International Journal of Social Policy & Education

ISSN 2689-4998 (print), 2689-5013 (online)

Current Trends and Issues from 2012-2022 on Corporal Punishment in U.S. Public School Systems: Examining the Southern States

Jodie B. Fortenberry &Sandy D. Devlin


Corporal punishment is a debated issue among school officials. This form of discipline has proven ineffective in preventing undesirable behaviors in students due to the negative physical and psychological effects on individuals throughout their lives. Often, progressing repercussions of aggressive behavior and increasing negative mental-emotional behaviors are influenced by the students' receipt of corporal punishment. While the adverse outcomes of corporal punishment are apparent, this method of discipline remains current in close to half of the states in the U.S., predominantly in the southern region of the country. In fact, corporal punishment is still being used on children with disabilities for their behaviors that stem from their disability. Data revealed that corporal punishment is declining in the U.S. Advocates are still at work, attempting to ban this ineffective method of discipline from all school children. This examination analyzes statistical data in the Southern U.S. from 2012-2022 among the overall student population and children with disabilities. Alternative positive ways to discipline children are the best option and are also discussed in this study.