Is It Legal For Teachers To Hit Students?


In April 2016, a viral video showed a Georgia
school principal paddling a five-year-old student. The video prompted a public debate on the
effectiveness and legality of corporal punishment, which continues in many US schools despite
efforts to outlaw it. So we wanted to know, where is it still legal
for teachers to hit students? Well, in the United States, there is no federal
law that addresses the use of corporal punishment in schools, meaning that it’s up to states
and individual school districts to regulate it as they see fit. As of August 2016, 31 states had outlawed
the disciplinary practice and 19 allow it to a certain extent, or with permission from
a parent or guardian. However it should be noted that corporal punishment
is not pervasive in many of these states, it just hasn’t been outlawed yet. According to data from the Department of Education,
more than 70 percent of children who were disciplined with physical force reside in
one of five states – all of which are in the south. Corporal punishment has been used in US schools
since the birth of America as a country, as the practice was brought over by British colonizers. Such discipline was, and continues to be justified
by the common law doctrine “in loco parentis”, which literally translates to “in the place
of a parent”. The idea is that because the child’s parent
or guardian isn’t present, their teacher automatically assumes all disciplinary rights
and responsibilities. And although adults inflicting pain on children
may seem like an obvious breach of their rights, it’s actually constitutional. In 1977, the Supreme Court found that physical
discipline does not violate a student’s rights, even their freedom from “cruel and
unusual punishment” So exactly how pervasive is corporal punishment? Well federal data suggests that nationwide,
one child is hit every 30 seconds in school. This number increases considerably for black
students, who receive corporal punishment at nearly three times the rate of their peers. Not even special ed students are exempt from
such discipline. According to a 2007 study by the Office for
Civil Rights, nearly 42,000 disabled students received corporal punishment over the course
of a single school year, even though they were likely misbehaving as a result of their
disability. Some educators argue that physical force is
the most effective way to discipline. However a slew of evidence suggests otherwise. Countless studies have shown that students
who are subjected to corporal punishment are more likely to struggle academically and face
psychological problems like depression, PTSD and social anxiety later in life. Reports like these have led a number of organizations,
including the UN and the US Department of Education, to strongly discourage the use
of corporal punishment in school. Most countries have ceded to these recommendations. The practice is only unregulated in 10 countries,
most of which are in the Middle East and Africa. Meanwhile 106 countries have either outlawed
or committed to outlawing corporal punishment in any setting. As with other aspects of its educational system,
it may take a while for the US to catch up to the rest of the world. Concern for students well being doesn’t
stop at corporal punishment. Many schools, particularly those in war-torn
countries, are so unstable that students and faculty fear for their lives. To learn more about these dangerous schools,
check out this video. Thanks for watching Seeker Daily! Don’t forget to like and subscribe for new
videos every day.

100 thoughts on “Is It Legal For Teachers To Hit Students?”

  1. One of my relatives works in special education with kid as young as 6 years old.

    Please don't send your children to school, at least in the south. This is a backwards Africa-tier region in terms of education. Homeschool them for their own good. Trust me. I don't know how the hell this is such a rich state or the country with the best science if this is how we treat our children. Maybe it's because the immigrants because I can't imagine these kids growing up to be anything other than robots submissive to authority with no ambitions.

  2. I was brought up as a child with corporal punishment just from my parents illegal here in Britain at schools. It only happened when I was bad but these days when I see children screaming being little shits these days I think it's actually necessary sometimes. It taught me to respect both my elders and parents. The amount of kids I see running around in restaurants and shops just causing hell really makes me think just slap the little shit and shut them up. I don't hold it against my parents in any way because sometimes rarely I was a right little shit and I deserved. My belief that it teaches kids to respect their elders and parents.

  3. You can think whatever you want but a little over 35 years ago spanking became a NO NO thing to do and now look at all people. So disrespectful, no respect for teachers, law enforcement, parents, neighbors or any other peer

    My generation SUCKS and by the way all these disrespect for teachers/cops/parents is more noticeable in the black community where black people are more likely to have one parent, or to have no guardian and more peer pressure for disdain. So if you think spanking doesn't work; LOOK AROUND!

