Dear Kids Advocacy Action Network (KAAN) Member,
We recently came across a concerning article in the Oklahoma newspaper, Enid News, about the use of corporal punishment in schools (you can read the article
). The article included a picture of the paddle used in the Chouteau-Mazie Public Schools (located about 25 miles east of Tulsa) that highlights the names of the students who have received paddlings. The superintendent of this district was quoted as saying, "The biggest benefit of enforcing that discipline is that students know the paddle exists, and likely will try to stay out of trouble to avoid being swatted."
What can you do? Urge these two school districts to get educated about the damage corporal punishment can cause to kids, and about the scientifically-proven, non-punitive alternatives to this type of discipline. Let's ask them to follow in the footsteps of Oklahoma City Public Schools and Tulsa Public Schools, both of which have already banned the use of corporal punishment. Together we KAAN make a difference! Use the above link to send a pre-written email urging a change in course and utilization of proven, non-punitive, non-adversarial, and -- of course -- non-physical interventions.
Thank you for your help!
Lives in the Balance, home of the Kids Advocacy Action Network (KAAN)
Paddling is not needed to help behaviorally challenging kids!
Dear Superintendents Mason & Pillow,
I am writing as a follow up to the troubling news story regarding the use of paddling, and rates of physically punishing special education students, in both of your districts. I am extremely concerned that students in your districts are being treated in this manner, and that there is still a belief that such treatment will accomplish something productive. The research on corporal punishment completely contradicts this point of view. Corporal punishment is often used in schools as an act of desperation in reaction to highly predictable behaviors and problems, and also as a threat or punishment. In almost all instances, these procedures are unnecessary, especially if schools are familiar with alternative interventions that are non-punitive, non-adversarial, proactive, collaborative, skill-building, and relationship-enhancing. Corporal punishment is none of these things. I urge you and your staff to familiarize yourselves with vast array of free resources on the website of the non-profit, Lives in the Balance (www.livesinthebalance.org). There you'll find streaming video and audio programming that will help you and your staff find ways to ensure that paddling becomes a thing of the past and that the behaviorally challenging students in your school systems are treated in a compassionate and effective manner. We hope you'll join the larger school districts in your state that have banned corporal punishment. That would be major step in the right direction.