By Rebecca Klein
The controversial practice of corporal punishment in schools is still very much alive and kicking in the United States.
In September, an Alabama mother named Wendy Chandler gained national attention for speaking out over a permission slip from her daughter’s elementary school that asked parents to let their kids be paddled for misbehavior. Upon learning of Chandler’s story, we decided to take a closer look at the practice of physical discipline in schools and see how prevalent it is.
In the 19 states that still allow the practice, thousands of children get struck by educators every year.
The most recent data from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights looks at how many children in public schools were struck by educators during the 2005-2006 school year. While the data reveals that rates of corporal punishment are going down across the board, 223,190 children were still hit in schools that year.
Using that data, we have compiled two lists. One looks at the states where the highest number of public school kids were hit in 2005-2006. The second list looks at the states where the highest percentage of public school students were hit.
The nine states where the most children get hit in school:
1. Texas — 51,170 students were struck by educators during the 2005-2006 school year.
2. Mississippi — 38,214 students.
3. Alabama — 34,097 students.
4. Arkansas — 22,575 students.
5. Georgia — 18,404 students.
6. Oklahoma — 15,153 students.
7. Tennessee — 14,901 students.
8. Louisiana — 11,091 students.
9. Florida — 7,303 students.
The nine states where the highest percentage of kids get hit in school:
1. Mississippi — 7.5 percent of students were struck by educators during the 2005-2006 school year.
2. Arkansas — 4.7 percent of students.
3. Alabama — 4.5 percent of students.
4. Oklahoma — 2.3 percent of students.
5. Louisiana — 1.7 percent of students.
6. Tennessee — 1.5 percent of students.
7. and 8. (tie) Georgia and Texas — 1.1 percent of students in each state.
9. Missouri — 0.6 percent of students.