Why should corporal punishment not be banned?I have to debate on this topic and I am at the affirmative side.  I have to suppose that the corporal should not be banned.

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I agree with post #7.  I think that corporal punishment is more likely to be effective in school than at home.  If it were to become institutionalized as it was before, it would be controlled.  Schools are never going to be beating children, but if they use controlled corporal punishment it is not likely to be harmful.  You can, as others have said, rely on historical evidence.

Remember that to win a debate, you have to either argue that there is not a problem or that this is not the solution.  This resolution seems to assume that corporal punishment already exists in your school or state.  You can argue that it is a deterrent, either for committing misbehavior or committing it in the future.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Many of a particular generation would agree with this point of view, so it is worth considering what they base their judgement upon. They would look at society today and argue that there is a lack of discipline which was not present back in the "good old days" of corporal punishment. Having such a severe offence meant that there was a clearly defined system of punishments and consequences for bad behaviour which meant that children grew up with proper respect for their elders.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Perhaps you could compare corporal punishment in schools to the effectiveness of corporal punishment in the home.  I realize they are different arenas, but certainly an analogy worth conisering.  When administered with consistency and love, and followed up correctly by parents, spanking, as a form of discipline, is effective.  While the issue of corporal punishment may be hard to research (for the affirmative) you are likely to find many in favor of parental spanking.

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lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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I agree that you have the more difficult side of this debate to defend. I would argue that younger children are more likely to respond to the immediate consequence of swats at school immediately after the misbehavior than they are to being left out of an activity, such as recess, two hours later, or to being suspended for the next school day.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

You can also come at the topic from the angle of school security.  Discipline is lacking in many public schools, and violence and classroom disorder interfere with learning pretty regularly in the inner cities.  Reinstituting corporal punishment might return some semblance of control at the elementary levels anyway.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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If I were going to argue this side, I would do so by arguing from tradition.  In other words, I would argue that the evidence of past traditions shows that corporal punishment is not a bad thing.

I would argue that generations of children were subjected to corporal punishment and did not come out of it in any way warped by the experience.  I would argue that there were actually fewer discipline problems back in the old days when corporal punishment was more common.

Finally, I would look at the evidence against corporal punishment and I would try to pick holes in it.  I would argue that social scientists cannot really prove that corporal punishment causes resentment or that it causes kids to become more violent.  I would argue that there are all sorts of other factors that play into how a kid will behave.

So I would argue that A) corporal punishment didn't ruin kids for generations and generations and B) that social science is an imprecise thing that cannot definitively prove that corporal punishment is bad.

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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You have, in my opinion, been given the more difficult side in this debate.  However, you have to work with what you have been given, and I think some research might help you.  There are still several states in which corporal punishment is legal, and I am sure some other countries permit it, too.  You might discover that students are less likely to misbehave in schools that do have it.  For example, there might be better attendance, less tardiness, fewer suspensions, and better academic performance.  You might also do a historical comparison, comparing the period during which corporal punishment was common, which was certainly throughout most of the history of public education in the United States. Another method of supporting your position is to compare education to parenting.  Is there any benefit, for example, to spanking one's children?  There are many people who believe there are benefits to doing so.  Remember, you do not have to agree with a position to debate it.  You must simply support the position.   I have provided a few links to get you started in your research.  Good luck! 

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jonathan-b | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

By the way, a child is not going to understand if you hit them while showing them love and compassion. No child is mature enough to understand, they will just see it was you hitting them. You may think its for the better, but you have to look at the bigger picture. Are you physically diciplining your child because its right? Or are you hitting your child because you THINK its right?

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jonathan-b | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

This is a perplexing topic for me. I completely oppose corporal punishment, yet it seems like everyone won't mind smacking their child for the sake of "having them learn what's right or wrong". But let me tell you my life story.

I grew up in a normal, Catholic household. I had a good family, my parents were there for me, had good jobs, and there was always food on the table. I went to a good Catholic school, and I never had any excessive abuse as a kid-I know for a fact my parents loved me, and still love me. They taught me the correct morals, and I'm grateful for that. I wouldn't be the respectable person I am today if my parents were deadbeats. However, they believed in corporal punishment.

The memories I remember most vividly as a child were the times I got punished. The first time was when I wet the bed. I felt completely ashamed and embarrassed about it. They didn't comfort me or try to ease my embarassment, they simply got mad at me and I remember lying on my fathers lap face down, him smacking me multiple times. 

