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Spanking In Schools

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/26/2013 Category: Economics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,744 times Debate No: 34206
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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Spanking shouldn't be allowed in schools because it's the parents choice weather or not to spank their child. It should be banned from everywhere. An example is the girl from Texas who got spanked by a male administrator and had bruises on her bottom when she came home hours later. That is not acceptable! Spanking is not the best in general but definitely not in schools.



Hi there, Grantholben! I look forward to having a spirited debate with you. Since capital punishment is already enacted in many states (Source 1) and you're looking to make the claim that those states should change their policies, the burden of proof is on you; I only need to refute each of your arguments, but I will also bring in a few of my own here and there to emphasize my point of view.

The first argument you presented was that "spanking shouldn't be allowed in schools because it's the parents [sic] choice weather [sic] or not to spank their child." While I agree that parents should have the final word on how their children are treated in many cases, it should be noted that society has a responsibility to ensure that each individual's rights are not infringed upon by others. If a man commits a mass murder, for example, it shouldn't be up to his parents to decide how to punish him; we have a legal system in place to ensure that others' rights are not infringed upon, and we as a society take care of the problem by entrusting his fate to others. The man would be sent to prison for life or possibly be executed, depending on the circumstances of the crime and the state he committed the crime in.

Similarly, if a boy in a school is putting others in danger or disrupting the class in some way, the parents should not always be the final authority concerning how he is punished. In some cases, the teacher needs to punish the student to make sure the classroom doesn't fall into chaos. A teacher needs to do his or her job, and all of the other students have a right to education without interruption from the boy. In fact, if all else fails and a spanking is deemed the only way to convince the boy to listen to the teacher and learn, then it's a win-win-win: the teacher is able to teach; the other students in the class can learn in an ideal, disruption-free environment; and the boy can snap out of his disruptive behavior and study with the other students.

Then, as an example of your first point that I just refuted, you brought up the example of "a girl from Texas who got spanked…and had bruises." You listed as your reference. That being a rather large website, I believe we can agree that it would be somewhat unreasonable for me to have to comb through the website to find the exact information you intend to convey. However, I thought I'd take the time for you to find what I believe is your source, or at least, the same story. (Source 2) In the story, the mother is upset that her child was spanked at school, and I do sympathize with her, but you've presented a gross oversimplification.

First, the mother was not upset that her child was spanked; she was upset that her child was spanked by a male instructor. The school policy was that "females swatted females, and males swatted males." Had a female instructor spanked her with appropriate strength, this would not have been an issue, because 1.) it would have been in line with school policy, and 2.) it would have been with sufficient strength for the misdeed the girl committed (more on the "misdeed" later). Nowhere does the mother disagree with corporal punishment; in fact, she wants it enforced and controlled. "Men are too big and strong to be hitting 96-pound girls," she says. As you stated earlier, parents have the choice of whether to spank their children, correct? This mother wants her child spanked, but she wants it done in an appropriate manner by a third party. She knowingly put her daughter in this school because it had the rules and environment that she deemed appropriate. You can't take away the mother's right to choose a school she believes is right for her daughter.

Now, about the "misdeed" I mentioned earlier. The girl wasn't just minding her own business when the teacher walked up and spanked her; she was "letting another student copy her work." In many schools, this can get a student expelled. Students should not be denied education, because that only leads to crime (Source 3), which, I believe, you'll agree is a bad thing. If a spanking can keep a student in school and allow her to understand her wrongdoings to avoid doing them again, there is no reason not to continue to do so in schools. Which is less acceptable to you--a child who becomes more likely to commit crimes and leads a terrible life because she was expelled from school, or a child who suffered a few bruises on her bottom but grows up with a full education and becomes successful in later years?

Finally, your last sentence: "Spanking is not the best in general but definitely not in schools." This wasn't entirely clear to me, but my best guess is that you intended to say that "spanking is not the best form of punishment, and it therefore does not belong in schools." If this is the case, you are saying that spanking is an effective form of punishment to some degree, but it does not belong in schools. Spanking is not the best, but it does work somewhat. In that case, why take it away? Schools should have a variety of methods to encourage students to cooperate with teachers and learn the material; why limit them arbitrarily? Corporal punishment is fast and can be done on the spot. These conditions make it a better deterrent than anything that forces students to wait a few weeks before being punished. (Source 4) It's similar to why a dog should be punished for pooping in the house as soon as possible; it will have no idea what it is being punished for if you wait a week to do it. Do you like dogs? I love dogs, but if one needs to be punished, I wouldn't hesitate to. An unpunished dog bites, pees everywhere, and is generally unruly.

