Why is corporal punishment still allowed in some schools?

Why is corporal punishment still allowed in some schools?

In the United States, corporal punishment is legal in 19 states.  (Photo: Getty Creative)

In the United States, corporal punishment is legal in 19 states. (Photo: Getty Creative)

When children go to school every morning, they have a lot on their minds. They may be worried about whether the pop quiz will be on or whether they’ll be able to patch things up with a friend. But, in a staggering 19 states where corporal punishment is still legal, students also walk into school knowing they could be paddled or spanked that day.

Corporal punishment, which can take the form of shoving, twisting or deliberate infliction of physical pain, is the most severe form of punishment that can be delivered in schools. The United Nations (UN) calls it a violation of human rights. According to the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang, corporal punishment, “aliens the dignity of the human child and the child’s right to physical integrity. It also prevents children from reach their full potential, by jeopardizing their right to health, survival and development. The best interest of the child can never be used to justify that practice.”

What happens when a child is bored at school?

Tessa Davis of Little Rock, Ark. thought. that corporal punishment would be better for her son who is now 9 years old. When her son was 5 years old, Davis received a call from his school asking for permission to strip the student who was in kindergarten at the time because he was physically aggressive towards another student. Davis asked to see a video of the incident, but says the school wouldn’t show it to her. The school told her that if she did not agree to pad, her son would be suspended for three days instead.

Davis says she and her husband agreed, in part because they grew up in an environment where the statement, “all they need is a good challenge,” was embedded in their way of life. Another big factor in their decision is that both parents work full time and could not afford to take three days off if their son was sent home. Dáiví didn’t think she had a choice at all.

The school’s assistant vice-principal had cushioned Davis’ son. “When I picked [my son] up from school he was beaten and he was sad,” she recalls that the 5-year-old child at that time, who was through the foster care system and has been adopted, went through a great trauma in his short life. “I realized that we caused him more pain,” she says, noting that the incident broke her trust in the assistant vice principal and it made him afraid to go to school.

The punishment also confused him because he was being punished for, “laying hands on someone,” by someone, in turn, laying hands on him. Davis immediately regretted her decision to consent to the paddling.

Does corporal punishment make children feel ashamed and afraid?

Despite all this, Davis says many parents in his community support the practice because they Was spanked at home and at school, “and turned out just fine.” I wonder how well they really got on, saying she was spanked at home as a child and he only taught her to lie to hide her mistakes, hide her feelings and shut herself up out because she was afraid of offending her. “I was afraid to admit I made a mistake or ask for help,” Davis says, explaining that even telling someone she didn’t understand how something was supposed to be could lead to spanking. to do if an adult thought it wasn’t. following the rules.

Since her son paddled, Davis has been seeking support for alternatives to paddling. She thinks schools need to do a better job of understanding how trauma affects children like herself, leading to bad behavior. Davis’ son also has multiple learning disabilities, and she says his frustrations sometimes boil over. She is now working with a therapist to find other options, including working on her son’s self-esteem and giving him color-coded cards he can use to indicate when he needs a break to address the root cause of the action. Although he struggles at times, his behavior has improved.

An alternative to corporal punishment

Ross Greene, founder of Lives in the Balance, believes that adults should address children’s behavior when they are acting out, at home or at school. However, since consequences like corporal punishment harm children even though they do nothing to hold them accountable, he does not believe that padding is the right approach.

Instead, Greene explains, children who act out are struggling. Like Davis’ son, they may have a difficult time understanding class material or dealing with past trauma. Alternatively, they may have problems concentrating. They may be worried about bullies or problems at home. According to Greene, children do well when they can, and may act out when they cannot meet expectations. This means that corporal punishment is unlikely to bring about any lasting change because the root cause of the behavior that led to the behavior is not addressed in the first place.

Instead of using behavior modification strategies like corporal punishment, Greene thinks parents and school administrators should focus on problem solving. He recommends the use of proactive collaborative solutions that identify the problems that lead to outbursts, and then work with the child to solve those problems. With this model, the child is fully accountable and engaged in problem solving rather than being a passive recipient of punishment. Cooperation avoids many of the risks associated with corporal punishment for the child, including the loss of trust in the adults in their lives and unwillingness to ask for help or talk about their problems.

Since Davis started using a similar approach with her son, she has noticed a big difference. Now, instead of hiding things from his mother because he’s afraid of getting in trouble, Davis’ son will tell her if he’s had a bad day and talk about things he could have done differently.

Greene emphasizes how much time schools are currently spending dealing with discipline. Instead of putting their resources towards punishment, he thinks their time and efforts would be much better spent targeting them why children are acting. Schools that have moved away from punishment and started using a proactive collaborative approach have universally reported that this approach saves time, with better results. According to Greene, some of these schools have reached the point where they no longer have any behavioral referrals.

What is it like to give corporal punishment to children?

Jeffrey, an administrator from Arkansas who prefers to remain anonymous for privacy reasons, has seen the harm of corporal punishment firsthand and sees the benefit of a collaborative, proactive approach. In his previous position he was the person responsible for boarding students. He usually paddled a child at least once a day, although he did not make the decision whether or not to pad a child. Offenses ranged from not staying on task in class to physical altercations.

At first, Jeffrey chose the paddle because it was part of his job. Eventually, however, he began to question what he was doing and why.

“[There was no] no change in behavior,” he tells Yahoo Life. “The only thing he did was to please the adults because they saw the child crying on their way back to the class.” In addition, Jeffrey began to notice the long-term effects of pacing on some children including, “trauma, humiliation and even being subject to teasing by peers when they returned to the room classes.”

He also realized that parents were only given a “false choice” when it came to opting out of padding. This is because, just like at the school Davis’ son attended, if parents choose to opt out, children were suspended for three days instead and could not afford most parents stop working that long. Jeffrey eventually reversed his pro-staging stance completely when he realized that Black students were stuttering more often, even though they were a small percentage of the school’s population.

The long-term effects of twisting and padding

At that point, Jeffrey began observing the practice – something he hadn’t questioned before because he grew up paddling and thought it was common everywhere. Once Jeffrey learned more about how harmful peddling can be, he began advocating for children and playing a role in the “school-to-prison pipeline.” According to , “for identical offenses, those who were severely punished were more likely to be in prison than those who were lightly punished, or not at all.”

Although Jeffrey no longer works at the school where he was responsible for boarding students, he still works as a school administrator in Arkansas. Now, he uses, “a restorative approach, conscious discipline, trauma-informed care and teaching conflict resolution skills.”

“I believe in building relationships and ‘connecting before fixing’ with students,” he says.

Davis and Jeffrey now support banning the use of padding in schools by . The two emphasize that they have nothing against their friends, family and colleagues who are still in favor of paddling, but that they think more education is needed about the risks of corporal punishment and alternatives to the practice.

Progress is slow because, in some communities, corporal punishment has been used for generations and is accepted as a way of life. Although Davis contacts teachers directly to talk to them about why she is against corporal punishment, she believes it is the only way to end the practice nationwide.

So far, Davis’ son is much happier at school. He never trusted the assistant principal who bullied him when he was in kindergarten. However, his mother’s efforts to get him the support he needed and work with his school on appropriate strategies to help him cope with his trauma and learning disability paid off. He feels safe at school and is happy and kind to others.

Fitness, parenting, body image and more: Get to know the EDS behind huh with the Yahoo Life newsletter. Register here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.