House Committee on Education and Labor
U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
Ranking Member

Fiscally responsible reforms for students, workers and retirees.



Committee Statement

April 15, 2010

CONTACT: Alexa Marrero
or Brian Newell
(202) 225-4527

Guthrie and Platts Statements: Hearing on Corporal Punishment in Schools and its Effect on Academic Success

Statement of Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY)
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Thank you Madam Chair, and good morning.

We’re here today to examine corporal punishment in schools and its effect on academic success. We’ll look not only at questions of how corporal punishment is currently used in some states and schools, but also broader issues such as the definition of what constitutes corporal punishment. 

We have a distinguished panel of witnesses here today to help inform the discussion, and I thank them for joining us.

Rep. Platts, the Ranking Member of this subcommittee, will be inserting his full opening statement into the hearing record. With that, I look forward to hearing from our witnesses and examining these issues more closely. Thank you.

Statement of Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA), Senior Republican, Subcommittee on Healthy Families and Communities
Remarks Submitted for the Record

Good morning and welcome to our hearing. Today we will bring together experts to discuss the effects of corporal punishment on students’ academic success.

When parents send their children off to school in the morning, we do so with the expectation that they will be in a safe environment and disciplined in a manner that is conducive to emotional and academic growth and achievement. Most of us can agree that corporal punishment—broadly defined as any punishment in which physical force is used to cause some degree of pain and discomfort—does not have a place in our schools.

The majority of states have recognized this, including my home state of Pennsylvania, and have banned the practice of corporal punishment in schools. These policies have been highly successful in the dramatic decrease of corporal punishment instances in our Nation’s schools. The voluntary implementation of a ban in thirty states has resulted in an 85% decrease in the number of students who experience some degree of corporal punishment.   

As is always central to our work on this subcommittee, it is important that we understand the academic influence of corporal punishment. Given the limited research on its effects on a student’s academic performance, I very much look forward to hearing our witnesses’ testimonies today. Thank you, Chairwoman McCarthy.