Children won't forget like dogs do, but it does become more difficult for them to understand their misdeed if they are not punished as soon as they are caught. Any child psychologist or educator can tell you that in a few weeks, a child simply won't care about what happened after what seems like ages to their young minds. Therefore, spanking is a form of punishment and a deterrent that should not be taken away from schools as an option to discipline children.

Your move.




4 "Timing of Punishment as a Determinant of Response Inhibition," Child Development 34 (1963): 207-14
Debate Round No. 1


First I feel the need to comment you on how convincing you are. Spanking in schools has been eleminated in many states including Iowa where i live. Im neutral when it comes to spanking by parents, but im school? I think not. We teach our kids not to hit, but when we spank them we are hitting their bottoms. While you bring up a good point str chudies have shown that spanking causes problems later down the road. Also, instead of a bend over and let me swat your butt, why not do a detention or a in school suspension. How would you like it if someone that you barely know walks by sees your on your phone and says okay stick that butt in the air. I would be a little concerned. And with just a spankingby a parent the CPS gets all huffy puffy. Why dont they do that when a kid gets spanked in school? It just makes no sense at all. Thanks for challenging me



Thank you for your rebuttal as well as your compliment. You are a very courteous individual--to the voters: please take this into account for the conduct vote. Before I write my argument, I must make a small amendment to my rebuttal that has no bearing on its integrity. I wrote "capital punishment" in the very first paragraph where I meant to write "corporal punishment." If there was any confusion, I apologize.

"Spanking in schools has been eleminated [sic] in many states including Iowa where i live. Im [sic] neutral when it comes to spanking by parents, but im [sic] school? I think not."

States disagree on many things. I'm glad you live in a state that is in line with your views. If your point is that "the majority says so, and therefore it's right," I encourage you to look at history. People have universally agreed upon things that we would universally disagree with, such as slavery and using tobacco as medicine. Besides that, as shown by the source in my first argument, there are still plenty of states--over a third--that allow corporal punishment in schools.

"We teach our kids not to hit, but when we spank them we are hitting their bottoms."

I am guessing the implication of this statement is that by spanking children, we are sending a confusing message to our children by doing what we tell them not to, or even being hypocritical. I agree with you in that as a society, we don't want our children to become violent for unjust reasons. However, I disagree that spanking is therefore a bad idea.

In fact, that is one reason we spank children--to teach them that violence only leads to more pain, both for the perpetrator and the victim. However, we are in no way sending a confusing message to children or being hypocrites by spanking them; we also teach children not to kill people, and yet the majority of states still enact the death penalty [1]. We also detain people, shoot people, and even send others to be tortured [2] [3] . Granted, these are suspected terrorists and people from foreign countries, but my point still stands: we do not teach our children to be mean to others just because they are from other countries, nor do we teach them to treat people in this manner.

I should point out here that even without the points I just made, your argument goes against corporal punishment in general and not specifically corporal punishment in schools. If parents teach their kids not to hit others but spank their children anyway, they are doing the same thing. For your argument to be sound, you would have to be against parents spanking their own children as well. This goes against your first argument, which states that parents should have the choice of whether to spank their children, as well as your second, in which you state that you are neutral on the matter.

"While you bring up a good point str chudies[sic] have shown that spanking causes problems later down the road."

I wholeheartedly encourage you to show me these studies (I'm guessing that's what you meant) in your next argument, which is your last. I have sources that show that spanking works, too [4] [5]. One study by the APA, in fact, was inconclusive at best [6]. Even with sources, your point is not a strong one; the scientific community still disagrees on many things, and as I have shown, this one is still up inconclusive.

Also, keep in mind that our beloved country, the United States, was built from the ground up by people who were spanked and rapped on the knuckles in school, and I would argue that they built something truly beautiful that the whole world has looked to for leadership and support. Would people who had problems "later down the road," i.e. as adults, have done something this magnificent? I think not.

