Today, the State Board of Education voted 10-1 to approve a resolution opposing corporal punishment in North Carolina’s public schools.
With this vote, the North Carolina State Board of Education is among the first in the “Old South” to reject the outdated practice of spanking students in schools.
Although corporal punishment was once widely used throughout the country—and across the world—during the 19th century, it is no longer a thing of modern times. Indeed, the South appears to be the last stand of this outdated practice. Thirty-one states,the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have all abolished the use of corporal punishment in schools, either de facto or de jure.
The Board’s vote is the result of committed advocacy. For that, we must thank the one dozen organizations across the state that have joined our coalition against corporal punishment. We thank the scores of you who emailed and called Board members and encouraged them to vote in support of this resolution. And we thank our very own Tom Vitaglione: resident jokester, ardent supporter of the Italian soccer team, and tireless advocate for children.
Ultimately, local school districts will determine if corporal punishment will continue to be used in their schools. We hope the Board’s position will increase pressure on the nine remaining school districts that still hit students to stop the practice. Until then, our work is not done.