Reversing a 15-year trend, corporal punishment is apparently on the rise in classrooms nationwide. Not so in Orange County. State law banned corporal punishment in 1987, and it would take an act of the Legislature to allow paddling in California. Last year, Kentucky and Arizona overturned their bans, while Michigan gave in to pressure from its teacher's union and weakened its anti-paddling law. As many as 600,000 students were paddled by teachers or administrators in public schools in 1990, according to a survey cited by Family Circle. States with high punishment rates were found to have lower than average test scores for their students and the highest dropout rates.