Don't use abuse as a punishment

Don't use abuse as a punishment

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Elliot Porter started this petition to Board of Education President Becky Henningson and

In June 2022, the Cassville R-IV School District in Missouri voted to allow “the use of physical force as a method of correcting student behavior.” According to a section in the student handbook for each school within the district, this punishment “shall be administered only by swatting the buttocks with a paddle” (spanking). The policy allows parents to opt-in to the use of spanking as a punishment for their children via a form.

In 2021, a study conducted within the Department of Psychology at Harvard found a number of similarities between the impacts of spanking and other forms of child abuse. This is consistent with previous findings, including the finding that spanking is associated with numerous developmental issues. The American Academy of Pediatrics listed several of these in a 2018 policy statement on corporal punishment. The lead researcher of the Harvard study emphasized this, stating that children who are spanked are “more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems.”

Spanking teaches children that it is okay for adults to touch them in ways that cause pain or discomfort, making it harder for kids to identify and speak up about other instances of abuse. Spanking itself can be considered a form of abuse, as it involves an adult engaging in unwanted touching of a child's "private parts," and often leads to the same physiological impacts as sexual abuse, such as unwanted arousal, as pointed out by child protection organizations.

The Cassville R-IV School District has an obligation to provide students with the experience and knowledge they need to be prepared for the next stage of their education or careers. Subjecting students to a form of abuse that is known to cause a variety of behavioral, mental health, and other issues does the opposite, impeding learning and preventing students from reaching their full potential.

Tell the Cassville R-IV School District to put students first and overturn their policy allowing school administrators to abuse children as a form of punishment.

Additional reading

https://apnews.com/article/education-school-boards-missouri-springfield-cassville-d3f3e3228be5a2209eb9761885795470

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!