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Which states ban corporal punishment in schools?

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Does your state allow teachers to physically punish school children?

The Department of Education estimates that at least 220,000 children in public schools are subjected to corporal punishment every year, including almost 42,000 students with mental or physical disabilities. African American students and disabled students are twice as likely to be physically punished as other children.

As of 2014, 31 states and the District of Columbia have banned corporal punishment in public schools. Two of those states (Iowa and New Jersey) also ban the practice in private schools.

The following states have banned corporal punishment in public schools:

  • Alaska - 1989
  • California - 1986
  • Connecticut - 1989
  • Delaware - 2003
  • District of Columbia - 1977
  • Hawaii - 1973
  • Illinois - 1994
  • Iowa - 1989
  • Maine - 1979
  • Maryland - 1993
  • Massachusetts - 1971
  • Michigan - 1989
  • Minnesota - 1989
  • Montana - 1991
  • Nebraska - 1988
  • Nevada - 1993
  • New Hampshire - 1983
  • New Jersey - 1867
  • New Mexico - 2011
  • New York - 1985
  • North Dakota - 1989
  • Ohio - 2009
  • Oregon - 1989
  • Pennsylvania - 2005
  • Rhode Island - 2002
  • South Dakota - 1990
  • Utah - 1992
  • Vermont - 1985
  • Virginia - 1989
  • Washington - 1993
  • West Virginia - 1994
  • Wisconsin - 1988

Only one state banned corporal punishment in the 19th century -- New Jersey banned the practice way back in 1867. The next state (Massachusetts) didn't follow suit for over a hundred years.

New Mexico is the most recent state to have banned corporal punishment, in 2011.

It is still legal to physically punish children in public schools in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

Want to protect your child from corporal punishment or help get corporal punishment banned in your state? The Center for Effective Discipline offers these steps that concerned citizens can take to help get corporal punishment banned in their states:

Next time: 10 Myths about corporal punishment in schools

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