The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Corporal Punishment Should be Enforced in Schools

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/7/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,647 times Debate No: 40115
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)




Round One: Acceptance
Round Two: Arguments
Round Three: Rebuttals/New Arguments
Round Four: Rebuttals, No Further Arguments


I graciously accept.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank the Con for accepting the debate and look forward to a fun and interesting debate with him!

I would like to start off with the definition of corporal punishment, acquired from [1].
"Corporal punishment, physical chastisement of an offender. At one extreme it includes the death penalty (see capital punishment), but the term usually refers to punishments like flogging, caning, mutilation, and branding. Until c.1800, in many parts of the world, most crimes were punished thus, or by such practices as confinement in the pillory or stocks, which combined physical chastisement with the humiliation of an individual possible in a relatively small, cohesive society. Flogging was especially prevalent, being used also to keep order among the institutionalized insane and in schools and the armed forces."

I would like to remind the voters that this argument is based on corporal punishment in schools, not military, law enforcement, insane institutions, etc.

I begin my argument with a list of the pros of corporal punishment in schools, which is what I will base my argument on. These are found on [2].
Teaches students discipline
Deters bad behavior
No suspensions
Limits amount of educational disruptions

These are several pros that can be justified in any modern day school system. With students today becoming more rowdy and rude towards teachers, less time is used for teaching, and more is used for issuing detentions, write ups, scolding in class, or other forms of punishment. This naturally would hardly deter any common misbehavior, as they would soon go back to their usual antics. Looking at the graph on [3], this illustrates how education in The United States has dropped from 1900 to present day. Keep in mind, the beginning of the 1900's to the late 1970's, corporal punishment was a widely used form of punishment in all schools across America. The message sent was clear. You go to school to learn, and you respect the teachers who give you this information. If the respect is not given, then you were punished. This undoubtedly kept students in line, a reason for the higher test scores.

[4] shows the states who still use the method of corporal punishment, rarely, yet still in effect.

For those who think corporal punishment allows for students to be physically "beat" I would like to use this next topic to show what forms of corporal punishment there are, and the restrictions. [5] lists the types of corporal punishment, and although many seems harsh, the most commonly used forms are that of canning, paddling, flogging and saucing. There are, however, restrictions set on corporal punishment, as seen in [6]. Such restrictions include male teachers not being permitted to use this punishment on female students, and vice versa with female teachers to male students.

I end my debate here, as I still would like to include more arguments in my next round.

I again thank Con for his acceptance to the debate, and hope for a fun clean interesting debate.

I would like to remind voters that I am simply playing the devil's advocate and minority voice, and that the arguments may not reflect my personal opinion. I ask that you vote based on content and not beliefs, as these may not directly resemble my values.



I thank my opponent for his argument. I will now present my argument as defined.

Arguments Against Corporal Punishment being enforced in school.

1). The more "spankings children" experience, the greater the chance that they will become aggressive and engage in other anti-social behavior.
Source: (Study reported in Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, August 1997 by Murray A. Straus, David B. Sugarman, and Jean Giles-Sims)

2). Poor children, minorities and children with disabilities are hit more regularly in schools, sometimes at 2-5 times the rate of other children.
Source: (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, Surveys from 1976-2003, Center for Effective Discipline.)

3). Corporal punishment teaches children that violence is a way to solve problems. Research shows that this is indeed the message that kids receive whether it's inflicting, receiving or witnessing .
Source: (Eron, Walder & Lefkowitz, 1971; Hyman & Snook, 1999; Lahey, Moffit & Caspi, 2003, Reid, Patterson & Snyder, 2002.)

4). Studies have shown that corporal punishment of children is related to decreased morality, increased aggression, more antisocial behavior, increased criminality, decreased mental health outcomes, increased adult abusive behaviors, and increased risk of being victimized by abusive relationships in adulthood.
Source: (Meta-Analysis of 88 corporal punishment studies (Gershoff, E.T. 2002).)

