Corporal Punishment
Position Statement of the National Association of School Psychologists

Adopted by the NASP Delegate Assembly, April, 1986

As the purpose of the National Association of School Psychologists is to serve the mental health and educational needs of all children and youth; and

The use of corporal punishment as a disciplinary procedure in the schools negatively affects the social, educational, and psychological development of students; and

The use of corporal punishment by educators reinforces the misconception that hitting is an appropriate and effective technique to discipline children; and

Corporal punishment as a disciplinary technique can be easily abused and thereby contribute to the cycle of child abuse; and School psychologists are legally and ethically bound to protect the students they serve; and

Research indicates that punishment is ineffective in teaching new behaviors, that a variety of positive and effective alternatives are available to maintain school discipline, and that children learn more appropriate problem solving behavior when provided with the necessary models;

Therefore, it is resolved that the National Association of School Psychologists joins other organizations in opposing the use of corporal punishment in the schools and in other institutions where children are cared for or educated;

And will work actively with other organizations to influence public opinion and legislative bodies in recognizing the consequences of corporal punishment, in understanding and researching alternatives to corporal punishment, and in prohibiting the continued use of corporal punishment;

And will encourage state affiliate organizations and individual members to adopt positions opposing corporal punishment, to promote understanding of and research on alternatives to corporal punishment including preventive initiatives, and to support abolition of corporal punishment at state and federal levels.

See revised version which was adopted April 18, 1998.

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