  4. I am so happy corporal punishment is outlawed in NY, it's completely fucking barbaric to beat up a kid, the parent are the ones responsible for the kid and how they act, the teacher's job is to teach the student. Dumbass southern beliefs.

  5. 2:38 The US is in the same colour as Canada, the UK, Australia, Belgium and even Switzerland (avoiding mentioning the French :P). Doesn't look all too bad, normally when I say "the US should catch up to the rest of the world" those are the countries I'm referring to by 'the rest of the world'.

  6. as a teacher, no you should never hit a student, if you can't enforce discipline with words and need to resort to violence, your not doing your job. if you are in favor of CP your defiantly not a teacher

  7. The map of states that allow corporal punishment are all politically "red" or Republican conservative states. All the states of the Confederacy (but Virginia) are included as is the one state once controlled by the KKK (Indiana.) Is any one surprised?

  8. As a kid I was a terrible little shit. I almost made my year 5 teacher leave school because I endlessly would disrupt the class along with 3 friends. Some kids just need a fucking belting. my old man gave me quite a few hidings for continueing to be naughty by breaking things, stealing, lying and annoying my other 5 brothers and sisters.

    Kids like I was need a good hiding but not all kids. a good hiding is more of a last resort to kids that play up endlessly

  9. I'm not sure violence is the answer. But many educators have been rendered
    helpless by our sue- happy culture. Teacher's should have every right to 1) Self-defense. 2) Protect kids being assaulted by their peers.

    Something needs to change. Of course most schools are fairly normal. The biggest offenders are generally in urban areas.

  10. I graduated high school in 2009 in Texas, and I got "swats", as we called them, every year in high school. Usually by a coach or the principal with a wooden paddle.

  11. that's sad 420,000~ special education students are punished, you think they would some of the most patient teacher ever but dang

  12. Firstly, I disagree with the government being involved in education in the first place. It should be entirely up to each parent to decide how they want their child to be educated. That aside, so long as both parents are fine with corporal punishment, I have no issue with it. I think many kids are disobedient and disrespectful to the point where they really should get a good spanking. Those who oppose are often those who cry-baby liberals who take offense at even the slightest discomfort inflicted. As a child, I was spanked. I remember plenty of times when I very much deserved it. I'd argue I wasn't hit enough, as I got away with quite a bit without punishment. I think many kids today are not well-disciplined and become less mature and weaker adults as they get older. My view is that kids should respect and obey their parents, and do likewise regarding their teachers. Address them as "yes, sir," "yes, ma'am," "no, sir," "no, ma'am," etc. Sit up straight, don't talk when your teacher/parent is talking. Do as you're told, without complaint. The bottom line is respect. Failure to respect authority deserves discipline and punishment. Lack of said discipline and punishment breeds further disrespect, disobedience, and immaturity. By the way, I'm from California. The way I see many of my peers treat some adults, I want to slap them senseless. I now live in Texas. It's a little better, but I still see plenty of behavior that shouldn't be tolerated. At least the military teaches some of this respect that many parents fail to instill in their kids.

  13. The biggest threat to injury in school is most likely other children. I know that wasn't the point but the teachers probably want to strangle the kids that need spanking. I live in the south and no teacher in my area is spanking children. They feel the liability is too high.

  14. Turkmenistan and Turkey (muslim countries) dont allow hittings to take place while the US does. How barbaric of amerikkka

  15. "If you're like me" Nope, I don't live in the US… thank God!
    Also the science channel is not the place to learn about history.

  16. Corporal punishment is a great tool if used appropriately. The key there is appropriately. The middle school I went to in Oklahoma offered corporal punishment. The grade school in the district offered it also; I didn't go there but my step-brother did. First, a guardian had to sign a form at the beginning of the year stating that it was okay for school to use it. Second, it was an option to take for the student. In other words, Saturday detention or 4 licks from the paddle. The system seemed to work really well in the grade school, at least for my step-brother it did. It actually made him stop and think about what he had done or what he was willing to accept before doing something he shouldn't. Didn't work so well at the middle school. Most kids/teens there just took the licks because it was done immediately and they still got their Saturday. For those below stating what they would do to a teacher if they used corporal punishment on their child. Well, don't be one of those parents with an unruly child that sends them into the school system to get the parenting that you couldn't provide. Would I be upset if my child was hit by a teacher? Yes, but my children don't go to school and distract from the education of others.

