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.
Paddling doesn’t teach a child anything except how to use force to get your way. That’s the exact wrong message to send to our students, who should be encouraged to control their emotions and use their brains to get past challenges. Worst of all is the bizarre twist of paddling students not just for misbehavior but for bad grades. What if a student has a learning disability or simply can’t grasp a difficult subject? Paddling in public schools is simply wrong. It needs to end now, not later.
Among the unconscionable problems with corporal punishment: Racial discrimination. The U.S. Education Department found that African-American students are twice as likely to be spanked as their peers of other races, USA Today reported. In North Carolina, Native Americans represent 2 percent of the student population yet make up 35 percent of those physically punished, The American Academy of Pediatrics concluded years ago that spanking harms learning and self-image, the paper reported.