UT faculty member aids ban of corporal punishment in Ohio schools

August 12, 2009 | News, UToday
By Emily Hickey

Gov. Ted Strickland recently passed House Bill 1, which included legislation to ban all corporal punishment in Ohio schools, making Ohio the 30th state to ban physical punishment against children in schools.

Dr. Michele Knox, UT professor of psychiatry and director of ACT Against Violence Regional Center, was one of the driving forces that promoted this legislation.

“This is a huge step forward in our shared goal to protect children, especially minority children and those with ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and other disorders or disabilities who are hit at disproportionately higher rates,” Knox said.

Nadine Block, executive director of the Center for Effective Discipline, said she couldn’t be happier with Strickland’s decision to pass the legislation.

“The ban is a victory for Ohio’s families and children. We’ll have no more black-and-blue days for Ohio’s school children,” Block said.

According to data gathered by the Center for Effective Discipline, 68,000 school children were hit in Ohio schools in 1985, and in the 2007-2008 school year, that number diminished to 110 children.

Block also mentioned that two of the six Ohio districts reporting corporal punishment in 2007-2008 have been sued by parents for paddling injuries to children.

Continuing their advocacy for banning corporal punishment throughout the United States, both Knox and Block are key components of organizations that provide educational information to the public on the effects of corporal punishment on children and alternatives to its use.

For more information on the available resources or legislative updates, visit www.stophitting.org.

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