Ending Corporal Punishment
H.R. 5628 prohibits corporal punishment in schools and requires the Secretary of Education to withhold federal funding for programs that fail to comply.
WASHINGTON, DC, July 26, 2010 -- The following is a statement concerning H.R. 5628, the Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act, sent to School Safety Partners by United States Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, representing Long Island's 4th Congressional District and serving as a senior member of the Committee on Education and Labor.
A substantive, well-balanced curriculum put forth by qualified, motivated faculty and staff is fundamental to a sound educational system. Just as important, is a sound and safe environment in which students are expected to learn. Countless studies have shown that student retention is better achieved through positive reinforcement rather than fear. Still, in twenty states, corporal punishment is used as a means of punishment for misbehavior in schools. The deliberate infliction of pain on our nation's students must end if we are to take national education reform seriously. Through my work as a senior member of the House Education and Labor Committee, and as a nurse, I have found that the vast majority of research indicates that corporal punishment is not only an ineffective disciplinary tool but also can have a negative impact on student achievement. It is for this reason I was proud to sponsor H.R. 5628.
As you may know, H.R. 5628 would ensure the safety of our students by prohibiting corporal punishment in schools. These protections would mirror existing protections that exist in prisons, Head Start programs, hospitals, and other facilities. It would also provide resources for positive behavior intervention training methods, which the U.S. Department of Education has said decreases discipline referrals, increases instructional time and is a more effective use of scarce resources. The bill requires the Secretary of Education to withhold federal funding in part or whole for those programs that fail to comply. Educators, parents, and students alike widely agree that corporal punishment, or "paddling," has no place in the classroom. My bill has earned the endorsement of the National Education Association (NEA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), and Parent Teacher Association (PTA), among over a hundred other groups and associations. H.R. 5628 has been referred to the House Education and Labor Committee for its consideration. Please know that I will work for the final passage and implementation of this important legislation and, as the House of Representatives begins to consider the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, I will continue to advocate for the safety of our nation's students.