Tennesseans for Nonviolent School Discipline


POSITION STATEMENT
CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN SCHOOLS



Children's education and development are important to citizens in the United States and the State of Tennessee. People want children to become productive, caring people. There are real concerns about what influences children's development and education. Some practices that occur in our communities and schools are not conducive to children's optimal development. Corporal punishment is one of those practices.

It is empirically supported that corporal punishment does not contribute to the positive development of children and may actually contribute to the development of antisocial and negative behavior of children. It is agreed by many, including professional organizations, that the use of corporal punishment in school teaches children that physical solutions to problems are acceptable for adults and that aggression is an appropriate way to control the behavior of other people. Children's feelings of safety and self-esteem may also be at risk when this practice is implemented by the adults who teach and care for them. Therefore, it is believed that corporal punishment should no longer be practiced in Tennessee's schools.

Tennesseans for Nonviolent School Discipline (TNVSD) is a non-profit organization established in 1988 by community members to influence public commitment, action, and policy development with regards to school discipline procedures to enhance nonviolent forms of discipline. It has also been established for the purpose of partnering with other organizations to support parents, educators, school administrators, school board members, legislators, and all concerned citizens to legally prohibit the use of corporal punishment in all schools in the State of Tennessee.

Until such time as all schools have abolished the use of corporal punishment, TNVSD advocates compulsory reporting of all incidents of corporal punishment in schools for public information. TNVSD also assists communities, schools and families learn about and implement more effective methods of positive child guidance and student behavior management. A few alternatives include modeling desirable behavior, reinforcing positive behavior, improving communication, conflict resolution education, peer mediation and empathy training. These methods are both professionally supported and proven.

Adopted 1988
Revised 2001