Schools and corporal punishment

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It is usual for students to misbehave in any way at school. The pupil may be punished in a number of ways. When a pupil is disciplined by using physical force for misconduct, the act is referred to as corporal punishment (J. E. Lansford ,46). Students are humiliated by striking them around the buttocks or on their hands. A cane made of wood, rubber, or plastic is often used by a teacher or other person with control over the pupil. Corporal punishment may involve smacking or spanking the pupil with bare hands, but this is seldom used at the elementary level. In the past corporal punishment was practiced since teachers were considered authority figures like the parents of the children and they could punish children while they were in their care. However, with time people changed their notions about corporal punishment with some thinking that it is a dangerous vice. In 1783 Poland became the first country to outlaw corporal punishments in school, other states followed by abolishing it (L. C. Lansford ,676). Corporal punishment is no longer practiced in many countries since people have been sensitized on children rights. There are however some countries who have not eliminated the vice including some Australian states and Singapore. Corporal punishment is still being practiced in some parts of Africa and Asia. The United Kingdom banned corporal punishment in all state-funded schools, in 1986 public and private schools in the UK that received no state funding were also forbidden from carrying out the act. The act should therefore not be allowed in school again due to the adverse effects that it has on children (L. C. Lansford ,676).

Some people argue that corporal punishment should be introduced. They argue that it will ensure teachers regain back the authority that they had lost. Teachers are struggling to ensure that students follow their instructions since the current punishment methods that teachers use do not have power on them. If the teachers do not have power, they cannot intimidate students, lacking control over students’ lousy behavior. They argue that it provides an alternative to current methods of punishment that are being used in schools such as suspension. Children often like staying away from school, and when they are given a suspension, they view it as a reward, and it does not rectify their bad behavior. To them, Corporal punishment is the best form of discipline since children will stay in school and it will make it clear that it is not a reward. Corporal punishment deters students from misbehaving and they argue that it makes children respectful and obedient (Gershoff ,89). Through the use of corporal punishment, stubborn children have no option but to submit authority.

Corporal punishment should not be allowed to schools since it causes trauma and injuries to children, it leads to anxiety problems developing in the children. The act leaves bruises and marks on children which affect children’s self-esteem. Vulnerable students experience mental abuse which in some cases lasts a lifetime. Some children end up being depressed and in some cases it might lead to suicide since the tolerance levels of people tend to be different. Corporal punishment, therefore, does not deal with bad behavior but introduces a series of mental problems in children. Physical damages that are done on a child’s body can be treated. Nonetheless, psychological and emotional effects of the act affect the children in a significant manner. If introduced to school the act will cause severe fear to children, distracting them from their education which will lower the children’s performance and in some cases, it might lead to an increase in the number of school dropouts.

Corporal punishment should not be introduced in schools since it does not change the bad behavior of a child. The change in behavior that is observed in cases where corporal punishment is used is as a result of trauma that the child experiences, this causes the child to have low confidence with claims of low self-esteem following afterward. If the act is practiced continually, it hardens the children no longer making them afraid (Jones). As a result, they continue with the bad behavior. The problem is inhumane since whips or canes are lashed at a student it becomes excruciating for the child, it is simply a barbaric act. Some children grow very hostile as a result of the act, and they might even react by fighting back.

The act can lead to abuse, in cases where the administrator is angered, the punishment crosses the line and becomes abuse. The process is not fair since teachers differ in how they administer the punishment, a heavily built teacher, will cause more harm to the students than a teacher that is not heavily built. Teachers can also get into trouble for instance while beating a child; they can be injured severely and die. As a result, the teacher is tasked with facing the law and might end up in prison for an extended period (Jones). The act destroys the relationship between the student and the teacher, which might affect the performance of the child. Children end up carrying a lot of resent towards the teacher. Introduction of corporal punishment is a bad idea, the negative consequences of the act far outweigh the benefits. Corporal punishment on children all over the world is considered as a form of child abuse. Alternative methods of punishing the student should be used, those that do not involve excessive physical abuse.

Works Cited

Gershoff, Elizabeth T., Kelly M. Purtell, and Igor Holas. "Education and Advocacy Efforts to Reduce School Corporal Punishment." In Corporal Punishment in US Public Schools." Springer International Publishing (2015): 89.

Jones, Hayley, and Kirrily Pells. "Undermining learning: multi-country longitudinal evidence on corporal punishment in schools." UNICEF. Office of Research-Innocent (2016).

Lansford, Jennifer E., Chinmayi Sharma, Patrick S. Malone, Darren Woodlief, Kenneth A. Dodge, Paul Oburu, Concetta Pastorelli. "Corporal punishment, maternal warmth, and child adjustment: A longitudinal study in eight countries ." Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology 43, no. 4 (2014): 676.

Lansford, Jennifer E., Claudia Cappa, Diane L. Putnick, Marc H. Bornstein, Kirby Deater-Deckard, and Robert H. Bradley. "Change over time in parents’ beliefs about and reported use of corporal punishment in eight countries with and without legal bans." Child Abuse & Neglect 71 ( (2017): 46.

October 19, 2022

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