Paddling, Corporal Punishment & Child Abuse

School Abuse Attorney

Has your child been paddled, spanked, or abused by a teacher or administrator at their school? Call 1-877-403-9378 to speak with our child abuse lawyers about your situation for free.

According to the United Nations, corporal punishment in schools a considered a violation of human rights. The UN has even called for its abolition in its Convention on the Rights of the Child. Out of the 197 UN countries, only ONE has never ratified the convention; the United States of America. Unsurprisingly, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry all oppose corporal punishment.

Is Paddling and Corporal Punishment Still Legal?

Corporal punishment in school is banned in 31 states, but is allowed (as long as parents consent to it) in some school districts in states such as TexasAlabamaArizonaArkansasColorado, GeorgiaIdaho, KansasKentuckyLouisianaMississippi, OklahomaSouth Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee and Wyoming.

Legal or Illegal to Paddle Children at School

Corporal Punishment by State: Banned vs. Allowed

“More than 100 countries ban all school corporal punishment, so the U.S. is an outlier,” according to George Holden, SMU psychology professor and founding member of the U.S. Alliance to End the Hitting of Children. “We call it spanking which normalizes it and makes it acceptable, but if we change our terminology and say ‘I was assaulted at school today,’ people would think differently about it.”

While certainly controversial, some schools (as well as parents) see it as an effective means of disciplining children. However, what happens when your boy or girl gets paddled without your permission by a teacher or administrator whom you trusted with the welfare of your child?

This is exactly what parents of one Jalijah Smith are coming to terms with, and seeking answers to. Ayanna Smith asked that the teacher who paddled her son be fired from the school, alleging that her child became emotionally distraught and that he refuses to go back to school for fear of more paddling.

Paddled With a Wooden Stick

Jalijah, in an oral statement, alleged that the teacher pulled him out of class, took him to a different room and then proceeded to paddle him with a wooden stick after she found him misbehaving with another kid at The Meadows Elementary School in DeSoto, Texas.

Jalijah’s parents did NOT consent to paddling when they enrolled their child in the school, and that they even went as far as putting an asterisk next to the paddling option in the piece of paper they filled in during the enrollment process.

Meetings With School District Amounted to Nothing

Ayanna Smith held two meetings with the school district, but officials refused to discipline the teacher at the center of the allegations. Gabrielle Lemonier, the school district’s assistant superintendent gave a statement to NBCDFW saying that she had “no excuses for what occurred,” but stated that corporal punishment is a “tool,” and they were looking to provide better training to teachers and administrators moving forward.

Jalijah will now be home-schooled as the Smith family says they will explore their legal options.

If your child has been abused at school, call Rasansky Law Firm at 1-877-403-9378 for a free consultation. We’ll explain the options available to your family, and how we can help at no out-of-pocket costs to you.

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