Hitting children, corporal punishment examined


Spanking is a controversial topic when parents are doing the hitting.

It is even more of an issue when others are using the paddle.

NewsCenter 7 anchor Letitia Perry explores corporal punishment during a special report at 5 p.m. today.

The subject has been in the news lately.

A special education teacher was convicted after hitting a wheelchair-bound student. A daycare employee laid on a child to get him to take a nap.

Below is an inside look at Letitia’s story.

Amelia: What grounds do people use to justify corporal punishment?

Letitia: Part of the Ohio Revised Code states that adults in charge of children are legally allowed to use corporal punishment. The specifics, as detailed in section 2919.22, cite details of when that punishment becomes abuse.

For example, punishment becomes abuse when it “Involves torture, restraint in a cruel manner or for a prolonged period of time, or if and when it creates a substantial risk of serious physical harm to the child.”

There seems to be a definite line of thought that follows parents: ‘If it was good enough for me, its good enough for my own kids.’

Amelia: What did you do to get this story?

Letitia: We interviewed the current superintendent of a large public school district who says, while the law allows corporal punishment, they choose not to engage because of the liability and the variables involved in the definition of punishment.

We also talked with a retired parochial school teacher who disciplined her students with both a paddle and a ruler. She talks about how parental support for corporal punishment has changed, which, in her opinion, has helped reshape what is allowed in schools today.

Amelia: Why did you take on this topic?

Letitia: I chose to take a look at this issue based on recent stories where adults in charge of students, both in preschool and in high school, have been criminally charged because of their in-class disciplinary measures.

In addition to taking a look at Ohio law, I talked with lots of parents for this story, as well as school administrators and child care experts from an area Dept. of Children Services; there are varying opinions as to what’s appropriate and what is not. There seems to be a definite line of thought that follows parents: “If it was good enough for me, its good enough for my own kids.”

Contact this columnist at arobinson@DaytonDailyNews.com or Twitter.com/DDNSmartMouth


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