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The Contender
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Reinstate corporal punishment in schools

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/25/2018 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 705 times Debate No: 116001
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




We need it back in school to allow teachers the ability to immediately address situations that require attention. Our kids today are not held accountable for their actions. This generation capitalizes on the inability of teachers to enforce rules and apply consequences for breaking such rules.


Oh gosh. Alright. Let's get this over with.
When I was in fifth grade, I was going through severe depression and suicidal thoughts. I was acting out of line because of things happening at home, and if corporal punishment was allowed do you think that would help me in any way?
Here's the answer: NO.
Children can learn their lesson without physical pain. It's not so much that the teachers can't enforce rules because the punishment is weak, no. Instead, it's because some teachers are pushovers. Will corporal punishments help them not be pushovers? Likely not. Could the power be easily abused? Absolutely. My mom and dad have their experiences that they've shared with me. They find today's methods to be better and effective. And what about people with autism or bipolar disorder? Some of them aren't put into special classes. If they're in normal classes (which is more common than one may think), do you think they should suffer physical pain because of a mental illness? What if they're shutting down and don't respond? Oh, well, for giving your best efforts to keep calm, rather than being asked what's going on, you get your wrist smacked with a ruler and a wooden oar smacked against your a$$. Doesn't that sound pleasant and completely utterly reasonable? It shouldn't.

Many teachers at the schools I've been to are hesitant to give a student punishment no matter how badly they're acting up. I'm not sure that corporal punishment would make a big difference, as they would probably avoid that. Gosh, sitting outside in the hallway was enough for a kid to learn their lesson the first time; it's humiliating. Though I haven't been there many times, a few of my classmates have and they always feel embarrassed. Always.

So imagine that I'm teaching a class and you and a friend are talking. Oh no, the horror. How will the class ever survive? Well, it won't. So obviously you need to learn your lesson. I take a ruler and smack your wrist with it ten times, then go back to teaching. Now, you have a bruise on your wrist when instead you could've simply been told to stop talking.
Debate Round No. 1


I am sorry you had a tough childhood. No kid should battle depression or suicidal thoughts. They are just not equipped to handle it. That said, you may have your "reason or excuse" for acting up, but you don't say what DID happen to you (if anything) for "acting up". Did you just get away with it and disrupt the class and its teachings? What would you recommend today? The ONLY solution you offer in your entire argument is to "sit in the hall". That the embarrassment is enough.

You also conclude that corporal punishment would NOT have helped you? How do you know this? Sadly, I agree it changes nothing for your home life situation, but maybe a little structure is what you needed at school if you were not getting it at home. Part of growing up and learning how to interact socially is realizing that.... 'you can act like this here, act like that there, here are the boundaries for this place, whereas the boundaries are different over there'. Example... I got away with a ton at grandmas, less at home and even less at school. I learned what the expectations were at each place. And when I went off course, it was corrected and learned. It often frustrated my parents I was more well behaved for strangers than I was for them. That was a good thing. My own kids are the same way.

Corporal punishment is not about pain. Its about an immediate, memorable and usually public action (consequence) taken at the time of the infraction. For the child to endure and others to learn from. I guarantee you, getting whooped (even if it didn't hurt) is more embarrassing than sitting in the hallway playing on their I-Phone or being sent to detention with their friends.

Do you really believe kids are contemplating (and learning from) their actions in the hall? The "pain" helps create a memory (as it did to me)... I don't remember the pain itself, but I remember the event, the circumstance and how it made me feel. Embarrassed, like a child, etc.

You mentioned your parents like today's methods. What are they? Because all I see is an absence of consequences hence the disrespectful, unruly youth.

