Having gone to a parochial school in the 60’s I have seen may more than my fair share of corporal punishment in the classroom. Some teachers would humiliate students in front to the class with spankings for the slightest infractions, such as a pencil rolling off a desk, or repeating the same wrong answer; told they were belligerent. One teacher ran down the row and struck the student in front of me with such force that she and my desk landed on the floor; our desks were bolted to the floor. Another student received a black eye, thankfully never returned to the school. It teaches students that violence is okay to solve a problem. These same kids were the bullies on the playground, not bad kids. Just children using what they have been taught to gain power over others.
I went to a school that had corporal punishment. It only taught me to oppose authority figures at all costs. The sting wears off and it just makes you plan revenge. Honestly, it made me a borderline psychopath. I was so resentful as a result, I was a hair away from pulling a Columbine.
Children are the future, of course. Do you want your children's knuckles to be hit with a ruler until they are numb? This is what used to happen in most places in Europe in the 1950s and 60s. I believe that corporal punishment is absolutely wrong. The only way I believe that mildly hurting a child is acceptable is when the parents of the child do it, and only if the children did something very bad and immoral, for example stealing or beating up another child. How can children feel safe and happy knowing that a stranger can just beat their hands or behind? This type of scare mongering environment cannot promote actual education. The children only "learn" off things by heart to avoid getting a whack off the teacher. They never truly develop a love for learning, and then may never get a decent and fulfilling career. They could easily develop violent tendencies towards other people too, if they were beaten a lot as children. Knowledge and wisdom are the only things that separate us from our animal cousins, and we need to recognize this and educate our youth to the best of our abilities.
The evidence is against corporal punishment, for example  and . Also, it is a bad thing to respect authority for its own sake. That is the core of the authoritarian personality type that gives rise to fascism . This is a negative consequence that is not usually included when studying the efficiency of this form of child abuse as a method for parenting or education. All corporal punishment is child abuse and those who practice it should be locked up and lose custody of all children they have, present or future.
One of the most problematic issues in the classroom is the diminution of the authority of the teacher. It is appalling that kids think they are the arbiter of what is right or wrong in the classroom and if the teacher should decide otherwise they can appeal to the principal or their overindulgent yuppie parents with lawyer on retainer. When I attend school board meetings almost every meeting goes into executive session to discuss a student disciplinary issue. Society has become like the drug addict. We know there must be discipline in class but just cannot bring ourselves to doing anything substantive about it. Let's look at the ineffective measures that have replaced corporal punishment.
1) Student rule books and contracts obligating the students to obey the rules. Now students think they are Perry Mason. When told they are violating the rules they scour the rule book for technicalities (or have their parent's lawyer do it) and argue with the authorities why they are not in violation.
2) Zero tolerance. This is a total abandonment of common sense. Kids kicked out of school for the slightest of infractions just so the authorities can avoid making a value judgement on the behavior of the student which might result in a lawsuit.
3) Dump it on law enforcement. Teachers now call the police on 5 year old's rather than employ any physical force against them.
4) Teachers fear the students and sometimes are assaulted by them.
5) Lack of discipline in the classroom detracts from the other student;s ability to learn.
6) Minor discipline issues become major sources of negotiation or litigation between parents, school boards and staff.
I got whacked in school and I did not like it. But, unlike the Hippies who started this anti corporal punishment crusade, I, like every generation of kids before me, grew up and realized that there were 30 other kids in class who had parents who were paying taxes and had every right to expect that their children were in a classroom environment conducive to learning which I was disrupting. Fortunately I was one of the smart kids. However there were kids not so fortunate. They constantly lived on the bubble between flunking the grade or getting promoted to the next. So while my misbehavior did not harm me it certainly pushed those kids closer to the edge. What about their rights?
In return for the privilege of getting whacked we could and did carry pocket knives in school. We could bring silverware with our lunches. We could play cowboys and Indians at recess. We did not have a rule book and contract. The rules were few and explained by the teacher at the start of the year. Matters of discipline were almost always between the teacher and student, rarely escalated to the principal (dread) or worse to the parents (heaven forbid). Punishment if any was meted out and the issue was dropped.
If I were a kid I would take the corporal punishment.
Since corporal punishment was removed from schools in my country the schools have needed something else to deal with the kids and it has been suspension and expulsion. The number of kids being kicked out of school has increased dramatically. Corporal punishment is barbaric but it can t be as damaging as kicking kids out of school altogether.
Corporal punishment should be brought back to schools because when kids act out there is no real punishment in place. If a child gets into a fight most likely that child will be given suspension, or in a kids point of view a free vacation! Suspension is another saying for a reward. Also, teachers have no real power. In order to properly teach a child discipline and respect you need to have some sort of control, and these days teachers don't. If a child yells at a teacher, the teacher can send them to the principal's office, or call their parent. Principal can give them in school suspension, or detention, or suspend them (free vacation). Parents usually would give the child punishment in a way they see fit, but if they don't, the child comes back to school with the same behavior. If you want your kids to grow up responsible and respectful adults then bring back corporal punishment in schools!