USA, corporal punishment in schools in some states: the Washington Post investigation

Corporal punishment is used in schools in over fifteen states in the US to punish students. This is confirmed by an article published in the Washington Post which underlines how this practice is still widely exploited by the teachers of some American institutes and kindergartens. According to the US newspaper, in 2021 a 4-year-old boy was beaten for talking during his nap in Louisiana, while in 2018 in Mississippi an 8-year-old girl was the victim of a beating that broke her finger, only for speaking in class.

Physical punishment in the United States

In 1977 the United States Supreme Court ruled that corporal punishment in schools was constitutional: which guaranteed the various states the right to decide for themselves. Although most schools reject this practice, which has already been condemned by the United Nations and judged a violation of human rights, some southern states – such as Louisiana and Mississippi, but also Missouri in the Midwest – still defend the right of schools to discipline children and students by resorting to corporal punishment. According to federal data, between 2017 and 2018 there were about 70,000 cases in schools: among the victims, more than 13,000 students were affected by disabilities. As a study by the Hammill Institute on Disabilities reveals, it is mainly black and Hispanic disabled children who are subjected to corporal punishment. In Mississippi, the state with the highest number of such incidents, there were more than 3,800 rapes in the last school year: of these, 54% were African-American students. A school district in Missouri has even claimed that caning at school is a “necessary” action for unruly children.