The second most vivid memory was at St. Lamberts, now closed. My class had just entered the room and the nun, Sister Norma, told everyone to sit. Now everyone was sitting down, and I happened to be the last person to sit. Before I could even sit down, Sister Norma took her cane, swept me from under my legs, in front of the WHOLE class, so I would sit down. I didn't even act out, and I never saw it coming. I was never a kid who would act out, and I certainly did nothing wrong, I was just the only one left standing. And it wasn't even the thing where I was standing for 5 minutes after everyone sat, this happened barely 5 seconds after everyone sat down. I fell flat on my tailbone, with the curve of her cane still holding my ankles up. I don't remember what she said, or what my friends said about it, all I remember was the feeling of being hooked in the leg and being forcefully driven down on my tailbone. I can't recall being punished again, although now I was starting to not finish my homework and not being able to concentrate. Which is screwed up, because I know I'm highly intelligent, I scored a 33 on my ACT for Christ's sake. I got a couple of detentions and stuff during 3rd grade for homework issues and I even got one because some deuchebag Indian boy framed me for staling the teacher's stickers. The motherfucker stuck it in my desk when no one was looking. He later admitted it and even had to read a letter saying he would be arrested if he did it again...he got his punishment. I remember, every detention I got, I was never angry about it, I was just always heartbroken and crying, because 1) I felt that I was inadequate for the world and 2) I was afraid of my parents beating me for it when they found out. 

After Lamberts closed I had to switch schools, and I moved to St. Josephs up in the Wilmette area. The transition wasn't so bad, I was kinda sad I had to go away form my old friends but it didn't really ruin me, per se. At this point, going into 4th grade, I had this idea planted in my mind that I wasn't good enough for anything, yet I put on a smile every day and never talked about it to anyone. What helped immensely were my two cousins going to school with me, they were basically my support system, I would only hang out with them initially, I wouldn't play football all of 4th grade because I thought I was, well frankly, nothing more than a piece of shit. I eventually did hang out with the guys and befriended people. I considered in my class there was two types of guys. The fun popular guys, and the guys that were made fun of, which was maybe 3 of us, me included. It wasn't like we had our own clique tho, the popular guys were nice enough to talk to talk to us and play football and even invite us over for parties and stuff. The problems I had at Lamberts, though, didn't go away at all. I still had an inability to focus or concentrate on homework, and it eventually led to the "LOVE PADDLE". It was a wooden home depot paint mixing stick, with "LOVE PADDLE" (my dad writes everything in CAPS), with a bunch of rules to do like brush your teeth, do your homework. Below all that, it said "if you don't do these things, you will get reminded". He put it behind one of my cabinets, kind of as intimidation. I had to live with that dreading thing in my room, and it was akin to living with a monster in your room. The fear and intimidation it spawned in me, having to constantly be reminded I would be hit if I did something they saw as "wrong" with the stick in my own room. Sometimes I couldn't sleep at night just thinking about it and the pain I would have to endure from it. I don't recall him ever using it, but just the intimidation of it horrified me infinitely. It didn't matter though, because...

He would whip me with his belt. I remember one time I got a homework notice, and my dad had previously threatened to whip me if I got another one. It didn't help, I was already under so much stress about not being good enough and not being able to concentrate, that my homework remained unfinished. He sat me down in the living room and said, "Remember what I said I was going to do?" And he led me in front of the bar, while i was sniffling and clearly ashamed of myself, told me to turn around. I was reluctant but he said "turn around" again. Then he put his hand on my shoulder and whipped me on my ass three times. The counted "ONE, TWO, THREE!" after every hit. And these weren't soft hits either. They were full on whippings, like i was fucking Kunta Kinte. Right after I ran to the couch, buried my head in this Australia pillow and wished I was dead. My dad went up to his room and I was all alone. I was in such stress I bit the pillow as hard as I could, and tore holes in it, while sobbing. To this day, everyone thinks it was my dog that was chewing on it. It's still in the house, still in the same couch, and I still live with it. It mocks me every day of my life. I went to sleep crying and after that began my spiral down mentally. I started being very emotionally aggressive with my friends, I felt like I needed to vent in some way and by taking things the wrong way allowed me to vent. But I never got physical with anyone. Needless to say I'm pretty sure none of those kids like me now

When I graduated, everything seemed for the better. I was getting a fresh new start, and the corporal punishment faded. There was some emotional abuse, calling me retarded and that I'm a bad kid, but that's not the topic, nor was it excessive in any way. High school, though I made friends, was a shitstorm of just being socially awkward and afraid of what other people think of me and how I conducted myself. The girls I liked either left me suddenly or cheated on me, I was very clingy, because I felt like I needed someone that would comfort me and not hurt me in any way, and trust me, I wanted that BADLY. My cousins went to different high schools, so my support was no longer there. It ended up to the point where I started abusing alcohol, showing up drunk to school, smoking pot. Mentally, I still felt smart, just emotionally wrecked. And still fucking up my homework. Yet I never really talked to anyone about it. I started getting more and more emotionally unstable as time went by, I cut myself, stopped working out, stopped hanging out with people.