Again, however, I must point out that the minute you present the studies you speak of, you are contradicting yourself once again. If spanking causes problems later down the road, why are you yourself okay with parents doing it? How does the background of the person doing the spanking make any difference for the child being spanked? The original argument you presented is specifically about spanking in schools, not about spanking as a method of discipline in general.

"Also, instead of a bend over and let me swat your butt, why not do a detention or a in school suspension."

I have addressed this. I am not against other forms of punishment, but teachers have difficult jobs as it is; allowing corporal punishment gives them one more tool to make their jobs easier and to help students study in a focused environment [4].

Additionally, I have already pointed out that one benefit of spanking is that it prevents things like suspension and expelling, which goes on a student's permanent record. Let's be honest here; kids have no idea what they're doing. To make them live with their misdeeds for the rest of their lives in the form of a permanent record is only cruel, whereas if a quick spanking does the job, why not do that instead?

"How would you like it if someone that you barely know walks by sees your on your phone and says okay stick that butt in the air. I would be a little concerned."

How would you like it if someone you barely know drives by, sees you going a little bit faster than other drivers, pulls you over, and makes you pay a $150 fine? People get punished all the time by people they do not know, i.e. the police. This is nothing new. Being punished by people "you barely know," if you know them at all, is part of living in a civilized society.

"And with just a spankingby [sic] a parent the CPS gets all huffy puffy. Why dont [sic] they do that when a kid gets spanked in school? It just makes no sense at all."

I agree; why the hypocrisy? CPS should lay off corporal punishment in general. I'm glad we could agree on that.

Once again, I urge you to list your sources individually instead of putting up a large website for voters and me to search through.

Thank you for your rebuttal. I look forward to your concluding remarks.








Debate Round No. 2


GRANTHOLBEN forfeited this round.


I will now summarize this debate and make a closing statement.

Con has presented arguments that are self-contradicting: Should spanking "be banned from everywhere," including children's own homes, or is it "the parents [sic] choice" whether or not to spank their children? I have shown that spanking should not be banned universally, and I have also demonstrated that if parents are allowed to spank their children, it is also their right to choose a school that will do the same in an appropriate manner as well.

My opponent also mentions studies that have shown that spanking "causes problems later down the road," but he has failed to present any of the studies in his sources. On the other hand, I have cited sources that show that corporal punishment is very effective, and I have also presented a testimonial from a teacher who was grateful for the ability to apply it in class due to its effective nature. Con has thrown claims around willy-nilly throughout the debate, but has not been able to back up any of them.

The one piece of evidence my opponent has presented, i.e. the case of a child who went home to her mother with bruises on her bottom, has been shown to be unconvincing at best. The mother of the child was upset that the school was not implementing corporal punishment correctly, not that the school was enacting corporal punishment. The child was most definitely at fault, and faced a few bruises on her bottom as opposed to something that might appear in her permanent record. If anything, spanking was the correct decision in this case; it just should have been implemented differently, which only shows that supporting corporal punishment is better than abolishing it, as it can then be refined and implemented better.

In addition to successfully refuting all of Con's points, I have done the following:

-I have shown that spanking is similar in many ways to other forms of punishment that society imposes; to oppose spanking in schools (or in general) would be to argue a much greater point about punishment in general.
-I have shown that spanking provides teachers with another tool to keep their classes progressing smoothly.
-I have shown that spanking has benefits, largely due to its immediacy and proven ability to keep children from misbehaving.
-I have shown that spanking is actually a great alternative to other forms of punishment imposed in schools, in that it does not potentially ruin a child's future.

In closing, from looking at the exchange between Con and me, one must conclude that corporal punishment in schools is appropriate if carried out correctly, just like any other form of punishment society must use at various levels of misbehavior, whether the punishment is to send a criminal to prison or even to punish a dog to keep it from becoming unruly. Spanking should not be eliminated from schools everywhere, and if anything, it should become a more widespread practice.

I thank the voters for taking the time to read through this debate, and I also thank my opponent for bringing up this interesting subject matter.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by newbiehere 5 years ago
Oh no! Only 29 more days to vote!

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