Paddling the Pupils: The Legality (or Not) of Corporal Punishment in Schools

35 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2019

See all articles by Lucy Sorensen

Lucy Sorensen

State University of New York (SUNY) - Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy

Charmaine Willis

Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy University of Albany

Victor Asal

State University of New York at Albany

Melissa L. Breger

Albany Law School

Date Written: July 30, 2019

Abstract

Corporal punishment against children as a disciplinary tool in the classroom occurs in many countries, despite the 1990 adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and despite a surge in unpopularity of the practice. What accounts for the legality of corporal punishment in schools globally? In this paper, we offer one of the few cross-national analyses by examining factors associated with the use of corporal punishment in schools. Employing a dataset of 192 countries from 1970 to 2016, we find that while country ratification of the CRC often leads to subsequent bans of corporal punishment, common law countries are significantly less likely to ban corporal punishment in schools than their civil law counterparts. Additionally, countries where women are politically empowered are more likely to ban corporal punishment. These findings shed light on emerging international patterns in protection of the rights of children.

Keywords: CRC, corporal punishment, children, schools, gender, common law, civil law, child rights, discipline, classroom

JEL Classification: K36

Suggested Citation

Sorensen, Lucy and Willis, Charmaine and Asal, Victor and Breger, Melissa L., Paddling the Pupils: The Legality (or Not) of Corporal Punishment in Schools (July 30, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3429160 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3429160

Lucy Sorensen

State University of New York (SUNY) - Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy ( email )

1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
United States

HOME PAGE: http://lucycsorensen.com

Charmaine Willis

Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy University of Albany ( email )

Victor Asal

State University of New York at Albany ( email )

135 Western Ave
Building, Room 109
Albany, NY 12222
United States

Melissa L. Breger (Contact Author)

Albany Law School ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States
518-445-2311 (Phone)

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