the 2010-2011 school year.

“These data demonstrate that, thanks to the new opt-out law, corporal punishment is finally on its way out of North Carolina schools,” Action for Children President & CEO Barb Bradley said in a news release. “Educators across the state are putting into policy what we have long known from the research: corporal punishment is not effective at changing students’ behavior or improving educational performance, and it can negatively affect their development.”

According to the report, Hyde County Schools is one of the exceptions although corporal punishment has not been used in years.

We believe it is time for Hyde County to join the list of districts that no longer see a need to dispense corporal punishment.