There’s certainly a lot of talk lately about spanking your kids … right? Wrong? That’s a topic for another day. Today we’re talking about someone else spanking your kids.
There are nineteen states in the U.S. that allow corporal punishment in their public schools. Mississippi is one of them. In fact, more Mississippi students have been swatted, whacked, spanked, paddled, hit, disciplined, punished (choose your word) Per capita than any other state. In 2008, that was 38,131 students or 7.5% of the entire schools’ population.
In Mississippi, the Department of Education leaves the decision of corporal punishment up to individual school districts. School districts can decide what instrument can be used to administer the punishment, how many “licks” can be administered, who may administer the punishment and what infractions constitute the need for hitting the student.
In most, if not all cases, parents have the choice of opting out of corporal punishment for their child. However, another form of punishment must be selected. In some schools, at a certain age, the student himself/herself can choose another form punishment over paddling.
Those who are proponents of corporal punishment in schools say it serves as a deterrent to bad behavior, it teaches discipline and the student isn’t taken away from learning as a suspension would.
Detractors of the practice say hitting a student may breed violence and feelings of rage and low self-esteem.
Even when a school has a written policy in place, circumstances can change. Deciding which infractions deserve a paddling is a subjective determination. And oither questions arise. Like these …
Why are boys much more likely to undergo corporal punishment than girls?
Why are black males more likely to undergo corporal punishment than white males?
A disproportionate number of students with disabilities receive corporal punishment. Why?
Who administers the punishment? The teacher? A counselor? An administrator?
Is it required that a witness be present to watch the punishment carried out?
Are girls being paddled by men? Is that appropriate?
Are boys being paddled by women? Is that appropriate?
What happens if the child is injured (i.e. markings, bruises, cuts or worse)?
Do you support corporal punishment in school? Why?
Do you oppose corporal punishment in school? Why?
Have you given your child's school permission to paddle them or have you opted out?
Has your own child experienced this form of punishment?
How does your child feel about it? Would they choose corporal punishment over suspension?
What say you?