Corporal punishment is mistakenly equated with discipline, to which it has no relation whatsoever. On the contrary, it is a widely practiced form of mental and physical torture, that causes irreparable damage throughout the person’s life and violates the rights of the child.
Corporal punishment typically involves being battered on the buttocks with a wooden board. The risks are obvious. No standards govern the practice, and there is no way to determine if some invisible line has been crossed until after the act. No teachers’ college in Arkansas instructs undergraduates in the correct method for hitting people. For your information, I have enclosed a page of photos showing injuries to students that have resulted from school corporal punishment. It can be viewed online at www.nospank.net/injuredkids.pdf.
Spanking children may seem increasingly anachronistic. But in the US and Canada – where an estimated 50 percent of Canucks still spank their kids – it’s protected under the law. It is the parents’ prerogative to physically discipline their kids.
However, Canada’s top medical journal is hoping to change that.
In April, an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal analyzed two decades of data and concluded that spanking has no upside, and its downsides include increased risk for depression, anxiety, substance abuse and aggressive behavior later in life.
A survey conducted by the Finnish Central Union for Child Welfare suggests Finns’ attitudes toward corporal punishment have changed. Today the physical chastisement of children is generally considered unacceptable.