Corporal Punishment in Arkansas Public Schools, 2002-2003
(Referencing the Arkansas Department of Education SIS database, 2002-2003)
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Educators in Arkansas used corporal punishment 48,068 times in 2002-2003.
  • ...the use of corporal punishment in schools is intrinsically related to child maltreatment. It contributes to a climate of violence, it implies that society approves of the physical violation of children, it establishes an unhealthy norm..." U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect 
  • 25 school districts reported no  pupils hit by their teachers
  • 393 schools, some of them in districts that permit paddling, reported zero paddling.
African American children were hit 34.49% of the times the paddle was used, or 150% of their proportion of state enrollment.
  • School districts reported using the paddle 48,068 times in 2002-2003.
  • 16,580 times, the child was African American (34.49% of total).
  • 103,470 of the 449,171 students enrolled in 2002-2003 were African American (23.04%)
  • The proportion of the 48,068 paddlings administered that involved an African American was one and one-half times the proportion of student enrollment that is African American (34.49% divided by 23.04% reveals problematic disproportion).
  • Statistical analyses accepted by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights have shown that being paddled in Arkansas schools is dependent on race. African Americans are more likely to be hit in the name of discipline.
  • Racial disparities in paddling are statistically significant in nearly one out of five Arkansas school districts.
In 22% of times children were intentionally hurt in the name of discipline, the students were identified as "Special Education" and entitled by law to receive unique learning assistance.
  • 57,564 of the 449,171 students enrolled in 2002-2003 were classified "Special Education"... nearlly 13% of total enrollment. 
  • 10,360 of the 48,068 (21.6%) paddlings involved a Special Education student. Neither special nor unique, corporal punishment was inflicted upon this group at a rate nearly 180% of their proportion of enrollment.
  • The Special Education students who were African American were 31% of the total instances of corporal punishment of Special Education students. 
  • These proportions are too high to rule out the possibility that the maltreatment of these students is dependent upon their learning disabilities and/or race.

Paddling as a Risk Factor of Enrollment in Arkansas Public Schools, 2002-2003

African   Hispanic  Native 
Pacific Isl.   American  American   
a Enrollment (by ethnicity), October 1, 2002 4,560 103,470 21,349 2,344  317,448  449,171
Enrollment (by ethnicity), as a percentage 
of total enrollment ( a / 449,171 )
1.02% 23.04% 4.75% 0.52% 70.67%
Paddlings; "Regular" class 91 13,361 830 131 23,319 37,732
Paddlings; "Special Ed." 7 3,219 120 42 6,948 10,336
Instances of Corporal punishment (by Ethnicity), 2002-2003 98 16,580 950 173 30,267 48,068

  •   James Boardman, Assistant Director  for  Information and Technology, Arkansas Department of Education, coordinated the State Information System (SIS) queries that generated the raw data reports analized by NeverHitAChild.ORG.  His "section" is responsible for providing accurate, timely information and appropriate, viable technology in support of the functions of the ADE.   One of his primary responsibilities is to analyze data and produce informational reports for policy makers, educators, business and industry leaders, and the general public ( email: or phone:  501- 682-4239.  The Arkansas Public School Computer Network Statewide Information System web site is at: 
  •   Robert Fathman, Ph.D., President, National Coalition to Abolish Corporal Punishment in Schools, provided encouragment and editorial assistance.
  •   Jordan Riak, Executive Director, Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education, helped relate the significance of the statistics to the multidimensional risks for children and the liability risks for school districts ( click here ).
  •   The National Coalition to Abolish Corporal Punishment in Schools provides school corporal punishment statistical data at their web site.  ( click here ).
The data we have secured from the Arkansas Department of Education is contained in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets converted from data base queries of tables built from individually submitted public school reports.  If you are interested in specific types of data, statistical analyses, etc., just write us and we will attach the file(s) to an email reply to you.  Please also write to us if there is any other assistance we might provide.  Address your messages to:, describe your interest and be sure to make "NHAC.ORG" the subject.

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