Legislation to Ban Corporal Punishment in Schools Hits Congress

In addition to their argument that paddling only teaches violence with violence, Scott and McCarthy said corporal punishment is used more often on minority and special education students -- black students were more than twice as likely to get hit than white students, they said.

The department's data showed that 53 percent of the children disciplined with corporal punishment were white, compared with 35 percent for black students. But black students make up just 17 percent of the school population, compared with whites at about 56 percent.

McCarthy and Scott suggested schools do less hitting and more positive reinforcement, rewarding children for the behavior educator's expect.

Paddling, Scott said, "does not inform the student as to what they should have done. Maybe what they should not have done."

There is currently no timetable for Congress to debate an education bill. But McCarthy said she's hopeful she'll significantly build on the bill's current 16 co-sponsors in the meantime.

"I have a very strong feeling that I can get this into the major part of the education bill," she said.

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