Friday, August 22, 2008

Investigations: Black, Native Kids Spanked Twice As Often in School

Huge racial disparities exist among the 220,000 American kids who were paddled at least once in the 2006-07 school year, says this eye-opening AP item about a practice that many parents don't even know their children are subjected to. While more than 100 countries worldwide have banned paddling in schools, including all of Europe, in the U.S., African American students are more than twice as likely to be paddled, according to a new study cited in the AP story. Native Americans were also more than twice as likely to be paddled, and special education students were also more likely to be paddled. Punishments for the kids, aged 3 to 19, were for everything from chewing gum and violating dress codes to fighting.

Parents also have limited recourse, said Alice Farmer, the author of the study (see the full report here), which was done jointly by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union. "One of the things we've seen over and over again is that parents have difficulty getting redress, if a child is paddled and severely injured, or paddled in violation of parents' wishes," she said.

TAGS: civil rights, children, race, investigations

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