Corporal Punishment, what do you say about it?

Sometimes, I hear some moments resounding in my head; those lashings, whippings, slaps, canes, and of-course those times getting into mischief. I cannot say I've become a better person because of that neither can I say otherwise.  However, I want to share with you what we should think and care about it according to people around world along with my opinions. This post is not intended to hurt any feelings or any individual but for; if we can bring a change in our mind and ways we see/do things. And it is not also to show ill-gratitude and disrespects towards those great teachers(they are indeed our lights) and instructors but for a change-a better place!

Cambridge dictionary defines ‘Corporal punishment’ as,” the physical punishment of people, especially of children, by hitting them.”

Corporal punishment is the infliction of physical pain upon a person’s body as punishment for a crime or infraction. Corporal punishments include flogging, beating, branding, mutilation, blinding, and the use of the stock and pillory. In a broad sense, the term also denotes the physical disciplining of children in the schools and at home. Corporal punishment should be treated as crime punishable by law. It has been banned in more than 24 countries, including Germany, Greece and the Netherlands.

For upbringing a child is to correct them whenever they go in a wrong path. In order to have a better citizen child should be trained and moulded. When said so, people might say it is fine to take extreme actions (like corporal punishment) to prepare a child’s life better. But, it’s not only the way children can be trained. Alternatives to corporal punishment should be used, like emphasizing positive behaviors of students, realistic rules consistently enforced, instruction that reaches all students, conferences with students for planning acceptable behavior, parent/teacher conferences about student behavior, use of staff such as school psychologists and counselors, detentions, in-school suspension and Saturday school.

Corporal punishment is usually an effective behavior deterrent. Corporal punishment definitely teaches both right and wrong but, it has been observed that offenders may repeat the punished behavior as soon as the authority figure is absent-indicating that it is not an effective method. Whether practiced at home or in school, corporal punishment may indeed result in short-term submissive behavior, but creates anger and resentment that shift the focus away from genuine behavioral change. Those people receiving punishment are more like to be instilled with rage and hostility even into adulthood. There is a difference between FEAR & Respect. Corporal punishment maintains order by the rule of fear. It does not establish respect. Respect leads to order and harmony, fear leads to resentment and disorder.

Some may state that discipline is lacking in many schools, violence and classroom disorder interfere with learning pretty regularly in the inner cities and thus reinstituting corporal punishment might return some semblance of control. But, the administration of corporal punishment invokes fear and the use of corporal punishment in schools is intrinsically related to child maltreatment. It contributes to a climate of violence, it implies that society approves of the physical violation of children, thus it establishes an unhealthy norm. For corporal punishment to typically continue working, more punishment, pain, or force maybe be necessary. As a result, child abuse typically starts as corporal punishment.

It might be stated that there might be better attendance, less tardiness, fewer suspensions, and better academic performance if there is corporal punishment. But, 'a teacher does best armed only with knowledge.' Corporal punishment is a cruel and obsolete weapon which involves both physical and psychological torture. Corporal punishment involving beating, flogging, spanking, and other forms of physical torture which result to injuries, bruises, and broken bones. It not only degrades human values but invokes/leave deep emotional scars and almost always begets further violence. Increased cases of teachers being attacked at night, cars and glasses being broken and many other forms of mischief are being done by some pupils who want to avenge the teachers.

It may be argued that, as soon as the student has been punished he can go back to his class and continue learning, in contrast to out-of-school suspension, which removes him from the educational process and gives him a free "holiday".  And it saves much staff time that would otherwise have been devoted to supervising detention classes or in-school suspension, and managing the bureaucracy that goes with these punishments. But, "There is nothing 'manly' about beating women. There is nothing 'adult' about hitting children. Whether sanctioned or capricious, all such violence really is cowardly activity. It betrays a person who needs to invade someone else's dignity to feel important.”- Reverend Dr. Thomas E. Sagendorf, retired United Methodist Church minister, Hammond IN. Corporal punishment is an abuse of power. It is easy for teachers or parents to spank children out of anger, and this presents a model of impulsive violence and lack of self-control to children. It involves violence. It perpetuates a cycle of child abuse. It teaches children to hit someone smaller and weaker when angry. And it has been noted and observed that violent children almost always have violent parents/teachers.

It may be stated that there has been an increase in crime with banning of corporal punishment but we cannot single handedly blame the banning of corporal punishment for the rapid rise in crime. There are many factors, and there is nothing that definitively shows that there is a link between the banning of corporal punishment and the rise in crime. There are many things that have changed and the rise in crime is a combination of some or maybe even all of these factors, things like increase in population, increasing living expectations, the poor and the rich living in a close proximity. We should not bring back corporal punishment on a whim that it may possibly decrease the levels of crime.

Corporal punishment involves violence, abuse of power, child abuse, has negative psychological effects and lowers self-esteem. Thus, Corporal punishment should be banned/treated as crime punishable by law.

References: 


  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_corporal_punishment
  • http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/138384/corporal-punishment
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporal_punishment
  • and some other related sites.



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