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More than 200,000 children were spanked or paddled in U.S. schools during the past school year, human rights groups reported Wednesday.

"Every public school needs effective methods of discipline, but beating kids teaches violence, and it doesn't stop bad behavior," wrote Alice Farmer, the author of a joint report from Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union. "Corporal punishment discourages learning, fails to deter future misbehavior and at times even provokes it."

Corporal punishment in schools remains legal in 21 U.S. states and is used frequently in 13: Missouri, Kentucky, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Florida, according to data received from the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education and cited in the report. Read full article »

CNN's Tracy Sabo and Vivienne Foley contributed to this report.

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