Question isn’t just why schools use corporal punishment more on black students. Why use it at all?

A reported released Thursday confirms much of the earlier research on discipline in our schools: African-American students in Georgia are twice as likely as white students to be disciplined by corporal punishment.
BARRIE MAGUIRE/NEWSARTThe usual rebuttal here on the blog is that African-American students may be twice as likely to misbehave, but studies show even for the same transgressions, black kids pay a higher price.
I have made my view clear in many earlier blogs: Schools should never use corporal punishment.  Never. Ever.
Only a handful of states, including Georgia and most other Southern states, still allow it. I can’t understand the rationale that whacking kids helps them. Yes, I have heard state leaders, including Zell Miller, look back with nostalgia on the “whuppings” they earned as children, saying the paddle, cane or switch helped them straighten up and fly right.
Personal anecdotes aside, no support exists in the research or in common sense for using violence to improve behavior. Schools should not physically discipline children. Suspend them. Call the parents. Send them home. Don’t hit them.Georgia schools need to take a hard look at their discipline data. It’s not just that black students are being struck more; they are being suspended and expelled more for offenses earning white students lighter reprimands.

For the 2011-2012 school year, African-American students represented 37 percent of all the students enrolled in Georgia but made up 54 percent of students receiving in-school suspension, 66 percent of those getting out-of-school suspension, and 50 percent of those expelled.

According to the AJC:

The Brookings Institution report, citing federal education department data, found 1 out of 100 black students in Georgia were struck by a teacher or staffer during the 2011-12 school year, the most recent school year available. By comparison, 1 of 200 white Georgia students were struck during the same school year. White students outnumber black students in Georgia’s public school students, according to state education department data.

Only three states — Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi — had a higher rate of black students who were disciplined by corporal punishment, the study found.

“So long as these failures fall disproportionately on black children, we are not yet living up to the dream that ‘children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,’ ” the report said.

 

Reader Comments 0

24 comments
CSpinks
CSpinks

Another perspective: During the 2011-12 school year, 99% of our Black students and 99.5% of our White ones were not subjected to corporal punishment.

KidsRpeople2
KidsRpeople2

America's Martin Luther King LIE Black Children are HIT more by educators, Prosecuted as a Crime of Violence against Children in 31 states and COSTS TAXPAYERS $$$$ Big Time according to the Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACEs) gaining nationwide attention by lawmakers Support Federal Bill HR2268 "The Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act" by Rep. Alcee Hastings FL  WATCH Documentary examines the use of Corporal Punishment/HITTING of Children K-12 with wooden boards, ASSAULT when done in public,  by school teachers, coaches and administrators in America's Taxpayer funded PUBLIC SCHOOLS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vt4v7KsFi8

Nadine Block
Nadine Block

More than l40 countries ban school corporal punishment because it is ineffective and risky. Many children have had to have medical treatment for bruising and even broken bones.  Better alternatives exist.  See Breaking the Paddle: Ending School Corporal Punishment for why it should be ended, how it can be ended and how parents can protect their children from this barbaric practice.

Beach Bound2020
Beach Bound2020

Black, white, brown, blue, yellow or red - is it me or are the numbers of all children getting disciplined WAY too high?  To me it seems like the bigger question is - why are so many children misbehaving in school? and Is this a public school phenomenon or are all schools experiencing this?  There is no way we can compete in the world if our children are getting in trouble at this rate.  Cut the numbers in half and it's still too many for any race.  

Starik
Starik

I remember a "coach/teacher" in the 8th grade who was a genuine sadist. I never got whacked with his favorite paddle - he delighted in beating the smaller, more vulnerable kids.  He liked to watch them cry. 

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

In this day, corporal punishment at school should not be used.  However, we do need effective ways to deal strongly, fairly, quickly, and effectively with chronic school misbehavior.  I'm not talking about chewing gum here, but rather serious and frequently dangerous behavior.   Schools really need help on this.