5). Some statistics here:
78% of corporal punishment states achieved below the national average at the fourth grade level in reading. 75% of the corporal punishment states achieved below the national average in eighth grade level reading (Center for Effective Discipline, year: 2004). Sixty-seven percent of Ohio corporal punishment schools fell in the lowest 25% of schools on state school report cards in the 99-00 school year (Center for Effective Discipline, year: 2001).

6). Injuries often occur e.g bruises, broken bones. Children's deaths have occurred in the U.S. due to school corporal punishment.
(hearing before the Juvenile Justice Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate. October 17, 1984)

7). Corporal punishment enforces physical aggression as an acceptable and good means of getting rid of unwanted behavior in our society. (Position paper opposing school corporal punishment by the Society for Adolescent Medicine (Greydanus, DE. et al, 2003).)

8). More school shooting deaths were found in states allowing school corporal punishment than those who do not.
(D. Arcus, 2002.)

9). There is evidence that harsh physical punishments are damaging to children, emotionally as well as physically. (Mohr, WK and Anderson, J.A. 2002.)

10). Schools are the only institutions in America in which striking another person is legally sanctioned. It is not allowed in prisons, in the military or in mental hospitals.

11). Many alternatives to corporal punishment have proven their worth. Alternatives teach children to be self-disciplined rather than cooperative only because of fear. (No source here, just kind of general knowledge).

These are the main reasons why I believe that corporal punishment should not be enforced in schools. I look forward to the next round.

Further online source:
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you Con for the swift response. I apologize it took so long for my answer, as weekends can be a bit hectic.

Con states in his argument for number one that "The more "spankings children" experience, the greater the chance that they will become aggressive and engage in other anti-social behavior." Con supplies this quote with a source that includes a study done. I would like to point out to the voters that this study may be misleading, as the point of corporal punishment is to enforce order in the classroom. This sense of order may include students not talking, or being "anti-social" as Con states.

Con's second argument states that children with disabilities get punished more than other children. This, my friend, is against the law. This is considered assaulting a cripple, or simply put Assault and Battery, "Two separate offenses against the person that when used in one expression may be defined as any unlawful and unpermitted touching of another. Assault is an act that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent, harmful, or offensive contact. The act consists of a threat of harm accompanied by an apparent, present ability to carry out the threat. Battery is a harmful or offensive touching of another." [1]

Con's third argument is solid, and without flaw. Or one thinks when first reading it. For this argument, he states that students find the message that violence is the answer. This is almost comparing the case of violent video games increasing the chance of violent children. This has been debunked on more than one occasion, and whether or not you agree with the statement, in the analogy of video games, if a parent does not agree with the "rating" of the game, they remove the child from the situation. This can be done with schools as well. If a parent feels that their child is not going to develop well in a school, they remove their child from the situation.

As for Con's arguments in 4 and 5, if the voters will note all sources listed, they have dates of more than a decade ago. These are not entirely reliable sources, as science has made and will continue to make new discoveries, therefore changing the statistics shown and stated by Con.

Con fails to point out in six that again, this would be against the law. Bruises may occur, but for breaking a child's bones, this is classified as Assaulting a Minor and Child Abuse. The case of the child's death, is second degree murder. [2] Remember voters, the objective of corporal punishment is not to beat a child senseless, but to give spankings or paddlings for inappropriate behavior in the classroom.

In argument 7, Con states that due to corporal punishment, it gives an acceptable means of aggression to solve problems in our society. This will simply be preparing students for the real world. Our society is filled will people who believe aggression solves problems. These people are called politicians, and often, these politicians make the decisions for our country, and will invade foreign countries. They do this in the belief that America can enforce what they want when they want on who they want due to their aggressive and gigantic military.

Argument 9 is a bit humorous to the argument. The point of corporal punishment is not to tickle students and reward them for misbehavior. It is simply to show them the superiority and wrongdoing of their actions through a physical punishment, which will probably physically harm them, and embarrass the student, emotionally harming them. This is simply just the point of corporal punishment. But there is one simple solution to this problem. Students who don't misbehave don't get punished. The problem does not go back to the teachers, but to the students.