Admittedly, you make valid points about potential abuse of power (but that can be applied to anything), concerns for mentally ill (I understand that also). But in these days mental illness is diagnosed pretty early on. (whether its autism, bipolar or ADHD or anything else). Teachers are made aware and those situations as they are in fact special cases. Although, I will say I do not believe 'special' children should be in the same class with the 'normal' kids. I don't like the disruption and I also don't like the varying expectations being applied, displayed and encouraged in front of the rest of the class. I feel you should not be able to press the system for your kid to be in a normal class.... then ask the same system for your kid to be treated outside the norm. (I am sure that is another debate)

Regarding teachers being pushovers... this plays right into my problem with today's society. All this liberal, don't spank your kids stuff is corrupting our youth. If all these young teachers were not raised so soft themselves, it would not be so much an issue. Soft parents and teachers simply exacerbate the problem.


I should probably mention I went to a private school, but now I'm in a public school.

Actually, yes, sitting outside in the hallway or having a thirty-minute detention was enough. Though I acted out at times, it wasn't like I went unpunished. And after every punishment, there was a much longer gap between my "act-outs". The embarrassment was and has been enough to get the people to stop.

*WARNING*: Next paragraphs are about my past and I get really REALLY worked up about it when I write about it. Sorry about that, but I need to include it to give you the full idea.
I know it wouldn't have helped me because I would've linked the pain to some of the events (as that was occasionally what happened). That would've made me act out even more. In fact, one time it did. Being a private school, they weren't as strict about corporal punishments. Even though I hadn't been diagnosed with depression during fourth grade, it was starting to creep up on me (I hit it pretty hard once I realized my home life was nowhere NEAR normal). My fourth-grade teacher new about what was going on and she was very kind, nice, and understanding; because of all that, I nearly never acted-out. I did a lot in fifth grade because my teacher was not like that at all, and I would only respond badly to my sister if she were to NOT act nice. With her having bipolar disorder, it was either sweet as honey or the spawn of Satan. Though it sounds very stereotypical, with such an extreme case she had that was how it was. Anyways, my usual teacher was usually very understanding when I acted out, making it less frequent and much more mild and short. Not that they were really that bad, but hopefully you get what I'm saying.
Note: There is a difference between me "acting out" (which is just me kind of reducing stress in an unhealthy manner) and me responding to "attackers". Just wanted to clarify.
So when I act out after a particularly rough morning, the substitute smacks me (not unusually hard, but still enough) on the head. My parents weren't much of fighters against my sister, so because of that, even though I was only 11 (children learn to fit roles that weren't being filled), I would be pretty...feisty. So when my flight or fight mode was activated, it was 90% of the time fight. This wasn't an exception for me at school. At all.
The kids new some of my home life too, so they knew that I was going to not respond well to what had happened given that it would be like that at home. They had seen part of it, after all (my mom had to pick me up one time and my sister had to come along...long story). One of the kids tried to warn her and explain why I had acted out the way I did, but the damage was done and I saw it as if I was at home and she was my sister. Given that a majority of my classmates had seen me respond to my sister in at one point or another, it didn't come as much as a shock to them as it did to my substitute teacher (given that they had seen it and they weren't the target).
Sorry, I'm trying to explain this in the best way possible and it's kind of hard to look back on those times and explain it well. Not only are the feelings indescribable, but I almost put myself in the situation again when I remember it which makes me scatter-brained.
So, because of the punishment, I had automatically put myself in the mode of "I'm in danger and I can't let that happen". Not only because of me, but my brain automatically linked my punishment with the other kids; if the substitute was willing to do that to me, who knows what it could escalate to if she did it to another kid? I couldn't let that happen! Though, of course, it wouldn't have, that's what it was like at home and just that little tiny smack brought me all the way back to that unresolved morning.
But it didn't end well at all. Fortunately, my previous teachers knew all about it and were able to stand up for me if need be, but my principal also knew about it (it was a small school and my mom got involved a sort of outlet for stress). That substitute was pretty insistent that I was the one who was causing the trouble at my house if I acted like that, and a snarky comment of "don't make accusations about things you don't know anything about" was actually completely fitting; don't assume anything about my life if you have 0% of the story. Especially when my classmates, teachers, AND principal know about it while you don't.

