In March 2018, OREA published a report on corporal punishment in Tennessee public schools, including an analysis of its use for students with disabilities. At the time of publication, the most current data available on corporal punishment use was from the 2013-14 school year. In late April 2018, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) within the U.S. Department of Education released data from the 2015-16 school year. This report includes an updated analysis of corporal punishment use in Tennessee public schools from the past four reporting years (2009-10, 2011-12, 2013-14, and 2015-16) and information on the two laws that were passed by the Tennessee General Assembly in response to OREA’s March 2018 report.
Analysis of the newly released data on corporal punishment found similar results to the original report:
· Students with disabilities received corporal punishment at a higher statewide rate than students without disabilities for three of the four most recent reporting years.
· The number of students with disabilities in Tennessee receiving corporal punishment declined from 2009-10 to 2015-16, by about 19 percent. In comparison, the number of students without disabilities receiving corporal punishment declined by about 58 percent across the same time frame.
· Of the schools that used corporal punishment for students with and without disabilities, about 80 percent used corporal punishment at a higher rate for students with disabilities in all four reporting years.
Appendix E, which includes school-level rates of corporal punishment use for students with and without disabilities, has also been updated with the 2015-16 data.