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While there has been an extensive amount of scholarly discourse regarding the propriety of shaming as a criminal sanction, there has been almost no critical discussion about the validity of shaming punishments as disciplinary measures in schools. This Article is designed to initiate this needed dialogue by arguing for the cessation of school shaming through a legal theory lenses. To accomplish this objective, Part I of this Article provides a definitional foundation of shaming punishments. Part II of the Article presents the normative rejection of school shaming, which is grounded in both legal punishment theory and educational theory. It provides a philosophical extrapolation of the rejection of shaming sanctions in the criminal law context to the education law context, highlighting the analytical division between the perspectives on criminal shaming held by Dan Kahan, Martha Nussbaum, Toni Massaro, Dan Markel, Stephen Garvey, Eric Posner, and James Whitman. That Part advocates for the termination of school shaming based on the tenets of dignity, decency, and moral-educative mission that have been at the core of critiques of shaming punishments in criminal law and that are central pedagogical goals and civic aims of the American K-12 educational system. Finally, Part II concludes this argument by calling for a rejection of school-shaming punishments in order to make schools communities of respect, rather than communities of stigma. A liberal democratic society demands this preservation of dignity and decency be part of the moral-educative mission of its public schools for children.



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