Corporal Punishment in Schools

The rate of corporate punishment in schools has declined, but there are schools that continue to practice this barbaric and violent way of punishment that has a negative impact on childrens physical and psychological health. Corporal punishment is a disciplinary action that involves pinching, slapping, and spanking delivered by school teachers and administrators. In the USA, 31 states have refused from a corporal punishment in schools and banned it legally, but 19 states use this way of students disciplining as one of the most effective. Despite many educators believe that corporal punishment works and provides the effective use of time, education should not be based on abuse, fear, and violence. Consequently, corporate punishment in schools is not acceptable as it is a psychological and physical harassment of children that has a negative impact on discipline and academic achievements and leads to the decline of the personality development, and encourages students to violence and cruelty.


The Corporal Punishment Rate

Such states like Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama continue to discipline and control childrens behaviors in schools using corporal punishment. Thus, the rate of use of corporate punishment in these states in 2011-2012 was following: Mississippi (57%), Alabama (51%), Louisiana (22%), and Tennessee (25%) (Gershoff & Font, 2016). Moreover, the rate of students who attend the public schools where corporal punishment is legal was following: Alabama (50%), Mississippi (59%), Tennessee (23%), and Louisiana (21%). Around the half of all students in the states of Alabama and Mississippi attend schools where a corporal punishment s allowed. These figures are terrible as they signify that violence and cruelty are tolerated by teachers and parents. For example, Alabama schools recommend using wooden paddles that look like real weapons and reinforce cruelty of corporal punishment as a way of abuse and violation of human rights. Thus, this school policy proves that this state is not going from using a corporal punishment.

In Mississippi, the total number of students that undergo corporal punishment is 32, 157, and that is 7% from all students. In Alabama, this number is 27, 887, and that is 4% of all students. In Louisiana, the total number reaches to 4, 678, and that is less than 1%. In Tennessee, this number is 10, 756, and that is 1%. It means that Mississippi is a leader in using of corporal punishment. However, in general, it is necessary to say that 14 of 19 states where corporal punishment is legal use it on less than of1% of children; therefore, this tendency is positive and proves that soon such barbaric method of disciplining can totally disappear. Mississippi rate is not very optimistic; as it has the highest proportion of corporal punishment that shows that 1 student of 14 suffer from corporal punishment. Private schools practice corporal punishment rarer compared to public schools. Consequently, it is the obligation of the government to refuse from legalization of corporal punishment in schools. As the USA supports the democratic principles and values, it should demonstrate them in all areas, and using of corporal punishment puts American democracy under the threat.

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Research Findings

According to Gershoff and Font, during the 2011-2012 school year, 163, 333 children became the victims of corporal punishment. Thus, violence and cruelty of school teachers and administrators touched also the children of the elementary schools. Children received punishment for receiving bad grades, mispronouncing words, going out without permission, talking back to teachers, sleeping in class, laughing in the hallway, running in the hallway, violating dress codes, and being late to class. However, it does not mean that corporal punishment is the solution to these disciplinary issues as both the schools that use and those that do not use corporal punishment have the same disciplinary issues. Thus, Gershoff and Font insist that it is necessary to be concerned about the use of corporal punishment in the U.S. schools as such disciplinary actions can lead to serious injuries, do not increase the efficacy of learning, and result in the negative psychological consequences for children. It is obvious that schools should promote kindness and sympathy and not demonstrate that violence is the solution to any problem.

According to Portela and Pells, corporal punishment practices can be used even illegally that it is also unethically and immorally. Furthermore, children from disadvantaged backgrounds experience much corporal punishment at age 8. Portela and Pells insist that corporal punishment influences childrens schooling engagement, academic performance, and their capacity to learn and interact with teachers and school administrators. Besides, corporal punishment is the violation of childrens rights, democratic principles, and persona dignity. Moreover, the frequency of using corporal punishment shows that the educational system is far from the perfection and cannot build an enabling, supportive, and safe environment that would encourage to high academic performance and discipline. Thus, it is a must to implement the national action plans that would protect childrens rights and not allow any violence and abuse in schools, increase greater awareness of the negative consequences from corporal punishment, and break the cycles of violence.

According to Naz, Khan, Daraz, Hussain, and Khan, corporal punishment is unacceptable in schools as it has a negative impact on personality development, academic performance, and career. First, students who undergo mild or severe corporal punishment are deprived of confidence, scared and full of hesitation and uncertainty that lead to the low academic achievements. Second, the psychological consequences involve creating inferiority complex, low class participation, low creativity, poor academic performance, hindering students learning capacity, and low attendance. Furthermore, corporal punishment can lead to the serious depression, pessimism, and low self-esteem. It is obvious that schools that use corporal punishment do not provide knowledge and skills but kill students morally, physically, and psychologically. Finally, corporate punishment leads to the degradation of personality as students who underwent corporate punishment could become hooligans and demonstrate cruelty and aggression to other people.

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Personal Reflection

In my opinion, corporal punishment is an unacceptable way of disciplining students in schools. Mahatma Gandhi wrote that power should be of two kinds obtained by acts of love and the fear of punishment. I believe that the fear of punishment is not the way to achieve the perfect academic achievements. Thus, love will be the most effective tool to achieve the educational goals and create the collaboration and respectful relationships between a teacher and student. I think that corporal punishment is a form of abuse against children as it touches them both physically and psychologically. I would not show the interest in learning if I knew that any violation from my side presupposed corporal punishment. In addition, corporal punishment sends out the message that abuse and violence are acceptable and they can stop any disciplinary violation. Violence gives a birth to violence; therefore, it should be banned in all schools to preserve positive teacher-student relationships.

Looking through the case studies and researches on the efficacy of corporal punishment in schools I did not find the proofs that it works increasing academic performance and improving students discipline. Furthermore, I think that corporal punishment is the way to underline the gender and racial disparities that remain one of the main challenges in the educational area. Thus, male and African-American students seem to be given the corporal frequently than female and white students with the similar offences. To my mind, physical punishment is a terrible lesson for children as they will not remember the positive me moments from their school life but only how they have been punished for the smallest misconduct. For me, school is the place that should foster kind-heartedness, morality, and ethical values. However, using a corporal punishment is the proof that the educational system needs the additional reforms that would transform it totally. Shame, humiliating, abuse, fear, physical pain have no the other effect besides moral and physical decline and depression.

I do not support the opinion that corporal punishment as a way of disciplining works as it is a traditional tool that has been practiced since the past times. First, we live in a new era of innovation and technological advancements; therefore, barbarism and cruelty should not fulfill young childrens hearts. Second, the presence of corporal punishment in schools means that leaders and administrators of this school are not effective and do not consider students interests. Third, corporal punishment kills childrens desire to attend a school as the smallest offense will result in physical and moral abuse. Fourth, using of corporal punishment proves that teachers are not qualified and skillful enough to deal with students who misbehave. Consequently, corporate punishment in schools should be banned as it has a negative impact on the quality of education and reputation of the schools. Furthermore, it is a psychological and physical abuse against children that has a negative impact on discipline and academic achievements motivating them to be careless about education and miss even more classes. Finally, corporal punishment encourages students to violence and brings more cruelty to the society.

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