Facts of Life Essay

Corporal Punishment is the use of physical punishment as a means to provide discipline to a mischievous individual. When we use this type of discipline in schools are we teaching our kids that it okay to hit someone that is inferior to them and smaller people are fair game? How is this different from a spanking when does corporal punishment in the school system become abuse, we need remember it is a very thin line. Anger I feel that my essay will appeal to students, parents and the educators as well as maybe a few lawmakers.

I feel that it really relates to our school system today. I feel that it is simply asking them to question themselves and say when abuse is considered abuse. I wanted my essay to inform the parents, and persuade to educators and lawmakers that this is definitely a problem. Thesis Statement: Corporal Punishment is the use of physical punishment as a means to provide discipline to a mischievous individual. When we use this type of discipline in schools are we teaching our kids that it okay to hit someone that is inferior to them and smaller people are fair game?

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How is this different from a spanking when does corporal punishment in the school system become abuse, we need remember it is a very thin line. 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. – Dr. Spock Corporal punishment in schools occurs when the teacher or the “adult-in-charge” purposely inflicts pain upon a child in order to stop that child’s unacceptable behavior and/or inappropriate language.

It is also used to prevent the child from repeating that behavior or offense and to set an example for others. Did you know that only 27 states have laws that bar the use of corporal punishment in their schools? States that have no laws banning corporal punishment are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Deleware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming.

That mentality spreads across 23 states that still permit paddling, with Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama doling out this form of punishment the most. In fact, the U. S. is one of only two industrialized countries that still permit school corporal punishment (Canada is the other). Other Forms of Punishment Paddling, however, isn’t the only punishment issue that schools must deal with. The popular press periodically runs stories about “unique” student punishment. Some recent examples include a child having to lick a blackboard, a student made to crawl around school for an entire day, and a child being taped to a wall. Those examples are human behavior aberrations,” said Nadine Block, director of the Center for Effective Discipline.

“You are going to have people who use inappropriate discipline, but it’s important for schools to create an atmosphere without corporal punishment. Only then can they look at more effective discipline techniques. ” The first step in creating such an environment is to establish and follow a discipline policy and/or a code of conduct. ” We don’t tolerate corporal punishment or verbal abuse, but we do have a code of conduct,” said Florida principal and 1999 NDP Melanie Fox. The code outlines for parents, students, and teachers what we expect from students and the escalating disciplinary actions that will occur if a child fails to meet those expectations. ” According to Fox, having a discipline policy also prevents unequal treatment. “With a policy, there is no question about what punishment should and will be enforced. ” Parents should sign a copy of the policy, and teachers, paraprofessionals, and the principal should feel comfortable enforcing the policy at all times. ”

The principal must be proactive and make sure there is a policy, and that all the teachers understand it and abide by it,” said Eaton. Everyone should be on the same wavelength with regard to discipline. ” http://www. naesp. org/comm/c0400. htm These are both significant declines. Alabama comes third with 6. 3% (no change, perhaps reflecting that state’s 1995 explicit legislative encouragement to teachers to use the paddle). http://www. corpun. com/ussc9508. htm It was shortly before noon one day last spring when Monique Jones got the phone call from the principal at her son’s Montgomery school. Michael, 9, was in trouble for talking back to his teacher and disrupting his class. She asked me if I wanted her to use corporal punishment or if she wanted me to come pick him up and have him serve a one-day suspension,” Jones said. “I went with the paddle. ” According to new figures released by Montgomery Public Schools, corporal punishment was administered to students in 1,571 incidents last school year. That number is down 7 percent from the 2004-05 school year when 1,693 incidents were reported. Although more than half of the United States has outlawed corporal punishment, Alabama law permits it, allowing each school district to decide whether to use it.

