Commentary, News

Thankfully, the Right surrenders on another “culture war” issue

In case you missed it, there was some encouraging news from the good people at NC Child yesterday. Once again, after stubbornly holding out for decades, the Right is on the verge finally giving way on an important issue of the culture wars — corporal punishment.:

Corporal Punishment Disappearing from the NC Public Education Landscape

Today NC Child released data showing that just three local school districts in North Carolina used the practice of hitting students as a form of discipline, and that incidents of such corporal punishment have fallen 50 percent since last year.

The data come from a recent survey of public schools done by NC Child, according to Senior Fellow Tom Vitaglione.  “The survey has gotten easier each year, as fewer schools use this ineffective and outmoded practice,” Vitaglione said.

The survey shows 71 occurrences in the three districts (35 in Robeson County, 22 in Graham County and 14 in Macon County) during the 2015-16 school year. Overall, this is a 50 percent reduction from the prior year.

“We have sent notes of congratulations to each of the school boards and administrations,” said Vitaglione. “We are especially delighted that the Macon Board of Education has recently adopted a policy to prohibit the use of corporal punishment in its schools.”

The survey shows a 50 percent reduction in Graham (from 44 incidents to 22) and a 60 percent reduction in Robeson (from 88 to 35).  Data on which schools used corporal punishment and which children were hit are not yet available. In the prior year, all the corporal punishment in Graham occurred at Robbinsville High School, and most of the occurrences in Robeson were to student members of the Lumbee Tribe at Prospect Elementary School.

“There are now more than 80 studies that indicate that corporal punishment is an ineffective form of discipline,” said Vitaglione. “We hope that the education leaders in Graham and Robeson will soon join their colleagues in the state’s other 113 local school districts in making corporal punishment in North Carolina a thing of the past.”

NC Child Survey on Corporal Punishment Occurrences in the Public Schools

District                                  2014-15                        2015-16

Graham                                      44                                    22

Robeson                                     88                                    35

Macon*                                       11                                    14

*The Macon Board of Education has recently prohibited corporal punishment.

Of course, it should be noted that numerous so-called “Christian” schools — many of which receive public money in the form, of school vouchers — are likely still beating children, but at least, the practice has almost been eradicated from the state’s public schools.

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