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Where corporal punishment 
has been banned?

Corporal punishment is an anomaly in many respects.

States that allow corporal punishment in school often ban it in virtually every other situation. A review of the laws in five Southern states that allow corporal punishment in school (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi) found the following examples of institutions and instances where these states ban the practice:

• Juvenile detention centers

• Residential treatment facilities

• Foster care settings

• Day care programs

• Early learning centers

• Mental health programs

• Private alternative boarding schools

• Jails and prisons

What results in corporal 


Research has found that corporal punishment is used to punish minor – even arbitrary – infractions. The following list, assembled from various reports by Human Rights Watch, Education Week and others, contains some of the more routine infractions that can result in corporal punishment.

• Untucked shirts

• Tardiness

• Going to the bathroom without permission

• Walking on the wrong side of the hallway

• Running in the hallway

• Failing to turn in homework

• Using a mobile phone

•Sleeping in class

• Talking back

• Sitting in an unassigned seat

•Failing a test

• Talking out of turn

• Stepping on another student’s feet

• Laughing at an inappropriate time

• Behavior that may arise from behavioral and other disabilities