Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An Analysis of Corporal Punishment Practices in the Louisiana Public Schools
by Timoll, Quentina, D.E., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2015, 124; 3714268
Abstract (Summary)

Corporal punishment is a controversial method of student discipline used in schools world-wide. There are opposing viewpoints to this practice; corporal punishment is considered as a viable means of discipline, while on the other hand, non-advocates associate corporal punishment with abuse. Currently, corporal punishment is permitted in 19 states, while 31 states have abolished corporal punishment in the school setting. The practice is most predominant in the south, which includes Louisiana. Louisiana is one of 19 states where corporal punishment is deemed legal in a school setting.

The purpose of this study was two-fold. The primary purpose was to examine and describe Louisiana corporal punishment data retrieved from the Louisiana Department of Education. Secondly, potential relationships between corporal punishment data and three demographic variables (at-risk student counts, district locale, and district performance scores) were explored. There are 54 districts that authorize such practices, but only 42 have reported data to the state for the three reporting cycles. The essential questions dictating this research are: 1) What were corporal punishment practices (student numbers and events) in Louisiana public schools for school years 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14? 2) What distributional characteristics exist for students corporally punished and corporal punishment events in Louisiana during the school years 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14? 3) What percentage of Louisiana school districts experienced changes in corporal punishment practices between school years 2011-12, 2012-13, or 2013-14? 4) What is the relationship between at-risk student count, district locale type, and district performance scores with corporal punishment (student numbers) from an analysis of school districts for school year 2013-2014?

The federal government has outlawed physical punishment in prisons, jails, and medical facilities, yet students sitting in a classroom are targets for getting hit. It has been 150 years since the first state banned this practice in schools. Since then, an additional 31 states have done the same, but it is still occurring every day in this nation and in Louisiana.

Results and conclusions from this study may assist local school boards in deciding if corporal punishment should be used within their school districts.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fossey, William
Commitee: Slater, Robert, Sughrue, Jennifer
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: DAI-A 76/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Education Policy, School administration
Keywords: Corporal, Discipline, Districts, Louisiana, Punishment, Schools
Publication Number: 3714268
ISBN: 978-1-321-91445-0
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