This year marks the 14th anniversary of SpankOut Day, a national event designed to raise awareness about spanking and to encourage parents, teachers and caregivers to find alternatives to corporal punishment.
The day is sponsored by the Center for Effective Discipline, who says:
"SpankOut Day USA was initiated in 1998 to give widespread attention to the need to end corporal punishment of children and to promote non-violent ways of teaching children appropriate behavior. EPOCH-USA (End Physical Punishment of Children) sponsors SpankOut Day USA on April 30th of each year. All parents, guardians, and caregivers are encouraged to refrain from hitting children on this day, and to seek alternative methods of discipline through programs available in community agencies, churches and schools."
Since 1998, over 1,000 informational events on child discipline have been carried out by organizations on SpankOut Day USA and thousands of people have participated.
The organization is hosting a week-long event on Facebook beginning on April 23 to help bring awareness to the day. They also offer Twelve Ways to Celebrate SpankOut Day in Your Community.
You can find much more information at the Center for Effective Discipline web site, such as which states allow corporal punishment in the schools and how parents and kids can take a stand.
Here in Minnesota, corporal punishment is not supposed to be allowed in the schools. However, the state Supreme Court says the practice is legal unless punishment is excessive or cruel and in 2008 they ruled in favor of a teacher who paddled a boy 36 times.
While at least 29 countries outlaw the physical punishment of children, it is still legal for parents to use physical punishment in every state in the U.S.