Graham County Schools End Corporal Punishment

Oct 18, 2018

The paddle Robbinsville High School principals have used to discipline students.
Credit Jess Clark / WUNC

The last school district that practiced corporal punishment in North Carolina has voted to ban it.

Board members voted unanimously to end paddling on October 2, the day of their most recent meeting, according to Graham County Schools Superintendent Angie Knight. The move effectively bans the practice across the state.

"Corporal punishment will no longer be a disciplinary action in Graham County Schools," Knight said in an email.

Graham County Schools was the only district left that still allowed paddling, after the board in Robeson County voted to end it in April. Graham County used corporal punishment 34 times in the 2016-2017 school year.

State law allows paddling in public schools, defining it as "the intentional infliction of physcial pain upon the body of a student as a disciplinary measure," but leaves the decision about whether or not to use it to local school boards.