Jordan Riak speaking at the 2006 NYRA Annual MeetingJordan Riak, founder of Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education (PTAVE) and long-time ally of NYRA in the campaign against corporal punishment died this week. Jordan Riak has devoted his life to stopping corporal punishment since 1974. He was a major force opposing the brutal practice both in the United States and in Australia, and almost single-handedly succeeded in getting corporal punishment banned in California schools. He spoke at the 2006 NYRA Annual Meeting and always kept NYRA supplied with his ubiquitous anti-spanking stickers.

PTAVE put out a booklet called “Plain Talk About Spanking” and distributed it widely. It has been recognized by many as one of the most persuasive and popular publications against hitting children. To honor Jordan Riak’s life and legacy, NYRA members are all urged to print out this booklet and distribute at your schools, workplaces and doctor’s offices.

Jordan Riak’s tireless campaign to stop corporal punishment is a model for us all and he will be truly missed by all of us concerned with the rights of young people.

Corporal punishment does for childhood what wife beating does for marriage.  There are laws against hitting your wife, hitting a guy on the street, even against hitting your dog.  But it's still perfectly legal in most of this country for teachers to hit our children. - Jordan Riak (1935-2016)


  1. I am so sorry to find out that Jordan has died. For decades he has been a champion for the rights of young people to be safe from violence by adults. I exchanged many emails and phone calls with Jordan about how to promote his work, how to keep children safe, how to stop the beatings in schools and at home.

    To see his website, go here:

    Kelly Gerling

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