Corporal Punishment Causes Harm to Youth

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Corporal Punishment Causes Harm to Youth

Cartoon depicting corporal punishment.

Cartoon depicting corporal punishment.

Courtesy of dailytimes.com

Cartoon depicting corporal punishment.

Courtesy of dailytimes.com

Courtesy of dailytimes.com

Cartoon depicting corporal punishment.

Madison Kime, Social Media Editor

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Is punishment an effective way to discipline?

A question that is asked worldwide. To what point is punishment okay, and who is granted this authority to punish? This brings me to the topic of corporal punishment. Corporal punishment is pain being inflicted upon someone for a punishment of wrongdoing, usually a minor in a home or school setting. It was ruled Constitutional in 1977, and now 31 states have it banned. One of these states is Colorado; in the year of 2000, 260 estimated students were physically punished, 241 of those being girls, and only 19 being boys stated on Findlaw.com.  In these states, it is allowed to hit a kid until grade 12. Corporal punishment has even been banned in military training centers, and most prisons, but why is it still allowed in schools?

Although I believe that being disciplined is a good way to institute moral behavior, I think in recent years it has become more of a reason to be defiant. In this generation, people don’t like to be tamed, especially if that is with a paddle in a school setting. If we talk about discipline in general and not just in a school setting, it is a touchy subject and this is because the minority has become sensitized to everything. In the past, hitting your kid for misbehaving was acceptable, but now it is frowned upon. This is because many see it as borderline abuse. Is it abuse though? I grew up knowing that if I did wrong I would get a punishment or have some pain inflicted on me, although knowing this didn’t make me behave any better or any worse. 

Threatening kids with a paddle isn’t going to control kids these days like it used to. Kids like to be defiant, and it increases when you wrongfully try to “put them in their place.” I don’t believe that it is someone else’s job; it is a parent’s job to be allowed to raise a kid. People don’t like to be hit when it is by someone who they are forced to respect. I also think that paddling kids makes school an unsafe environment for them, which is shameful to make a kid scared to attend school because they fear that if they are human and talk to the kid next to them at the wrong time, they will get hit by the teacher. 

Young kids may not understand why they are getting punished for things like talking, being late, or not doing homework and through them not understanding this can go on to traumatize them in future years. Kids go to school to get an education and I don’t think that threatening kids is an effective way to get them to sit in a chair and obey. It is only going to make kids more defiant in classroom setting. When you can sit down with a kid and talk to them about why they might not be behaving and understand where this is coming from and what might be affecting them, not only does it become more of an effective way to teach that kid, and gain back their attention, but it reflects off to the kid that they are cared about and that they have a safe place to talk about themselves and the help they need. 

Hitting kids just makes them lose trust in their teachers, and overtime, start to see no reason to behave. Corporal Punishment should be banned worldwide, and it should more often be taught to teachers that communication is key to a good classroom, and happy students.