Corporal Punishment in America: At Home and School

Corporal Punishment in America: At Home and School

10/13/2017 07:00

Fundamentalism, a trademark for belts to beat children, has now passed the public opposition period at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  This means the trademark for Fundamentalism will be issued by the United States Government to Daniel Vander Ley, a child-rights advocate.

Daniel Vander Ley, has used this trademark in his campaigns:  Grand Rapids Values ( and Extremist Supply Co. ( to address the current state of child beatings in the US.   “According to research from The Economist, Born-Again Christians hit their children more than any other group.”  Vander Ley said.  The National Institutes of Health are clear … even infrequent spanking is correlated with negative outcomes such-as: Depression, Anxiety, Suicidal Ideation, Lower Wages, Lower Educational Attainment and Drug Use.

We know that participation with extreme Christianity and the corporal punishment of children are both inversely-correlated with the educational attainment of the adults leading a household. The research shows a decrease in the participation with Fundamentalist ideologies and corporal punishment of children (child hitting) with the obtainment of a college degree and a graduate degree. The studies do not provide statistics on people without a college degree who choose extremist “Fundamentalist” behavior, although we know that Fundamentalist ideologies are held by only a fraction of the Christians in America.

Another alarming fact about corporal punishment is that public schools in 19 States still allow this barbaric practice.  What is worse, corporal punishment disproportionally impacts students of color and students with disabilities. Studies show that girls of color are victims of corporal punishment at a rate of 2.9 to 1 of Caucasian girls. And, students with disabilities are victims of corporal punishment at a rate of 3 to 1.  “This is a sick and maddening proposition”, said Vander Ley. “We should never allow a teacher to strike a student on Title I. We should never allow a teacher to strike a child with Autism. Where is our Secretary of Education? Where is Betsy DeVos?” 

Grand Rapids Values, a campaign to challenge Betsy DeVos on the corporal punishment of school children has gone unanswered.  Grand Rapids Michigan, the Secretaries home town, does not support the hitting of school children. Focus groups indicate that most Rapidians were unaware that this barbaric practice was still allowed in public education.  After realizing that over 100,000 children were hit every year in public schools, most were outraged and disgusted.  The focus groups, conducted by the HiJuxt Agency (, collected research by sampling a cross-section of Grand Rapidians over a 2-week period. The ages that showed the most offense to public school corporal punishment were 7-18 and 18-35. Only 4 respondents, out of 500, expressed a positive view on corporal punishment is schools, however these same respondents also expressed that they had engaged in the corporal punishment of their own children.

The Grand Rapids Values / Grand Rapids Decision campaign will remain open until the Secretary shares with the world her position on the hitting of Title I students and the hitting of students with disabilities. Will the Secretary decide to defund schools that hit special needs students?  Will the Secretary stop the abuse cycle by releasing educational materials to parents of Title I students explaining that striking a child is a dangerous and ineffective parenting technique? Or, will Secretary DeVos continue to duck Grand Rapids Values? Will she continue to ignore the hitting of students at schools that her programs fund?  Only an answer from our Secretary of Education will tell. 

Follow the Campaign at:

GrandRapidsValues.Com (Grand Rapids Values)

GrandRapidsDecision.Com (Grand Rapids Decision)

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