Date of Award

Fall 10-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid

Third Advisor

Dr. Kim Fitzpatrick


The use of corporal punishment as a form of student discipline has long been a controversial form of student discipline used in schools throughout the world. Research gathered showed that the use of corporal punishment has supporters and opponents. The supporters usually reference the Bible or corporal punishment as a traditional form of punishment. Opponents fear that physical punishment is a thing of the past and a form of physical abuse. Qualitative data were gathered from 12 superintendents in Missouri, one communications director from a Missouri professional teacher organization, and two attorneys who specialize in school law and policy to gain their perceptions of corporal punishment. The perceptions of superintendents regarding corporal punishment ranged from strongly disagreeing with the use to strongly believing it is an effective form of discipline. A few superintendents were hesitant to explain its practical use. The comments from the attorneys who were interviewed centered on legal and policy issues, while the communications director from the teacher organization expressed support of the teacher based on the school district’s policy of allowing or not allowing corporal punishment. Results and conclusions from this study may assist local school boards in deciding if corporal punishment should be used within their school districts.


Copyright 2013