Gah sorry going on a rant here. I just get really worked up about this sort of thing and put myself back there when writing or merely thinking about it. I'm not usually like that (EVER), and it's not because of lack of punishment. It's not like I thought it was okay (I hated it whenever it happened), it's just that I couldn't help it; I was a child who was placed in an environment that was EXTREMELY unhealthy. I'll put a little warning at the top of this.
Anyways, what I meant to get out of that was this:
Other kids go into the same flight or fight mode and choose to fight when given a physical punishment due to similar experiences, whether it be a sibling like in my case, abusive parents, or maybe just a one-time event that happened; either way, results can be disastrous like the time I just mentioned.
There was a time I was in fifth grade taking my first anti-depressant (Prozac) and it made me really gittery and made me act EXACTLY like my sister when I was mad. That was triggered by a physical punishment too, but I don't think it's necessary because:
A. You get the point
B. I was under influence of something that messed with the chemicals of my brain

With that, though it wasn't mentioned a ton, I tried to show that being more kind rather than harsh about the act-outs was actually a much better response. Though I did get a sit-out in the hallway each time, it made me think of how I could try to avoid it. In fifth grade, they became much more frequent, partially due to too-severe punishment methods. Apparently, the teacher didn't think that trying a new method was a good idea even though the original clearly wasn't working...

Gosh, I just ramble on and on and on.

OKAY next point (finally):

I agree that there should be separate classes for people with Autism, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, etc., but sometimes it "doesn't make enough of a difference" for them to be sorted into these classes. Gosh, if my sibling were put in a normal classroom (as she almost was despite the extreme severity of her condition) that would have been a total nightmare.

But, if someone with a mild case (but still known) acts out slightly, should they get a punishment? No, because they can't help it. In the case of normal kids, they will see that and a few will think it's okay for THEM to do because Susy isn't getting punished for it. Why should they?

Again, sorry for the unnecessarily long explanation! I promise you that events like that almost never happen anymore. My past did seriously screw with my head a lot, but now I'm actually kind of thankful for it (weirdly and surprisingly). Yes, I'm still an oddball, but the effects are barely visible now so I act just fine unless someone targets my sister...I'm protective against the one I use to be against...isn't that weird how that works? I'm like that with a few others too.

Anyways, enough about my weird habits.
Hope your kids are doing great and their summer vacation time isn't driving you insane! Lol.
Debate Round No. 2


Damn, hard to comment after that. I am sorry you went thru that. Looks like things are looking up for you now tho. Learn from all of that experience and be a better parent when its your turn. Your situation was lame. No doubt. There are exceptions to every rule. And a broad application of corporal punishment obviously does not work for all.

However, like you said, kids learn from each other also. If one acts up and others see the acting up kid go unpunished, they see that and learn that also. On compounds the problem. You made some great points. Take care.


Thanks! I suppose I put you in an awkward spot to respond to. Sorry about that!
I had never actually thought about this topic before. Thanks for making me think about it!

