Corporal Punishment: An Unnecessary Tool in Education

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Corporal Punishment: An Unnecessary Tool in Education An emergency room physician sees the welts and deep purple bruises of the thighs and buttocks of a twelve-year-old and does what he must do under the law: he reports a possible case of child abuse. The county social worker arrives and finds that the injuries did not occur at home but were the result of a spanking administered earlier in the day by a teacher who had used a wooden paddle. The boy had misbehaved in a gym class. The social worker told the boy’s father that if he had beaten his son, he would probably be in jail. The teachers abuse is protected by the law. (qtd in Wekesser 66) The use of corporal punishment in schools is legal in 23 states in America, and at least one million cases similar to the one above are reported per year. The practice of corporal punishment is widespread throughout the United States by both parents and teachers, however most persons in favor of this use of punishment in education are located southern states and rural areas. Supporters claim that the lack of this method of punishment in the classroom is why children fail in school (Riak 3). Corporal punishment is a problem throughout most of the country perhaps because the form of punishment is socially acceptable in the home and individuals are uneducated about the effects of corporal punishment on children. The use of corporal punishment in the classroom leads the student to further violence, damaging psychological effects, and even child abuse. Therefore, this approach to punishment should not be advocated in any school setting. In order to understand why corporal punishment is detrimental to students, one must first define corporal punishment. Researche... ... middle of paper ... ... of Marriage and the Family 58 (1996): 155. Hurley, Jennifer., ed. Child Abuse: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Green Haven Press, Inc., 1999. Johns, Frank., and Robert H. Macnaughton. “Spare the Rod: A Continuing Controversy.” Clearing House 63 (1990): 1-9. Kennedy, Janice. "Teachers, Student Teachers, Paraprofessional, and Young Adults' Judgments About The Acceptable Use Of Corporal Punishment in the Rural South." Education and Treatment of Children 18 (1995): 1-11. Paintal, Sureshrani. “Banning Corporal Punishment of Children.” Childhood Education 76 (1996): 36-39. Riak, Jordan. “Danger Zones: States in the U.S. that Permit Pupil Beating.” America Online. Rev, 11-14-00. Visited, 11-25-00. <>. Wekesser, Carol., ed. America’s Children: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Green Haven Press, Inc., 1991.

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