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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Guest Blogger Heather Johnson Argues Against Corporal Punishment in Schools

Please note that this blog welcomes guest posts for consideration for publication on this blog. Feel free to submit posts for consideration anytime to bryandglass@gmail.com.

5 Reasons Why Corporal Punishment Should be Outlawed

Spare the rod and spoil the child is an adage that belongs in the past, or so you would think. But there are still a few states in the United States of America that allow children to be physically punished even for minor misdemeanors in school, as long as the disciplinary act does not create the risk of death or cause serious injuries and disabilities. This law gives members of the faculty the right to paddle errant children if they think they need to be disciplined.

The legalization of corporal punishment in American schools is in complete contrast to the law in most European nations which prohibits even parents from physically hurting their children as a way to discipline them. Corporal punishment can be purely physical, physical with the intent to cause emotional distress through humiliation in front of peers, or negative reinforcement (locking the child in a dark room and so on). There are severe drawbacks to the use of corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure, both at home and in schools.

• Physical punishment is hardly a deterrent to misbehavior. In fact, the human psyche is built to resist authority, and if the authority is imposed through corporal punishment, some children would rather do the crime and take the time (being punished) rather than conforming to rules.
• Corporal punishment, especially acts that are meant to embarrass and humiliate, leave emotional scars deep inside that last a lifetime. Psychologists have proven that individuals subject to abuse during childhood grow up to become abusers themselves; they are aggressive to the point of becoming violent at times, they have low self esteem and they do not know how to love their children.
• When children are beaten or punished in a degrading manner, the teacher-child bond is lost in the resulting animosity. The child withdraws into him/herself, becomes sullen and to hide the fear inside, grows rebellious. Corporal punishment can make bullies out of children who were earlier just rambunctious boys and girls.
• The process of meting out corporal punishments can lead to acts that are more violent and potentially harmful or life endangering if the teacher or staff member loses control of him/herself. Physical punishment gone wrong has been known to result in serious harm to body parts like the eyes, ears and limbs.
• There is a distinct possibility that children who are one-off offenders, who get into trouble the first time they skirt the boundaries of rules, are prone to become serious troublemakers if subject to corporal punishment.


This guest post is written by Heather Johnson, who frequently writes on the subject of online college degrees. She welcomes your comments and freelance writing inquiries at: heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

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