After I graduated, I lost touch with most of my friends. The anxiety was so bad I dropped out of college because it was impossible for me to sit in a class and not be dripping in sweat, with full blown anxiety attacks, with the voices of everyone in the room in my head chanting, "You're a loser!" or something to that extent. I wanted to go to college so bad. I still do. After trying multiple times, I just ended up taking a break trying to help myself. Because of the corporal punishment, I had this fear that any time I talked to my parents, I would be punished. I still have that fear, and it makes it near impossible to tell my own parents how I feel, let alone anyone else in this world, even my goddamn therapist. My parents just thought I was being a deadbeat nobody, and always beat that in my head every time we argued.

It got to the point where I decided to jump off a bridge in the middle of January. I figured hypothermia would kill me quicker than anything, I was too pussy to slit my veins or shoot myself so I thought this would be the only way I would do it. I said one our father and was ready for the moment. Thankfully, I hesitated before I let go, which gave the police time to yank me to the safe side of the bridge and handcuff me. I recall sitting in the ER, my parents came in, didnt say a word, just looked at me sternly, no tears or emotion, and left the room to talk to the nurse to tell me im a deadbeat pothead and I needed drug rehab...which was funny, I probably did as much pot as the guard who was watching me. Even that black guard was talking to his buddy and he said "You see how his parents just walked in there and didnt say anything? Somethings going on...thats just not right. Thats fucked up." Thankfully, the people were smart enough to tell my parents otherwise. I spent 2 weeks in a psych ward, where they gave me medicine that really didnt help with shit, it made me more depressed and sleepier. But yet, I still felt like I had to have this poker face, and after doctors thought I was "okay" they sent me back with my parents. And it seemed like they finally knew I was depressed and knew I needed love and support than ever. But now, it's just same old same old. I'm not convinced my parents even believe im depressed, it just feels again like pre-suicide attempt all over again. One one hand, I love my parents, they are the people that gave me life. But at the same time, I hate them. I hate what they think about me, I hate the way they treat me sometimes, I absolutely abhor it. And nothing is worse than hating the one thing you should be grateful for, the one thing most people dont have. I believe that's even worse than not having it. It means I dont deserve it at all.

To this day, I'm still battling my emotional scars, and I find it very hard to socialize, I've cut down the drugs for the most part, and slowly but surely I'm getting my feet back. I still hate my parents though.

I understand that many people have been hit before as kids and they grew up just fine. But, while it may not have been a trigger, it was definitelly a stressor in my life and it just compounded into an even bigger problem. I would never ever do that to a kid even if theres a slight chance it would mess him or her up. Why would you take a chance like that? For the sake of teaching them right and wrong? Kids dont work like that, they learn right and wrong from the behavior of their parents or whomever they are closest to, not by being punished for the wrong thing.

The pain Ive had welled up over the years is indescribable. And I would never want to inflict what I have one through to a human being, especially my own flesh and blood. There are many ways to teach right and wrong, hitting is not one of them. Like someone stated before, does it make sense to hit a child if they hit someone else? You're just teaching them hitting is a way to handle a situation. Im just glad I never laid my hands on anybody. If I did, I probably wouldve checked them out or bashed their skull in. People can defend corporal punishment with studies saying "corporate punishment schools are more diciplined" or "A lot of people who went through corporal punishment turned out fine" (That's the thing about studies though...they only show a correlation that might possibly show the truth, but in the end, its not 100% accurate, doesnt reveal the bigger picture, and is meant to be taken with a grain of salt).

You're supposed to love and support your child so that they become the strong, confident person they most likely want to be. If there is a chance (and I know that first hand) it could mess up your childs learning and behavior in the long run, why would you even take that risk? Like I said. Its VERY perplexing to me.

If my child hits another kid, yes I might raise my voice. But I would sit down, comfort the child, ask him why he did it and what problems hes been having, and ultimately talk to him, use my experiences in the past to show him the right way vs the wrong way. Fuck the easy way. The best things in life you have to work for. If its too easy, its not worth it.

Wiggin42's profile pic

Wiggin42 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Valedictorian

Posted on

It is well known that based on various religious and moral way to upbring a child is to correct them whenever they go in a wrong path. It is fine to take extreme action to prepare a child’s life better. It the child is not corrected in youth,it is not only bad for him but for every body. In order to have a better citizen child should be trained. If a child resist and misbehave continuously for no reason then corporal punishment is the only way that can teach the valuable lessons.

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witchiz78 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

what if they state on the Child's right, how i can response to this piont?

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