More and more advocates call for ban on corporal punishment in public schools

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Should paddling be allowed in public schools? That's a loaded question.

According to the most recent data from the US Department of Education, Alabama is third in its use of corporal punishment, behind only Mississippi, and Arkansas. Data shows about 19,000 students were paddled in the 2013-2014 school year in Alabama.

The Alabama Education Association unanimously voted to recommend banning corporal punishment across public schools.

As of right now, the state said all local school districts must have a policy on corporal punishment, but they don't tell them what that policy has to be.

"They don't dictate what that policy is, simply for us it was an easy one just to simply ban it completely," said Keith Ward with Huntsville City Schools.

Local school officials said researchers have never found corporal punishment to be effective. Twenty-nine states ban it completely. Huntsville City Schools banned corporal punishment five years ago.

"I think that's what you've found across the country is that there are much more effective methods to deal with different situations," said Ward.

Madison City Schools haven't incorporated paddling since becoming their own district in 1998. They said they're in the business to teach, and paddling didn't prove to be a successful way for them to do that.

Ward agrees, saying, "Like math and science and history and so forth, behavior is another opportunity to educate, and being able to instill that in our students, will help them be successful."

Madison County Schools however do still use corporal punishment. Their handbook says they don't need parent permission to do so, but if you don't want your child to be disciplined that way you must send it in writing annually.

The US Department of Education has also recently called for corporal punishment to be banned in public schools.