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Should corporal punishment be reintroduced in schools?

by Jennifer Muirhead (follow)
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caning, corporal punishment

Every now and then the subject of corporal punishment comes up again in the media. Some people argue that children were better behaved when the cane was used in Australian schools. What do you think?

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I think it just encourages children to think that in certain circumstance it's ok to use physical violence. How do they then know it's not ok for them to do the same thing. I say no to any kind of violence.
Absolutely not. Corporal punishment sets a bad example for children and teaches them to fear their elders, not respect them.
That's a good point.
No. Children who are in constant fear of being beaten won't learn effectively. It can also do psychological/emotional harm that can carry on well into adult life. There was a reason it was banned.
Never, ever, ever. There is so much fearmongering that goes on, so much coercion, and so little encouraging people to do what makes their hearts beat faster, what they're passionate about. Nastiness never works, ever. We're bigger than that.
I think the cane is in our times barbaric to use, on any child.

We must have come a long long way..... since then! Surely.
Definitely not! If I whacked an adult it would be deemed as assault and heating a child is assault. I agree with Claire Winlow, violence is not a option. When I went to enrol my daughter in a "Christian School" 25 years ago, a condition of enrolment , at the time, was that parents sign a document which allowed the school to administer corporal punishment in "a loving and Christian way": needless to say our child was not enrolled in the school. I do not hold with physically hitting and assaulting children: it has been illegal in Sweden for years and they have managed to discipline children with alternative methods
by anne
My main issue with this are the teachers who administer the punishment. Many of them turn something that should be a means of discipline into a way to abuse the children who have been giving them problems in class.
by Gia
Absolutely not. Although, when I tell people I do not intend on smacking my children, for the reasons others here have mentioned, I am given the 'we'll see' look. There are plenty of other methods of discipline. If I feel I do not have the right to smack or hit my child, surely others could not.
by Vee
I am not comfortable with someone else punishing my child. This type of punishment can quickly be abused.
The cane was still used when I was in primary school, though not on girls so I never fell victim to it. I think beating anybody as punishment is barbaric, but especially so when it's children. It's particularly crazy if they're being punished for fighting. You can't teach somebody violence is wrong using more violence.
Very True.....
by jonaja
I don't think violence towards children is ever acceptable.

It's completely unacceptable to discipline an adult in the workplace with physical violence, so why would it be acceptable to discipline a small child with abuse that causes physical and mental pain?
No. Violence, 'punishment', is never the answer.
I am not a fan of corporate punishment. However, older kids now days are getting into so much more trouble that it should be used as a form of punishment in regards to law enforcement...but not in schools!
Are they actually getting into more trouble, or is it just reported in the media more? The stuff I hear on the news doesn't sound any worse than stuff kids used to do when I was in school but back then it never made the headlines.
I agree Jennifer. I listen to the stories that my dad tells of when he was a teen and the stuff they used to do was far worse than anything I have ever done!
by lizzi
So full on. No different to when our mouths were washed with soap and water for swearing.
Not at all. Do we want our children to behave when they are being threatened by beating? No way. It's barbaric, archaic, and should be left in the deepest darkest crevices of the dungeons for eternity.
Definitely not, but I can understand why some teachers may wish it would be. Unfortunately some kids and teens are absolute horrors. However, in most cases I think it's the parents and their upbringing that is to be blamed. If their parents had used some discipline (non-violent of course) and raised them to have respect, this wouldn't be an issue.
Definitely not. There's no evidence of any benefit to discipline, or education more generally, and there's plenty to suggest that it can cause significant psychological damage.
No! Violence begets violence.
No way!
Corporal punishment has a lasting effect on children. 1954 and I've just returned to school after 3 months in hospital. As a brand new second grader I've been found playing under the Grade Three huts. Ignorance of the rules was no excuse as Old Ma McCarthy laid into me with the cane around my legs. As for my Grade Two teacher, Miss Galbraith, who actually ran the Red Cross club, thumping me in the back for not being able to differentiate between "for" and "four".... Now don't get my husband started on his first two miserable years at school when he had the misfortune of having the same teacher. She was determined to beat his lefthandedness out of him. His handwriting can only be described as chicken scratchings. Thank God she wasn't on the squash courts where he played at top competiton level. With his left hand dominationg of course. There! Got that off my chest. Now maybe the nightmares will stop.
I remember how vicious the caning was on the boys (particularly the Home Boys) and the psychopathic behavior of some of the teachers back in the 50's and 60's. No way would I ever sanction the re-introduction of caning of defenseless children. It is barbaric and open to abuse by adults who should not be let anywhere near children. If any politician supports this cruelty then they should not receive any votes and should be drummed out of office.

