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Corporal or violent punishment, as the word implies, is imposing a punishment once a child or a person committed a serious mistakes. In the classroom setting and home setting, violent punishments are usually in the form of spanking the child on his/her buttocks and some are spanking the hands. Normally the teachers’ or parents’ bare hands or sometimes a small stick is being used to facilitate the said form of punishment – the action form of violent punishment. Meanwhile, it is usually in the homes where the verbal form of punishment takes place. Bad words and shouting at the child are the most common forms of punishments by most mothers who find it hard to control their emotions. Whatever the form of corporal punishment is imposed, I am firmed with the idea that corporal punishment should not be given to a child, specially in schools, because it will not only harm the child physically, but also emotionally and psychologically. Children will be affected emotionally in the form of losing confidence and having the inability to socialize. Their psychological state will also be affected in the form of having doubts about themselves and will always fear being hit or punished if ever they do something.
The schools should not allow corporal punishment as it will affect the child’s mental health in a way that it prevents the child’s ability to develop emotionally. Such forms of punishments are aimed at not merely punishing the child because he/she has committed a mistake but also to instill to the child’s mind that what he/she has done is wrong and that it should not be done again (Newton, 2001).
Without the corporal punishment, the students do not learn the real value of discipline and they do not maintain proper conduct. The students who did not receive any corporal punishment when they were still on their younger years tend to have deviant behaviors as they grow older.
Meanwhile, there are also studies which have proven that corporal punishment offers nothing but negative effects to both the psychological and emotional aspects of a child thereby putting negative effects on the continuing education. Some of the proven negative impacts of corporal punishment are:
- The corporal punishment in the form of physical punishment enhances various deviant behavior of the student like “lying, stealing, cheating, bullying, assaulting a sibling or peers, and lack of remorse for wrongdoing”. This is particularly evident when corporal or violent punishment is done in a regular basis (Lombardo and Polonko, 2000).
- Corporal punishment increases the risk of child abuse (Lombardo and Polonko, 2000).
- Teachers and parents impose violent or corporal punishment are not serving a good example for the children, instead they are serving as the models for “aggressive behavior and for inappropriate ways of dealing with conflict” (Lombardo and Polonko, 2000).
- Corporal punishments are ways of “eroding trust” between a child and a teacher or parent (Lombardo and Polonko, 2000).
- It is believed that corporal or violent punishment affects the cognitive development of the children (Lombardo and Polonko, 2000).
- It is believed that children who have regularly received corporal punishment from the educators will grow as an adult who suffer “from depression and other negative social and mental health outcomes” (Lombardo and Polonko, 2000).
Corporal punishment should never be allowed in schools because it will affect the children-student’s physical health. Imagine a child being hit, smacked or spank by teachers just because they did something naughty at school. We are talking here of a small child, fragile, with sensitive skins, with not-so-fully developed and delicate bones and muscles. A hit by a stick or even by bare hands will surely result to bruises o scratches to the child’s body. It would certainly affect their growth and bodily movements. In fact, there are studies which proved that people who regularly receive spanking when they were just a child suffer from stunted growth. They are normally small and/or skinny (Newton, 2001).
Parents and teachers are both responsible for motivating the children not only to maintaining achievements but also to maintaining good values and right conduct. It has become one of the strategies of teachers and parents to use various forms of corporal punishment to ensure that the children will learn how to behave well by not doing and redoing deviant acts. it has been the method that most of our great grand parents do to their own children and it has become the habit of most teachers before so as to discipline the students who have been behaving really bad in schools. They were able to maintain discipline both at home and schools. There were lesser crimes in school and there were lesser deviant students before because of corporal punishment.
Based on varied peer reviewed journals, violent punishments are proven methods of disciplining the children, especially when at school. In countries where corporal or violent punishment is banned in schools, many teachers have been complaining about the hardships and ordeals they have to deal with everyday with the students.
Like for example in New Zealand where teachers are instructed not to practice any form of corporal punishment with the students. Now, teachers are complaining that they feel abused and harassed with the young students. The students tend to become abusive. They do not respect the teachers. They swear and shout at the teachers. They throw things at the teachers and in some instances; the students physically assault the teachers. This is the reason why most teachers feel threatened and would want to resign from their works.
Corporal punishments may be serving as one of the most effective way of disciplining the children, but there are a number of negative impacts that such kind of punishment brings to children. Now the question is, is it not advisable to impose corporal punishment to children-students? Is corporal punishment the only way to motivate and intervene with the children?
Because of the above-stated information, it can be safely assumed that violent or corporal punishments can be the intervening factors why some children show deviant behaviors as they grow old. These are also the very reasons why some children face physical, emotional and psychological problems even as they grow old. It is for this reason that corporal punishment should not be allowed, in any way, in schools.
- Bethel, Jonathan. Psychological Models – Freud. 2004.
- Gunnoe, M. I., & Mariner, C. L. (1997). Toward a developmental-contextual model of the effects of parental spanking on children’s aggression. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 151, 768-775.
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- Lombardo, Lucien X. and Polonko, Karen A. (2005). “Comparative Analysis of the Corporal Punishment of Children: An Exploration of Human Rights and US Law”, International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice. Vol. 29, No.2, pp. 173
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- The Commonwealth Fund, (1999) Health Concerns Across a Woman’s Lifespan: 1998 Survey of Women’s Health,.Gelles, R. J., & Edfeldt, A.W. (1986). Violence toward children in the United States and Sweden. Child Abuse and Neglect, 10, 501-510.