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Concept Paper For Corporal Punishment

1054 words - 4 pages

Corporal Punishment Corporal punishment is any deliberate act of physical pain inflicted upon a child as a method of changing behavior. "Some examples are: hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, pinching, shaking, choking, use of various objects (wooden paddles, belts, sticks, pins), painful body postures, use of electric shock, use of excessive exercise drills, or prevention of urine or stool elimination" (Greydanus). In the United States, corporal punishment has been a conventional method in disciplining children and youth since our colonial times. Only during the past 20 years the numbers of this type of punishment has grown with school children. Children and adolescents can be physically damaged by such punishment. Supporters of corporal punishment note it should be balanced out in limited doses, based on the offense and without attempt to physically harm. However, this is often not the case, and many students are hurt. Supporters for aversive discipline suggest that the punishment must produce instant discomfort and must surprise the victim as soon as possible after the identified violation. Corporal punishment, however, does not meet such standards most of the time, as punishment in excess of the infraction may occur, and repetition quickly eliminates the element of surprise At least 10,000-20,000 American students needed medical help after becoming victims of corporal punishment in their school atmosphere during the 1986-1987 school term. Many students can not return to back to school because of medical reasons for days, weeks, or longer. Some medical reports due to corporal punishment include abrasions, severe muscle injury, whiplash injury, severe fat emboli, severe arm or leg nerve injury (including fractures), brain hemorrhage, and others (including death!) Approximately one half of students that are examined due to severe punishment develop an illness called Educationally Induced Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. These students can have difficulty sleeping, fatigue, feelings of sadness and unimportance, suicidal feelings, anxiety swings, increased anger with feelings of resentment and sudden occurrences of aggression, weakening peer relationships, difficulty with concentration, lowered school success, antisocial behavior, severe dislike of authority, somatic complaints, tendency for school avoidance, school drop-out, and other evidence of negative high-risk adolescent behavior (Greydanus). Corporal punishment encourages children to resort to violence because they see their authority figures replace parents using it. Violence is not tolerable and we must not support it by allowing it. Many parents were abused themselves as children, and this will only deteriorate the violence children must face. The consequence is that we are harming children by teaching them that violence is acceptable, especially against the weak and the fragile. We must develop and maintain a nonviolent nature and way toward our children...

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