North Carolina county school board ends spanking policy

North Carolina county school board ends spanking policy
© WMBF

A North Carolina county school board this week voted to end its policy of spanking children, a practice that disproportionately affected Native American and disabled students, according to local news outlet the News & Observer

The Robeson County Board of Education on Tuesday voted to end corporeal punishment in its schools by a vote of 6-5, as first reported by local outlet The Robesonian

"If you want corporal punishment in your home over your child that's fine, but we don't feel like the school should be a part of that," vice chairman of the school board John CampbellJohn Bayard Taylor CampbellNorth Carolina county school board ends spanking policy General: 'Afghanistan is at an inflection point' Obama taps new Afghan commander as security deteriorates MORE told local NBC affiliate WMBF.

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Eric Freeman, the president of the a local elementary school’s parent-teacher organization, said a recent poll found most parents were in favor of continuing the practice.

“At a recent meeting, we polled parents,” Freeman said, according to the Robesonian. "One hundred parents asked that the policy not be changed, and zero voted to stop spanking." 

The Robesonian found all 28 students who were struck in Robeson County in the 2017-18 school year were Native American. 

The News & Observer found there were 41 uses of corporeal punishment in Robeson County during the 2016-2017 school year, while there were 34 instances during that time period in neighboring Graham County, which has yet to bar the practice. 

Of the 71 instances of physical punishment between 2016-2017, 41 of the students struck were Native American and 13 percent were disabled, according to an analysis by the News & Observer. Thirty of the students were white, two were black, and two were Hispanic. 

Most students in Robeson and Graham counties are white and Native American.

North Carolina law leaves it up to individual school districts to determine their policies on corporeal punishment. 

School corporal punishment is still legal in 19 U.S. states.