We need to expel the paddle -- Letter to KOTV
By Nadine Block
April 4, 2004

My name is Nadine Block. I am the director of the Center for Effective Discipline, headquarters of the National Coalition to Abolish Corporal Punishment in Schools and EPOCH-USA. We are a non-profit organization providing information about the effects of corporal punishment of children and alternatives. Our website it http://www.stophitting.org

I am writing with concern about the paddling injury case of the teenage girl by her school’s principal in Ninneka High School. Corporal punishment is the “intentional infliction of physical pain for purposes of preventing or stopping misbehavior”. The purpose of paddling is to inflict pain. In the Ninneka paddling, we are provided another instance of injury that is caused by this ineffective and barbaric practice. If the principal hit his teenage daughter on the buttocks with a board outside of Walmart, he would be arrested. Why is he given permission to hit a teenage girl behind closed doors?

Over ninety nations have banned school corporal punishment. Poland’s ban on this practice goes back to the late l700’s. All European nations have banned it. Several nations in Africa have banned it including Namibia, Kenya and South Africa. India is expected ban corporal punishment in schools this summer. The Canadian Supreme Court banned corporal punishment in schools in three months ago leaving only the U.S. and Australia (outback regions only) sanctioning this practice in law.

Are children in 22 states, including OK, worse than kids in over 90 countries? Are teachers in the U.S. not as good as teachers in those countries?

Please consider a follow-up story on the worldwide progress in ending corporal punishment. We need to expel the paddle.

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