Resolution to Encourage
The Elimination of Corporal Punishment
in Public Schools

By The NLGA (National Lt. Governors Assoc.)
March 25, 2011

WHEREAS, Twenty states permit the corporal punishment of students in public schools; and

WHEREAS, In those twenty states, the U.S. Department of Education statistics show that over two hundred twenty thousand school children are subjected to corporal punishment, with over twenty thousand school children requiring medical attention due to the resulting abrasions, bruising, severe muscle injury, hematomas, whiplash damage, life-threatening hemorrhages, and other medical complications; and

WHEREAS, hundreds of studies by medical doctors and social scientists have shown that the outcomes associated with this violent disciplinary method actually lower studentsí academic achievement and have long-term detrimental effects on their well being, including increased childhood and adult aggression and criminal behavior and decreased child and adult mental health such as depression, anxiety disorders, suicidal tendencies, and alcoholism; and

WHEREAS, gross racial disparity exists in the execution of corporal punishment of public schoolchildren; and

WHEREAS, public schoolchildren with disabilities are also subjected to corporal punishment at disproportionately high rates, approximately twice the rate of the general student population in some states; and

WHEREAS, behavioral interventions for children must promote the right of all children to be treated with dignity and ensure a safe and productive learning environment; and

WHEREAS, safe, effective, evidence-based strategies are available to support children who display challenging behaviors in school settings; and

WHEREAS, according to the Department of Education's Technical Assistance Center on School-Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Support, outcomes associated with school-wide positive behavior support include: decreased office discipline referrals, increased instructional time, decreased administrator time spent on discipline issues, efficient and effective use of scarce resources, and increased perception of school safety and sustainability through a team approach; and

WHEREAS, children in 30 states are already protected from corporal punishment and corporal punishment is prohibited in other settings, such as hospitals, health facilities, Head Start programs, and nonmedical community-based facilities; and

WHEREAS, the National Lieutenant Governors Association is committed to safe and nurturing learning environments for both students and teachers, this resolution does not call for restricting a teacher, other certified employee, or any other person providing services to students from using reasonable force, as needed, to maintain safety of other students, school personnel, or persons, or for the purposes of self defense or the defense of property so long as such force is not used for the purposes of providing discipline to students; and

WHEREAS, the National Lieutenant Governorís Association is committed to defending and promoting the interests of our nationís children and engendering the highest quality educational environment under which our children may achieve their full potential;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NLGA encourages state and territorial governments to consider the elimination of corporal punishments in our schools and support and seek policies and laws that engenders respect and learning; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NLGA will promote cooperation between state and territorial governments and local educational agencies and schools in identifying and implementing effective evidence-based models to prevent and reduce-- (A) Aversive behavior interventions that compromise health and safety; and (B) Physical, emotional, or psychological abuse.

Sponsored by: Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Maryland
Co-Sponsor: Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy, Nebraska
Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll, Florida

To print this resolution in PDF format on 2 letter-size pages, click on

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