Students in the state of Delaware will soon be attending classes without fear of being paddled, as that state's legislature finalized voting today, approving a bill prohibiting paddling and other forms of physical punishment of students in public schools. Passed by healthy margins in both the Senate [14 to 7] and House [22 to 16], the bill is expected now to be signed by Governor Ruth Ann Minner, making Delaware the 28th state to educate children without using corporal punishment.
Pennsylvania is poised to become state #29 on the no-more-paddles roster. Last summer the Pennsylvania State Board of Education unanimously passed a regulation banning corporal punishment in that state's schools. The regulation is working its way through a legislative approval process, expected by advocates of a ban on paddling to be successful. Paddling is most used in the South. In Mississippi and Arkansas, for example, states with the worst record of paddling, nearly one in ten students can expect to be told to bend over and hold his or her ankles while a teacher or coach strikes the child's buttocks three times or more.
Delaware state Senator David Sokola, sponsor of the bill to ban paddling there, calls such a practice harmful, needless, and says it send children the wrong message, giving them a model of violence in solving disagreements. "Teachers in most of the country are now successfully educating children without hitting them, and that model should be adopted everywhere," he stated. A bill to ban school corporal punishment has also been introduced in the Missouri House and is awaiting hearings there.
For more info, contact DE Senator David Sokola at 1-302-744-4139, or Robert Fathman, President of the National Coalition to Abolish Corporal Punishment in Schools, 614-766-6688, and Nadine Block, Director of the Center for Effective Discipline, 614-221-8829. More information may be found at www.stophitting.com/disatschool.
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