Locals react to corporal punishment letter

Local parent reacts to corporal punishment

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - We've all heard the talk of corporal punishment in our schools and many have voiced their opinion on the issue.

Now, U.S. Education Secretary John King Jr. wants states across the nation to do away with corporal punishment, saying the punishment is linked to both short-term and long-term effects on the students.

In a letter sent to state leaders, King explained the short-term effects, citing an increase in aggressive, defiant behavior, while the long-term effects include substance abuse, mental health issues or poorer academic achievement.

Research also shows that males are often more targeted for corporal punishment and that young African American men were more commonly administered punishment among all genders.

"Our schools are bound by a sacred trust to safeguard the well-being, safety, and extraordinary potential of the children and youth within the communities they serve," King said. "While some may argue that corporal punishment is a tradition in some school communities, society has evolved and past practice alone is no justification. No school can be considered safe or supportive if its students are fearful of being physically punished. We strongly urge states to eliminate the use of corporal punishment in schools– a practice that educators, civil rights advocates, medical professionals, and researchers agree is harmful to students and which the data show us unequivocally disproportionally impacts students of color and students with disabilities."

One Jonesboro woman who fosters said she believes the first line of punishment should come from the home, while the school is secondary.

"I don't think doing away with it completely will help I do think involving the parents, continuing to involve the family more in the discipline and giving education of the discipline of a child seeing what their homes are like and underlying reasons, why they are acting out in school, would be more beneficial," Caleigh Romine said.

Romine said she thinks schools should try to build individual relationships with each student and that student's families.

Corporal punishment has been banned so far in 28 states, including D.C., and has been abandoned in many individual districts.

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