Some misbehavior could be addressed by correct placement of the student.  Students who are in over their heads frequently resort to misbehavior, or they mentally drop out and misbehave.  I don't see this ever being tackled by our schools.  There are too many disincentives, to a large degree financial, that keep that from happening.


Some misbehavior is learned.  Students see adults or older siblings behaving in a way that is accepted, and they bring these behaviors to school with them.  These behaviors are hard to extinguish, yet they interfere with both the student behaving badly and the rest of the class.  Students with these behaviors need to be reprogrammed into behaviors that will allow success, but it is very difficult when not done in the home.


Some misbehavior is due to a student having severe mental health problems.  This is also difficult for the school to manage, as it takes parents willing and able to get the medical/counseling help the student needs.  Special programs and facilities can help, but again many do not want to pay for it.


I believe students with chronic behavior problems need to be identified and removed, in general, from the regular classroom, because I believe the rights of the other 29 in the class are of critical importance.  I have, in over 4 decades of teaching, seen entire classes hijacked by one or more chronically misbehaving students.  It can be a lost year for the other students.  This is unacceptable!


At some point our legislators are going to have to provide the funds for alternative placements and identification of the problem, starting at the very youngest grades, rather than waiting till middle or high school.  They are also going to have to listen to educators who know you cannot remediate 2-4 years of being behind in one year by pulling aside small groups of students, meanwhile also meeting the grade-appropriate needs of the others.  Students incorrectly placed need evaluation and correct placement.  All this costs money.


Schools also need the courts to back them up on these efforts.  From what I have seen where I live, that is a big joke.

Legong
Legong

Shall we all pretend that being raised in a single parent household, as are an appalling 72 percent of black children, has no effect whatsoever on individual behavior?

Or can only white liberal journalists play that game?

DekalbInsideOut
DekalbInsideOut

We shouldn't ignore the other side of the whoppin' paddle.  Perhaps black adults are more likely to engage in corporal punishment than their white adult counterparts.  I don't have any data to back this up, but it seems logical that most black students have mostly black teachers.

KidsRpeople2
KidsRpeople2

@DekalbInsideOut See SCHOOL PADDLING BLOG dot com or search any internet search engine or twitter for "school paddling" or "school spanking" as proof of the close association of Adult sites that MOCK Legal Sexual Violence as punishment of Children in America's PUBLIC SCHOOLS to target school children for Sexual Violence, there is NO WAY any school can prevent cell phone recording/sharing of school paddlings of children

King_of_Kolob
King_of_Kolob

One thing prefer about the South vs up North is the racists do not hide. Throw the race rock in the sty and hear them sqeal. This is just an extension of Whites get 1 year probation then the conviction is wiped out while Blacks get the mandatory minimum for the same offence.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

Truth be told, the black discipline rate should be much higher, but these "studies" and other politically correct drivel have caused administrators to punish blacks less than their infraction deserved and whites more.  The end result is that blacks engage in more of the behaviors than before.  Why shouldn't they?  NOTHING will be done about it until the umpteenth infraction.


School discipline data, Dept of Justice Uniform Crime Statistics, anecdotal evidence, you name it, it all points to a pattern of behavior by blacks that is often spontaneous and violent.


I am a firm believer that IQ is a prime driver of this type of behavior.  There is a racial IQ hierarchy and blacks occupy the lowest stratification. 


Blacks are robbing, raping, committing murder, and burning down their towns while guilt ridden, politically correct whites worry about "microaggressions".

Likewise
Likewise

Next up.  Do a study on race and broken homes.

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

Maureen, two questions for you:

1. Have you ever spanked, slapped, or used any form of corporal punishnent with your own children?

2. If your answer to 1 is yes as I believe most parents would answer, why should a teacher with 25-30 students be held to a higher standard than a parent?

If you read statistics on US crimes (wikipedia "Race and Crime in the US" is a good start), you will learn that blacks commit most types of crimes at a higher rate than their percentage of population when compared to other ethnic groups. Can you propose any reason why this type of antisocial behavior is not happening at an earlier age in the schools?

