Join the Autism Society of NC and others in a coalition to ban the use of corporal punishment (CP) on students with disabilities! Past attempts to ban CP for all students have not been successful on a statewide basis, but we hope to at least protect students with disabilities by this ban.
At last week’s meeting of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee, corporal punishment was on the agenda, with presentations from Action for Children NC and the NC Association of Educators. Other advocacy organizations working to ban corporal punishment for students with disabilities include the Autism Society of NC, the Arc of NC, Disability Rights NC, and the ACLU. A recent survey of school systems by Action for Children NC found:
*26 of state’s 115 school districts allow corporal punishment, 7 of them in Western North Carolina (but none in the Triangle area)
*2 districts that allow CP did not respond to the survey
*3 districts—Nash-Rocky Mount (296 times), Burke (325 times), and Robeson (167 times)—were responsible for more than half of the reported instances
*113 school districts reported a total of 1,400 acts of CP in 2009 to Action for Children
*21 states allow CP, the majority of them in the South
According to a 2006 survey by the U.S. Department of Education, students with disabilities in North Carolina were hit 290 times; a report by Human Rights Watch and the ACLU indicated that students with disabilities were hit almost twice as often as students in the general population.
There are many other methods of changing behaviors that are far more effective than hitting a child with a long wooden board (the typical method used in CP): Positive Behavior Supports, for example. Let’s not expect students with disabilities to learn anything positive from this punishment—SUPPORT THE BAN ON CORPORAL PUNISHMENT FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES! You can help now by contacting your Board of Education and letting them know how you feel.