In Montgomery, the use of corporal punishment depends on where the child goes to school, said Lois Johnson, an administrator in MPS’ Parents Advocate & Liaison for Students (PALS) office. “Our school board has left it up to the principal of each school to decide whether or not they want to use it as a form of discipline,” she said. Incoming Superintendent John Dilworth said Friday he does not think corporal punishment is a good idea. “I think there are other ways to deal with misbehavior,” said Dilworth, who officially becomes Montgomery’s next superintendent on March 1. I would be interested in talking with my principals and school board about this policy after I take over. ” Board policy According to school board policy, corporal punishment can be administered unless the parent files a written, dated objection with the school principal. The policy also states that corporal punishment must be administered by the principal or the principal’s designee, privately, in the presence of another certified school employee, and not in the presence of other students. No more than three licks can be administered to the buttocks using the approved paddle.

Elementary schools use a plastic paddle, shaped like a ping-pong paddle. Middle, junior and high schools use a wooden paddle. Of Montgomery’s 58 schools, 41 used corporal punishment at least one time during the 2005-06 year, down from 43 schools that used it at least one time in 2004-05. The schools reporting the most incidents involving corporal punishment include: McIntyre Middle School (522 incidents); McKee Elementary School (168); E. D. Nixon Elementary School (82); Dannelly Elementary School (70); and George Washington Carver Elementary School (50).

Corporal punishment is more common at Montgomery elementary and middle/junior high schools than at the high school level. During the 2005-06 school year, there was only one incident involving corporal punishment at a high school. In that incident at Lee High School, a student was administered corporal punishment for using tobacco. Mixed feelings David and Donna Nelson, parents of a daughter in MPS, say they were shocked when they found out that corporal punishment is used as a form of discipline in schools. We moved here from Wisconsin, where corporal punishment was banned in the late 1980s,” said David Nelson. “We just didn’t think it was going on anymore. Then, come to find out, we moved right into the heart of where paddling is administered the most. ” According to statistics from the U. S. Department of Education, more than two-thirds of the paddlings administered each year are in the Southeast. During the 2002-03 school year, federal statistics showed that more than 300,000 American students in grades K-12 were disciplined with corporal punishment.

Of those students, 70 percent were in five Southern states: Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee. “I just think it sends the wrong message,” Donna Nelson said. “It seems to be more of a quick fix than a solution to a problem. ” But Jones, whose son attends McKee Elementary, said she doesn’t mind. “I would rather have the principal paddle him than have him suspended,” Jones said. “Besides, she only had to do it once. He seems to have learned his lesson. ” Lillian Sanders, principal at McKee, said most of her parents are like Jones. “They prefer corporal punishment over a suspension,” she said.

The number of incidents involving corporal punishment at McKee Elementary has steadily increased over the past three school years — there were 61 incidents in 2003-04, 96 incidents in 2004-05 and 168 incidents last year. Increasing involvement Deborah Clark, principal at Brewbaker Intermediate School, used to use corporal punishment at her school. In 2003-04, the school recorded 84 incidents, and 78 incidents were reported in 2004-05. Last year, there were none. “It was a consensus of the faculty, and we decided that we would no longer administer corporal punishment as a consequence for an office referral,” Clark said. We feel increasing parental involvement is a more appropriate consequence for our students. ”

After the school got rid of corporal punishment, parents became more involved because they had to come to the school and attend a conference with the teacher and administrator, Clark said. However, in the year that Brewbaker Intermediate stopped using corporal punishment, the number of student suspensions rose. The school reported 84 student suspensions in 2004-05 and 200 student suspensions in 2005-06. Clark said she does not regret getting rid of corporal punishment, even though suspensions are up. Our goal is to increase responsible behavior so that our children will become good citizens,” she said. “There are other ways to deal with bad behavior. ” More development Throughout the past few years, Johnson said the district has provided more corporal punishment-related professional development for principals. Johnson said the district has a lot of students who come from homes where they are or have been abused or the children have physical or emotional problems where administering corporal punishment is clearly not the best option.

She believes that is why the numbers decreased last year compared to the year before. “We are encouraging our principals to be more aware of each child’s situation,” she said. “They really need to understand the ramifications of corporal punishment before it’s done. Principals may be hesitant to use it if they are not sure. ” http://www. montgomeryadvertiser. com/ Power of the paddle: Schools debate Written by Antoinette Konz Montgomery Advertiser Louisiana, and Mississippi have in common? Their public schools all routinely rank among the worst in the US.