  17. Nothing makes a child be motivated to go to school with a happy smile and study hard like being hit and humiliated at school. #sarcasm

  18. I'm all for a parent spanking their kid, I'm not talking about ten times or something like, maybe like 1 or 2 to say, Hey! Stop that shit…..and to be honest, words hurt way worse than that FAM…..

  19. There are reasons why students receive this kind of treatment.
    Behave or don't behave in class, there are consequences.

  20. Don't let those evil atheists fool you into thinking not hitting kid is acceptable, look onto to shining example of the bible belt with their god given morality and learn from them.

  21. yeah yeah. look at asian countries and how much better students perform compared to panzy ass american education students… school os a pöace to learn to be doscipöen and learn knowladge, not to cater to each students personal feelings…

  22. black students are hit 3x more? thats a misleading statistic; if they misbehave 3x more than there's no racism going on.

  23. If someone did that to a 17-year-old, it would be somehow acceptable… but an 18-year-old in the same class could sue for assault.

  24. I'm from California so I've never experienced that happening to me or anyone else so my question is do they do it bare butt?

  25. We have to ban corporal punishment in usa!!!!
    It is just human right infringement!!!and violate concistuion!!!

  26. So many butthurt white kids in the comment section saying how paddling is "barbaric." You kids probably never had a hand lain on you lmao

  27. This kind of discipline does NOT HELP IN ANYWAY! It just makes a child more resistant to your commands and scared to go to school or to be near a teacher. This would make academic learning harder and could result in PTSD!

  28. Just looking into the map—- looks like countries who bully with other nations and always in war, seem to have that mentality !

  29. After writing 1000 lines a few times if it doesn't work then discipline within reason is not abuse. There are 2 place where u can spank the child: on the palm of the hand & the cheek of the buttock. Only once, firmly but not abusively. Tell the child where he has gone wrong & how to do it better next time. Nobody likes to be punished without knowing why or be heard. In college it wud be different type of discipline. Corporal punishment is not neccesarily educating the child. The child will grow up hating, fearing, violence. But some children are asking for it. If the child can't be discipline at home then when the school system discipline the child then the parents shd at least ask for explanation wifout being confrontational.

  30. This should be considered illegal now because that's just abusive, it's like letting a stranger into your house and they kidnap your kids and take them God knows where

  31. me as a student says it should be legal and fine if teachers hit us. everyone should know that our generations (the millenials) are the most broken generations known for the rebellious behavior. today we found out that not all teachers hit students, but what happens today is the opposites. for example recently in indonesia a young teacher found out died after being hit by his student. do you think that corporal punishments is not really important today? but i prefer that the corporal punishment should not be so hard that won't leave the students a physical injuries even PTSDs

  32. boi I was once smacked over the head for falling asleep in science (did not hurt at all and was barely a smack) and the teacher got in sO much trouble??(I'm Australian)

  33. For all of you who would like that kids can be beaten: I was born in Yugoslavia were professors could beat us and you could be beaten for every given reason, you don't know how scary is for a 9 year old child to be beaten by an older man just beacuse you did wrong one task in homework and you get 10 faceslaps and your eyes would cry a river of pain but you can't beacuse he will shame you and said to you go in corner you little baby, or when female teacher use wooden stick and beats your hands on winter and you are so deseperate and wan't go t school next day. Think about it.

  34. A more interesting question is "Is it legal for STUDENTS to hit students"? Whatchagonna do? Have a year long trial with lawyers, then lock up for a year the student who did the hitting on an assault charge? Now who runs the school if kids can hit kids, but teachers can't spank the hitter?

  35. Am in Sudan
    And am in high school
    Teachers are still hitting me with very hard sticks and hitting students is making them feeling better

  36. Hitting students will make them more want to do that too. Later they'll start becoming killers. Which means hitting is illegal and shall be never done. It causes social sicknesses

  37. Any of y'all born in 2001 remember getting the ruler lol, if that happens now, your job as a teacher would basically be over.

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