Under Cons facts, Con states that schools are the only legal place that it is permitted to strike another. Con has obviously never watched a hockey game. Schools are one of many institutions where others can get hit, home is another one of these, again under the parents discretion.

Con states in 11 that "Many alternatives to corporal punishment have proven their worth. Alternatives teach children to be self-disciplined rather than cooperative only because of fear. (No source here, just kind of general knowledge)." While Con's "general knowledge" might be correct from where Con lives, it certainly is not general knowledge across the country. He proves no information on detentions working. I'm sure many of the voters have seen "The Breakfast Club." The Criminal, played by Judd Nelson, obviously has no problem with getting Saturday after Saturday detentions. But later in the movie, when the principle brings him into his office, and they get ready to duke it out, Judd stands down giving the man the respect he desires.

I thank Con for the debate acceptance and look forward to next round. Again voters please keep in mind this may not directly reflect my personal opinions on the matter of Corporal Punishment.



I thank Pro for his rebuttal and will now give my rebuttal to his arguments.

Pro begins his argument by listing the supposed "pros" of corporal punishment.

1) Yes it can be argued that corporal punishment teaches kids discipline but I think that the reasons why it teaches discipline is appalling. Corporal punishment teaches kids to be disciplined out of nothing else but fear. There is no real or valid motive for a child to be disciplined as a result of corporal punishment apart from fear of physical pain. This is in effect isn't teaching children genuine discipline or the importance of discipline. Here are some other proven to work alternatives of disciplining students other than physical abuse ( Why would corporal punishment need to be enforced as a means of discipline when there are plenty of other means. Not to mention the sheer problems associated with corporal punishment mentioned in my round 2 arguments.

2) You have no sources to back up the claim that corporal punishment actually deters bad behaviour. This article argues that corporal punishment doesn't deter bad behavior. (

several case studies show that by repeated physical tortures children usually become even more adamant and might also start hating their elders as they do not understand the reason that why doing certain things are intolerable. On the other hand, disciplining without hitting would mean to first make the child understand that why certain behavior is acceptable and some are not. Teach the child some basic rules of the society and why are they to be followed. It has often been found that by giving logical reasoning to your child's answers, they can be stop many wrong deeds. This is also educating the child about conduct instead of making the child fear constantly. Here is a case study on both the negative physical and mental effects of corporal punishment:(

3) I'm not sure how "no suspensions" is such a pro of corporal punishment. Firstly students can still get suspended if corporal punishment exists in their school but surely suspension is more beneficial to a child than corporal punishment. Suspension
1)Removes a problematic student from school.
2)Provides temporary relief to frustrated school personnel.
3)Raises parental attention to their child's misconduct.
It does all these things without the physical and physocological effects of corporal punishment.

4) Also I don't see how corporal punishment limits the amount of educational disruptions. Taking the time to give out corporal punishment in whatever form is much more of a disruption than telling a student to be quiet for example.

Again there are many other effective means of punishment other than having to resort to physical violence, which as I have shown, has a great amount of disadvantages. Pro tries to argue that there are restrictions to corporal punishment e.g male teachers not being permitted to use this punishment on female students, however I do not see this as a valid argument. There may be restrictions to corporal punishment but this isn't really making a case on your stance that it should be enforced in school.

I would like to state that The United States is the only nation in the western world which still permits corporal punishment in its schools. And even having said that, corporal punishment is banned in schools in 31 states. Statistics show that corporal punishment is on a decline. ( This is another point for my case. There is obviously a reason for this decline. People are coming to their senses are realizing that the disadvantages of corporal punish enormously outweigh whatever advantages there might be, which I feel I have shown

I look forward to the final round.
Debate Round No. 3


Putt-Putt forfeited this round.


Unfortunately my opponent has forfeited this round however I still thank him for a fun and interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by miketheman1200 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: The arguments were unsatifying from both sides. I saw places where Con really could have drilled harder. And pro didn't support his claims well enough. Con used better sources and listed specific studies, also used them well to back his points. This debate had a lot of potential and was a great subject.