Legislation to ban corporal punishment in schools has been introduced in the US House of Representatives. New York Representative Carolyn McCarthy recently introduced a bill "To end the use of corporal punishment in schools..." (HR 5628).

This bill would prohibit corporal punishment in public and private schools throughout the United States. Though there is no evidence that corporal punishment has any beneficial effect on children's behavior - and much evidence of deleterious effects - 20 states still allow it.

A congressional committee recently held a hearing about the subject and found that as many as 10,000-20,000 children sought medical treatment as a result of being physically disciplined in schools.

Many medical and psychological organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the National Association of Social Workers, have position statements condemning physical punishment.

For further information about this congressional bill (HR 5628), go to www.socialworkers.org, click on Advocacy, then Legislative Alerts and Updates, then Support Legislation to Ban Corporal Punishment in Schools.

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