Concept Paper For Corporal Punishment

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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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...