Paddling in the Public Schools : How Do Parents Decide?
Levy, Emily E.
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Corporal punishment is still used as a disciplinary method within 19 States’ Public School systems. At Valley View High School in Jonesboro, Arkansas, the administration gives the disciplinary decision to the parents in which they choose a physical or nonphysical disciplinary method that the school will then administer. How do power structures associated with the authoritative (strict) and nurturant (supportive) parenting methods operate in the decision parents make for their children about the use of corporal punishment in public schools? What are the main factors that drive the parents to make this ultimate decision for their children? These are questions that will be explored through a review of the literature as well as the series of interviews conducted with 20 parents of current Valley View High School Students. George Lakoff’s authoritative and nurturing parenting models are used to explore the ways in which parents are strict, supportive, or both which will be evident through the disciplinary method chosen. The author argues that when making their disciplinary decision, parents do not only fit into one model but rather parents possess segments of both models. Through the research conducted, it was found that most parents are not choosing paddling when given the choice. It was also found that parents were not willing to fight the inclusion of corporal punishment within