U.S. Education Secretary John King wants states to ban teachers from paddling students.
Twenty-two states allow corporal punishment: whether it be paddling, spanking or hitting students.
The nation's education chief said this type of punishment is used on students of color and with disabilities more often than other students.
King said corporal punishment is used to discipline on an estimated 100,000 students each yeah and calls this kind of punishment harmful and ineffective.
On a call with reporters this week, King said some school officials defend the practice saying physical discipline is a traditional child rearing practice that has always been used in schools.
The head of the nation's largest teachers union, Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers, said the union is on board with this effort.
King wrote a letter to governors and school leaders in states that allow student corporal punishment encouraging them to end the practice.
He is asking leaders to replace corporal punishment with disciplinary methods that he said work better against bad behavior.
King adds the disciplinary technique would be considered "criminal assault or battery" against an adult.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.