These states also allow corporal punishment of children. In contrast, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut usually appear close to the top of the list in US education and do not allow corporal punishment in schools. These are correlations and don’t prove anything about cause and effect. At the same time, this data suggests something that’s obvious for most people–that paddling kids in school doesn’t improve educational achievement, nor does it do much to improve classroom behavior. Well, maybe it’s not so obvious to everyone.

In this morning’s Albuquerque Journal an article by Hailey Heinz discusses New Mexico’s current status on corporal punishment. She quotes State Representative Rick Miera who introduced a bill banning the practice, “We don’t allow corporal punishment anywhere except in public schools, it’s not allowed in hospitals, it’s not allowed in mental health centers, it’s not even allowed in the armed forces. ” The bill that Representative Miera proposed was passed in the New Mexico House and Senate. The bill now sits on our new Republican Governor Susana Martinez’s desk.

She’s deliberating over whether to sign or veto the measure. A surprisingly large group of legislators opposed the bill the moment it was introduced. For example, Rep. Larry Larranaga from Albuquerque voted against the bill (thus for corporal punishment) and argued “Kids just need a little discipline; there’s got to be a little fear. Fear is a motivator. ” Yet he cites no studies supporting the idea that this form of discipline helps, probably because data is not on his side. We hope our Governor signs the bill.

Photo by Robb North, available under a Creative Commons attribution license. Spare the Rod: Corporal Punishment and School Achievement By Laura L. Smith, Ph. D. http://blogs. psychcentral. com/anxiety/2011/03/spare-the-rod-corporal-punishment-and-school-achievement/ Laura L. Smith, Ph. D. is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of adults and children with obsessive compulsive disorder, as well as personality disorders, depression, anxiety, ADHD, and learning disorders. Dr. Smith is a widely published author of articles and books to the profession and the public, including: Overcoming Anxiety For Dummies (2E), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder For Dummies, Seasonal Affective Disorder For Dummies, Anxiety and Depression Workbook For Dummies, Depression For Dummies, Hollow Kids: Recapturing the Soul of a Generation Lost to the Self-Esteem Myth, and Why Can’t I Be the Parent I Want to Be? Her website is: www. psychology4people. com According to the US Department of Education, more than 200,000 school kids encounter corporal punishment every year across the US.

And those are just the ones the department knows about. Some cases go unreported. Testimony at congressional hearings has revealed that up to 20,000 kids a year request medical treatment, mostly for bruising and broken blood vessels after being physically punished in school. That is an awful statistic. How can this be allowed anywhere, let alone in the United States? How can teacher’s get away with bruising their students? For every medical practitioner that is called on to treat a victim of corporal punishment, a policeman should be called on to put the offending teacher away!

But based on the current state of play, that scenario is a long way off for some states: Corporal punishment in schools by teachers with a paddle (a wooden board), belt or strap is legal in 20 states. While 28 states have outlawed it outright, the US Supreme Court has ruled it legal. The majority of the states that still allow teachers to spank kids are in the mid-west and in the south of the country. States such as Missouri, Kentucky, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and, to my surprise, Florida, are said to use corporal punishment more frequently than others.

The mother of the Alabama boy is suing the superintendent of schools and the teacher for her son’s spanking. She’s angry because, by law, you can’t hit a dog and you can’t hit a prisoner, but you are allowed to spank children. There are guidelines for how teachers can spank kids, which is more than I can say for when I started school in the ’80s, but there are bound to be some teachers who will do whatever they like. Of course there are teachers that exploit this situation.

Whilst I would like to believe that all teachers care about their students there are enough out there that grow resentful and irrational over the years. These teachers can not be trusted to make decisions in the best interests of their students. And to those that think that fear of such a punishment brings out the best in students, I say this. Fear doesn’t bring out the best in anyone! If a teacher can’t control their class, they can approach an expert for advice or quit. If they feel they have to burst their students’ blood vessels to gain law and order, they ought to feel completely and utterly ashamed of themselves.

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