Everything in moderation. Corporal punishment can do wonders, but in moderation. Kids need to be prepared for the harsh world outside as they grow up. Schools are there to teach us education as well as what to expect in the real world. So moderate corporal punishment can actually help in developing the kids for future.
Are you serious? In the "real world", as adults, they should absolutely not encounter beatings.
Moderation and beatings just don't seem to be words that occupy the same sentence happily.
by Rice
Definitely no! It doesn't teach children anything
When is it ok to smack, beat or physically abuse someone smaller and weaker that you?
No. Although I'm sure it would be handy sometimes for specific kids.
No! because corporal punishment is based on assumption that children all come from stable, long standing family environments and if they are naughty they need to be made to feel guilty and need a consequence. With my own children I've come to understand that children are unique and in many many circumstances the basic assumption of consequences will 'right' a child are wrong. Raising a child requires patience, communication, understanding and parenting approaches more sophisticated than a supposed quick fix of corporal punishment. Fear (born out of the threat of caning) in many many cases brings on worst behaviour rather than better. Those children than reacted badly in the past were considered 'lost' or worthless in the past. Today we now understand that all that is needed is understanding, communicative parenting, tenacity and patience.
No. I have never gotten over the strength of some of those nuns that taught me. They could wield that bamboo like a crazy person. I actually think they were crazy people. Frustrated, lazy women they were.
Absolutely not.
With the feral school kids' these days, it'd be probably a good idea!
When used 'back in the day' those kids' at least knew what 'discipline' was. Today, they don't care & couldn't give a rats! Hence the crime rate has gone up!
There's no 'Nasho' anymore! That's a real shame!
The 'do gooders' crawl out of every crevice when corporal punishment is mentioned.

But what's the alternative?
Has the crime rate actually gone up, or has media reporting of it just increased?
yes for bad parents...
(hopefully i never get that bad)
No. It's sickening, brutal, pointless and unproductive. I wouldn't have given anyone the right to strke and terrify my child.
by Rice
As much as we sometimes think it could have been used on some really badly behaved children, definitely not. I recall boys being caned when I was at school and you could see it really hurt those boys. Also, my 5th/6th class teacher used a featherduster an myself and other girls in my class because our writing wasn't sloping correctly and it darned well hurt being caned both across the knuckles then under them. I remember she used to call the featherduster "brother George" and this was in a public school.
Yes, I agree with corporal punishment being inflicted on any teacher that can't keep their head out of children's lunch boxes. Teachers should keep their mind on the job at hand and if they can't do that, they should receive some sort of corporal punishment.
If the school policy is too check kids' lunchboxes then that is part of their job. I wasn't too keen on being told what I could and couldn't put in my child's lunchbox, but I suppose it's for parents who don't have a clue about nutrition.
If it is school policy, the the Headmaster should receive the punishment.
The only time teachers should become involved in nutrition is when they notice that children are turning up to school with "no" lunch. Unfortunately, I don't think that is going to happen because it would require supervision at play time and lunch time by a teacher and I don't think teachers are going to want to take that duty on. No time, overworked blah blah.
The best lunch any child can take to school is the one that makes it down their throat and into their stomach.
by fran.
I'm not convinced either way but as physical punishment is not allowed and psychological punishment is then that in my view is far worst than a bit of pain. besides when you become an adult physical punishment is the norm if you do something bad you go to goal and that is physical and psychological punishment. so isn't it just being honest to children about the real world.
That would be a big no from me. I'm not comfortable with violence against children and certainly not to enforce the values of someone else!
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