Public and Private Corporal Punishment

When you say something about spanking a child, you get mixed reactions from people. I am amazed that so many people in Appalachia still openly threaten to spank their children in public. It makes no difference whether you support it or not, people can get into trouble with the authorities for it.

Recently, there was news coverage of a 2nd grade boy, who was pepper sprayed by the police. This really pushed my buttons. I have never understood why I was not allowed to spank my children, (if I had been so inclined), but teachers and principals in my state of Ohio were allowed to. See News Report Here: Pepper Spray

They are not only allowed to spank, but they are allowed to use modified two by fours, which they call paddles. If you strike an adult with a board, you will be charged with assault at the very least. But, it’s o.k. to do that to a defenseless child. This makes absolutely no sense to me.

When my kids were in school, I told them to never submit willingly to a paddling. They were told to run as fast and as far as they could; to tell the school employees that, they had better contact me before they considered it.

People think they have no recourse, if their child is physically disciplined. My son was not very big when he was in Middle School. At an after school program, a great big high school coach, picked him up and threw him up against some lockers. Guess what I did?

I called the police and filed an assault charge. I live in a very corrupt county, so it didn’t do me much good. CPS came to my house and questioned me to see if I had hit him and tried to blame it on the coach. They also intimidated the witnesses into thinking they would be punished if they told the truth. But the point is, if more people fight back, then maybe some reform can be made.

 

American Medical Association, (1985): “Infliction of pain or discomfort, however minor, is not a desirable method of communicating with children.”

Dr. Ralph Welsh, who has given psychological exams to over 2,000 delinquents has said: 

“…it is now apparent that the recidivist male delinquent who was never struck with a belt, board, extension cord, fist, or an equivalent is virtually nonexistent. Even after 10 years, the full impact of this discovery is still difficult to comprehend.”
“As the severity of corporal punishment in the delinquent’s developmental history increases, so does the probability that he will engage in a violent act.” 3
“I have yet to see a repeat male delinquent that wasn’t raised on a belt, board, cord, or fist.” 

Anon: “Spanking is simply another form of terrorism. It teaches the victims that might makes right, and that problems can be solved through the use of violence by the strong against the weak.” 

Dr. Benjamin Spock: If we are ever to turn toward a kindlier society and a safer world, a revulsion against the physical punishment of children would be a good place to start.

Comments by Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education (PTAVE) from their website at www.NoSpank.net:

“Spanking does for a child’s development what wife-beating does for a marriage.” 

THIS ONE IS MY FAVORITE:

“At this time in the United States, the only people who can smack someone on the buttocks as part of their paid professional duties are schoolteachers, prostitutes and performers in the pornography filming industry.”
Quintilian (circa 35 – 95 CE) from his “Institutes of Oratory.” This was written about the same time as the Gospel of Mark.

“I disapprove of flogging, although it is the regular custom… because in the first place it is a disgraceful form of punishment and fit only for slaves, and is in any case an insult, as you will realize if you imagine its infliction at a later age. Secondly if a boy is so insensible to instruction that reproof is useless, he will, like the worst type of slave, merely become hardened to blows… And though you may compel a child with blows, what are you to do with him when he is a young man no longer amenable to such threats and confronted with tasks of far greater difficulty? Moreover when children are beaten, pain or fear frequently have results of which it is not pleasant to speak and which are likely subsequently to be a source of shame, a shame which unnerves and depresses the mind and leads the child to shun and loathe the light….I will not linger on this subject; it is more than enough if I have made my meaning clear. I will content myself with saying that children are helpless and easily victimized, and that therefore no one should be given unlimited power over them.”

Discipline isn’t just punishing, forcing compliance or stamping out bad behavior. Rather, discipline has to do with teaching proper deportment, caring about others, controlling oneself and putting someone else’s wishes before one’s own when the occasion calls for it.

Lawrence Balter (20th century), U.S. psychologist and author. Who’s In Control? Ch. 1 (1989).

While criticism or fear of punishment may restrain us from doing wrong, it does not make us wish to do right. Disregarding this simple fact is the great error into which parents and educators fall when they rely on these negative means of correction. The only effective discipline is self-discipline, motivated by the inner desire to act meritoriously in order to do well in one’s own eyes, according to one’s own values, so that one may feel good about oneself may “have a good conscience.”

Punishment may make us obey the orders we are given, but at best it will only teach an obedience to authority, not a self-control which enhances our self-respect.

THIS IS THE REASON I TAUGHT MY CHILDREN NOT TO ALWAYS DO AS THEY WERE TOLD. NOT ALL ADULTS DESERVE TO BE RESPECTED.

The Bible is often used as a means to justify corporal punishment of children. There are major flaws with this logic. First of all, the Old Testament is no longer binding on Christians, because Christ established a New Covenant to do away with the old. I have no idea what the Torah and the Quran say about corporal punishment of children, and have no desire to look it up tonight. I may at some other point.

The scripture that says “Spare the rod and spoil the child.”, could easily be interpreted as meaning that you should, not as a warning not to. Look it up and read it in context and see if you can see a different spin on it.

Religion is not supposed to be present in our public schools and institutions, so there does not seem to be any religious justification for physical punishment by teachers or police.

Bruno Bettelheim (20th century), Austrian-born child psychologist. A Good Enough Parent, ch. 10 (1987).


 

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One thought on “Public and Private Corporal Punishment

  1. Kristin Brænne says:

    ★★★★★

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