As for parenting, it's not that my parents were bad, it's simply that they had to focus on my sister because of what was happening. I had my own little world to cope in, and they were protecting me as best they could, no parent is perfect.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by 32doni32nido32 3 years ago
I don't understand all this stuff about men working long hours then needing to come home and rest. I was at a camp for a whole entire week and my phone alarm clock didn't work (we had individual rooms) so I barely got any sleep. When it was time to go home, my sister wanted to go to a fair that had come to town. So I forced myself to go. Then my family (well, mom & sister) wanted to tell me about all the things that had gone on while I was gone. It was nothing of importance. But I put up with it and I was just fine. They needed me. I did it.
My father is an engineer and he works for 8 hours, comes home, eats dinner, then goes to bed. He's not physically active.
I go to school for about 7 hours, come home, do homework, have to listen to my sister and/or mother because they want a teenagers advice on something (I don't understand why they think that I'd be good for giving helpful tips), eat dinner, practice two instruments (I have to rotate them), compose music, write, and draw. I survive 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. perfectly fine. Before you say I'm just a kid, I know a few adults who can do much more work than my dad and feel fine like I do. It's simply because the man doesn't WANT to do it. Even though they need to, they don't WANT to. And, apparently, that overrules other family needs besides money.
Well, I don't want to do homework, listen to people I don't need to, practice instruments, etc. but I do. Because I have to. Just like how a father has to take care of their family more than just 8 hours of work and occasional outside work on the weekends. But nope. They don't wanna do it and so they can just sleep for the rest of the day because that's what they want to do.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not ungrateful that my dad goes to work, but he needs to do more than that. ESPECIALLY in the conditions I was once living in. But he didn't. Even when my mom had cancer. Hooray for dedication. Shouldn't have had a family if you couldn't take care of it.
Posted by 32doni32nido32 3 years ago
I agree that an overwhelming majority of kids don't apply any morals to their day-to-day lives. It's not that it's because their father is simply a punishment machine. It's because they aren't taught well at all. But it's not just that. If I had let just my parents' lessons be my moral path, I would be getting detentions nearly every day; their time was taken up by other things (for a very valid reason) and so my lessons were through seeing other things of the outside world. I saw what I didn't like and avoided it. I saw what I did like and learned more about it.
The only thing I used to see my father for was punishment. Now that the other family issues have mellowed down, he tried to repair the damage. But trying to build a bond after eleven years just isn't going to happen. The only adult figure was my mom, who was someone that was easy to look up to. Now, it only feels like my dad and I are co-workers, where one of us (me) doesn't want to be with the other. I have to do yard work because I "need to learn how to do it". I've been trimming branches for four years now. I'm pretty sure I know how to. I share barely any interests with him (I don't like tools, sports, or machinery), but my sister does. Should she be doing the work that she wants to? Apparently not. She's a girl and I'm a guy; I am the one who needs to learn how to do it, not her. In case it gives you an idea as to how not like him I am, I can't even open a container of vegetable oil because the lid is bumpy and it really hurts my hands. Yeah. But my sister has to learn how to cook and clean because she's a girl. I would happily take her place without hesitation, just as she would mine.
It's really not that tough unless they try to force the things they do onto the wrong person. Otherwise, I'm perfectly okay with the burnt bridge staying in ruins.
Posted by straightshooter 3 years ago
I see some of your points. But I can tell you from my experience, its not that I 'feared' the teachers, but I respected them as I was witness to a few well deserved whooping's. And the fact that I remember them tells me it impacted me. Either as a receiver or a witness. Right wrong or indifferent, I knew if I acted up, my teachers could do something about it and my parents would have fully supported it. My parents for example gave permission to babysitters stating "don't be afraid to whoop them if they need it to keep them (brothers included) in line". And that was a license to whoop. And I turned out ok. (Definitely room for improvement still)
Posted by WW2GuyWhoLikesWW2 3 years ago
I feel like it would make the kids of America less troubling for classrooms. Currently teachers who are cool with the kids use embarrassment as a tool to get someone to stop misbehaving. I'm not taking up the debate because I feel like I'd be arguing against my own beliefs.

I mean kids don't have morals anymore unless you raise them right. In the 50s and 60s it was much easier because dad would go out and work 12 hours. Come home and and be too tired to deal with family. So then it came out with alot of kids not having that father figure other than for punishment. It's tough
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by RMTheSupreme 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Sob story aside, this debate came down to the fact that Pro never proves that children behaving obediently or conforming to society in itself is good in the first place so even if corporal punishment can help achieve that, you need to first prove it's desirable to begin with and Pro never did that at all. Con's strategy wasn't admirable at all and played on the emotions of the reader so I give conduct to Pro. We are not your therapist, Con, this is a war... A debate.

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