Tom Vitaglione

Tom Vitaglione

Tom Vitaglione has worked as an advocate for children and children's rights in state government and the nonprofit sector for more than 50 years.

The North Carolina Education Building

NC lawmakers should catch up with the times on corporal punishment

By: - September 6, 2023

Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirmed its policy statement on corporal punishment in the public schools, calling for the practice to be abolished in all states by law and replaced by alternative forms of student behavior management. In North Carolina, parents and local school boards have spoken on this issue: corporal punishment is prohibited […]


Corporal punishment in NC schools: a structural racism success story that’s not yet complete

By: - June 23, 2020

Recent events, leaving so many stark and troubling images on our minds, have raised awareness of “structural racism” in our society. Protests have focused on policing and monuments, but it is clear that structural racism is pervasive, and comprehensive study leading to comprehensive interventions is needed. All of this seems quite daunting, but less so […]

North Carolina is headed backwards on childhood lead poisoning

By: and - July 13, 2016

When the NC legislature adjourned last week, they left behind some unfinished business. One bill left hanging, House Bill 1074, would have required (and paid for) lead testing in the drinking water of every school and child care center in North Carolina. We applaud Rep. Mike Hager (R-Burke) for his leadership on this issue, and […]

Corporal punishment in NC’s public schools: Hanging on in some very disturbing ways

By: - March 21, 2016

The State Board of Education recently received a report that corporal punishment, an antiquated (and now known to be ineffective) method of student discipline once used in all 115 of the state’s local school districts, is currently used by just three districts – Macon, Graham and Robeson. These districts used the practice 146 times during the 2014-2015 school year, a far cry from statewide totals in the thousands not long ago.

NC’s infant mortality on the rise following service cuts

By: - October 25, 2013

The current administration of the state Department of Health and Human Services is not noted for its openness in communications, so it was no surprise that the news release indicating that the infant mortality rate in our state had increased in 2012 was short, relatively incomplete, and buried in a recent weekend news cycle. Since […]

Child health improvement: A challenge for the McCrory administration

By: - January 11, 2013

The eighteenth annual North Carolina Child Health Report Card, recently published by Action for Children North Carolina and the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, is a compilation of important indicators of child health and safety in our state over the past five years. This year it is something in addition: it reminds us of the […]

Hitting students while the State Board of Education looks the other way

By: - March 27, 2012

In 1985, when almost all states allowed the use of corporal punishment in the public schools, the North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation giving local school boards the legal authority to approve or ban the practice of hitting students as a form of discipline. At the time, all local districts in our state allowed the […]

Protecting Schools, Exposing Students

By: - April 7, 2008

Let’s suppose that your 8-year-old just returned from playing at a neighbor’s and gave you a note saying, “Your daughter started acting out a bit, so I had to slap her a few times. I hope you don’t mind.” I suspect that all of you would be furious, and many of you would consider suing your neighbor.

Behind The Times in Most N.C. Counties

By: - October 23, 2007

By Tom Vitaglione, Action for Children North Carolina What do Chatham County, NC, and Mongolia have in common?  In recent months, each has banned corporal punishment in its public schools. Mongolia joins all the developed countries (except the United States) and an ever-growing list of developing countries in outlawing what is increasingly considered an outmoded […]