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

Then you are different from most parents. Still, should we hold a teacher with 30 students and two misbehaving and stirring up the other 28 to a higher standard than a parent with two chldren and one misbehaving?

I was paddled once in the 1st grade and it cured my misbehavior - one swat was enough.

Bill Fisher
Bill Fisher

Exactly the point dcdcdc. So Maureen, please, no more "studies show" arguments without providing a reference to these so called analyses.


High information types are very much aware of all the nonsense that has been presented as data driven science, especially in education.

dcdcdc
dcdcdc

Would love to see a detailed "unbiased" study on this topic.  For example, we hear that black children are twice as likely to be punished "for the same transgressions" as non black children.    


Somehow, there is never any background on other factors.  In particular, is this the 3rd time one child has been in trouble, vs the first for the other?  If not, then it is a major issue.


But if it is, then obviously the child with a series of offenses will be more harshly punished - and without any question should be.


But somehow we never get this data.  It's almost like there is a "political agenda" behind these supposed studies.....imagine that.

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator


 

@dcdcdc I have listed these studies on this blog a dozen times. I would suggest you start with your own research with Civil Rights Data Collection’s statistics from 72,000 schools in 7,000 districts, which represent about 85 percent of U.S. students.

One finding: While black students made up only 18 percent of those enrolled in the schools sampled, they accounted for 35 percent of those suspended once, 46 percent of those suspended more than once and 39 percent of all expulsions.

Then, move to the study by the University of Pennsylvania, which focused on the South.

http://www.gse.upenn.edu/equity/SouthernStates


The study found:
Nationally, 1.2 million Black students were suspended from K-12 public schools in a single academic year – 55% of those suspensions occurred in 13 Southern states. Districts in the South also were responsible for 50% of Black student expulsions from public schools in the United States.

This report aims to make transparent the rates at which school discipline practices and policies impact Black students in every K-12 public school district in 13 Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Despite comprising only 20.9% of students in the 3,022 districts analyzed, Blacks were suspended and expelled at disproportionately high rates.

There are studies out of UCLA as well. 

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/ucla-study-finds-large-racial-disparities-in-how-some-school-districts-suspend-students

And here is one from Stanford that tries to get to why black kids experience more and harsher discipline:

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2015/april/discipline-black-students-041515.html 




OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@MaureenDowney @dcdcdc 

I have noticed that the racist trolls on this blog simply repeat the same falsities over and over. Never any self-correction, no matter how many studies or how much data you give them. Lee_CPA, above, is a good example. He has been typing out this claptrap for at least 5 years, unchanged. A troll in the purest sense, he evidently comes to provoke sputtering outrage.

Legong
Legong

Self-hating liberal trolls such as yourself repeat the same malarkey daily, in support of monotonously repeated teachers' union talking points.

Yet you refuse to see any irony in calling others names?

Legong
Legong

Who can have confidence in the studies Maureen cites or the organizations behind them? They are without a doubt biased.

CSpinks
CSpinks

Using the data presented here, one-percent of Black students and one-half of one-percent of White students were subjected to corporal punishment during the 2011-12 school year. Assuming that there are 2M students in GA public schools, that 50% are Black, and 50% are White, there were at least 10K Black kids and 5K White ones "whupped" five years ago.


Now let's compare these numbers on corporal punishment with the numbers of academically non-proficient kids in our schools during the last school year. Again, assuming that there are 2M of our kids in GA public schools, that the students are equally divided between Black and White, and assuming that only 30% are proficient based upon the recent Georgia Milestones results, GA has about 1.4M kids with significant academic problems. Of these, 700K are Black and a similar number White.


Between "whuppings" and academic under-performance, which constitutes a greater threat to our Black kids? Which deserves greater scrutiny in the press?

Michael2255
Michael2255

Have never really understood in loco parentis other than it's what the law says it is.  How can a person/parent give another person the right to commit simple battery against a person/child?  Moreover, how does this third party disciplinarian even obtain the right to harm another?  It's just another one of our legal fictions made fact by legislation.