Corporal punishment used mostly on Lumbee students in Robeson

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Vitaglione, Tom. “Corporal punishment used mostly on Lumbee students in Robeson.” The Robesonian (Lumberton, NC). March 26, 2015


The 2013-2014 data on the use of corporal punishment in public schools in North Carolina was released. It stated that only three of the 115 local school districts used this course of action to reprimand students. Corporal punishment is defined as “the intentional infliction of pain upon the body of a student…the student should not require medical care beyond first aid.” Overall corporal punishment was used 113 total times in the 2013-2014 school year.

Robeson Public Schools were one of the leaders in the use of this form of punishment. A total of 67 Robeson County students faced this punishment during the time period. That is approximately 60 percent of the total number of students.

Also, 80 percent of the corporal punishment happened in Oxendine and Prospect elementary schools. Of the total number of students spanked in Robeson Public Schools, 86 percent were of Lumbee descent. Lumbee students were the only students of American Indian heritage that were involved in corporal punishment in North Carolina, despite having seven other state-recognized tribes in the state.

This editorial was submitted by Senior Fellow Tom Vitaglione in an attempt to bring attention and change to these statistics in the coming years. 

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