Study Guide


(2013) by Nadine Block,  Center for Effective Discipline, Columbus, OH.

About the book:

“Bend over and take your whacks,” is heard each day by over l,000 school children in the United States. Almost half of US states permit educators to hit children with contoured boards called “paddles” for breaking school rules. Sometimes children are hit without parent permission and sometimes against parents’ wishes. Paddling can lead to injuries requiring medical treatment including bleeding, bruises and even broken bones. Over l00 countries have banned school corporal punishment. In Breaking the Paddle: Ending School Corporal Punishment, Nadine Block sheds light on this dark side of American education and refutes arguments used to support its use. Block tells parents how to protect their children from this archaic discipline and gives specific recommendations for how to end it for all US school children.”  From

The author says:

“I spent 25 years campaigning against corporal punishment in Ohio public schools and elsewhere.  I want to shed light on one of the darkest aspects of the American education system. I want to share my experiences and knowledge gained from this campaign, and, perhaps, to inspire others to help end it in all US schools. I want to show how a small group of ordinary citizens, with no money and against tremendous opposition, got corporal punishment banned in that state. We can make it happen in other states with good organizing, hard work, and persistence.”


1.  The author says that corporal punishment of children is harmful.  What evidence does she use to support that claim?  Is the evidence  personal, opinion, observation, research, science, or historical documents?   Is the evidence convincing?

2.  Is the author’s observation about the harmfulness of corporal punishment consistent with your own culture and experience?

3.  How does this issue affect your life?  Generally?  Specifically?  Now?  The past?

4.  What solutions does the author propose for ending corporal punishment in schools and in all settings, even homes?  Who would implement them?  What is their probability of success?

5.  Who is aligned on which sides of the issue?

6.  What are the  implications for the future in implementing the author’s suggestions about ending corporal punishment through education and legal reform?  Are they positive?  negative?  frightening? affirming? Hopeful?

7.  Are there specific passages that strike you as interesting?  disturbing?  illuminating?

8.  What have you learned from reading this book?  Has it broadened your perspectives about children? education?  parenting?  cultural changes?

Note:  Source used for writing questions:   LitLovers, a Well-Read On-Line Community – General Questions for NonFiction.