Corporal Punishment in Schools

The American Academy of Family Physicians is opposed to corporal punishment in schools.

The AAFP defines corporal punishment in schools as the purposeful infliction of bodily pain or discomfort by an official in the educational system upon a student as a penalty for disapproved behavior. Physical force or restraint which is used by a school official to protect someone from physical injury, to disarm a student, or to protect property from damage is not considered corporal punishment.

Evidence indicates that corporal punishment is not as effective as other means of behavior management and may make behavior worse. Positive reinforcement has been shown to be more effective and long-lived than aversive reinforcement. The Academy supports alternative methods of behavior management and modification in the school environment which enhances a student's optimal learning. (1989) (2012 COD)