Paddling more prevalent for students with disabilities in Tennessee schools

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Physical punishment such as spanking and paddling is more common for students with disabilities in Tennessee schools, a new report found.

The use of corporal punishment in schools has declined over the past few years overall, but for those with disabilities the rate has decreased only slightly according to the report from the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office.

The term “disability” covers a wide range in the report, including students with traumatic brain injury, attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity, learning disabilities and allergies and even gifted students.

The Comptroller’s Office suggests that the General Assembly may want to consider restricting or prohibiting corporal punishment for disabled students.

Of the 148 school districts in Tennessee, 109 of them have policies that allow corporal punishment. Shelby County is not among them.

Locally, corporal punishment is allowed in schools in Arlington, Fayette County, Hardeman County, Haywood County, Humboldt, Millington and Tipton County.