Publications Detail

Corporal Punishment in Tennessee
March 2018

As requested by members of the Tennessee General Assembly, this report examines the use of corporal punishment in Tennessee, including an analysis of its use for students with disabilities. Researchers examined federal and state laws, local school board policies, interviewed school and district personnel, surveyed principals and directors of schools, and analyzed available data on corporal punishment use.

Analysis of the available data on corporal punishment use found that students with disabilities received corporal punishment at a higher statewide rate than students without disabilities for two of the three most recent reporting years. The number of students with disabilities in Tennessee receiving corporal punishment declined from 2009-10 to 2013-14, by about 7 percent. In comparison, the number of students without disabilities receiving corporal punishment declined by about 46 percent across the same time frame. Of the schools that used corporal punishment for students with and without disabilities, about 80 percent used corporal punishment at a higher rate for students with disabilities in all three reporting years.

The report includes policy considerations for the General Assembly and school leaders. OREA has also created a supplemental appendix of all schools that reported using corporal punishment in one or more of the last three reporting years, including the number of students with and without disabilities who received corporal punishment and the corresponding rates of use.