Corporal punishment in schools should be abolished Corporal punishment has been used in schools as a way of handling disciplinary problems. It refers to school rules which allow students to be punished using physical pain without causing injury. It is believed that using punitive method can promote students’ obedience and reduce problematic behaviour. As a result, it can decrease the number of disciplinary cases and maintain order inside the classroom. Indirectly, it will help to build students’ discipline. Thus, teachers can focus on teaching the students.
However, I believe that corporal punishment will bring more harm than benefits. Therefore, the practice of corporal punishment in schools should be abolished. The first reason why I’m against corporal punishment is because it can create an unhealthy learning environment. Students, especially the young children should feel safe when they are in the classroom. They need to feel comfortable inside the classroom so the process of teaching and learning can be optimized. If teachers often use corporal punishment such as caning or spanking, the children will feel threatened as they have the possibility to receive the punishment.
This is not how the situation in a classroom should be because it will diminish students’ attitude toward school rather than building self-discipline. Some students might not want to attend school and skip the classes as they are scared to attend the classes. This situation can lead to truancy which can increase the number of discipline cases. Harsh punishment will also hinder open communication between students and teachers in the classroom. This is because students will perceive teachers as ‘colonels’ who are ready to punish any students who misbehave.
Furthermore, some students will be afraid of voicing out their opinion in classroom discussion. Teachers and students should have good relationship in order to optimize the process of teaching and learning. Using caning or spanking will not make that thing happens. Corporal punishment will also bring psychological effects. Students who experience frequent physical punishment will be stressed out. This is because they will feel humiliated and their reputation among other students will be affected.
Most of the students are still in the stage where their peers’ perceptions influence them. They need to feel good about themselves. Other students will perceive those who being punished as problematic students and they will think twice when they want to approach these problematic students. The situation where they are often being neglected can affect their self-esteem and confidence. Some of the students will also feel insecure when they are in schools. They will develop anxiety symptoms because they are too afraid of being punished.
The case of my neighbour’s son is one fine example. He is too afraid of going to school as he has witnessed many of his friends being punished by their teacher. He is such a good boy and it is almost impossible to see him misbehave. However, witnessing his own friends being punished has given a great impact to him. When he is in school, he can’t focus in his class because he’s afraid of the teacher. This implies that young children can have some kind of ‘traumatic effect’ when they observed unpleasant stimulus being performed.
These psychological effects will lead to low achievement among punished students as well as those who witnessed the punishment. The worst thing that can happen to students is that such aversive punishment will increase students’ aggressive behaviour. Using corporal punishment will expose violent elements among students by demonstrating such method in front of them and even worse to those who experienced it. It indicates the use of aggression as a problem solving measure and that it can be used to control human’s behaviour.
It can affect their character building as they will use aggression to get what they want. At home, the victims of corporal punishment are more likely to behave inappropriately by kicking their siblings or hitting their friends. This shows that corporal punishment is making things worse for the students. It will not help them to develop self-discipline but it makes them to be more aggressive. Problematic students will become more rebellious and they will resent the teacher who punished them. They retaliate against the teacher by manifesting inappropriate behaviours and will not pay attention in class.
They will also compensate by bullying their peers. Thus, the practice of corporal punishment is not effective in handling problematic students who are ‘immune’ to such punishment. Despite of all the negative impacts mentioned above, there are some people who still want corporal punishment to be used in schools. They argue that corporal punishment is necessary in order to reduce students’ problematic behaviour. If corporal punishment is not effective, why would people implement the practice in the first place?
It may occur because by using negative stimulus to reduce undesired behaviour, the probability for the students to misbehave in the future will be low. Once the student has been punished, he will be aware of the consequences thus he will not repeat his misconduct. They will eventually learn to behave appropriately. However, students will behave only because they perceive the punishment as a threat. They behave not because they want to but they are forced to. The other reason is that corporal punishment can act as a powerful tool to maintain order inside the classroom.
Naughty children can’t focus on their studies until they learn to behave. They will tend to do other things during class activities such as disturbing their friends which can disrupt the flow of a lesson. Teachers can’t be lenient as the children will just ignore them even though they repeatedly asked the children to behave. By implementing corporal punishment, the children will be less likely to misbehave as they want to avoid being punished. These children will be more likely to participate in class activities without causing any troubles.
Hence, teachers can focus on transmitting knowledge as the students are well-behaved. Nevertheless, the students behave appropriately solely because they want to avoid punishment. It is not thought of as internalized because they did not behave appropriately on their own will. In conclusion, the use of physical punishment as a means to promote students’ self-discipline will bring many unintended negative consequences. The practice of corporal punishment will create an unhealthy learning environment, causes psychological effects to students, and increase students’ aggressive behaviour.
It clearly distorts the purpose of coming to school which is to get education in a healthy environment without feeling threatened. Corporal punishment is not even effective in reducing students’ problematic behaviour. Students are externally controlled and it does not promote self-discipline. Therefore, it should be banned as its negative effects outweigh the benefits. Moreover, physical punishment is not the only way to handle discipline problems. Teachers need to replace the practice of corporal punishment or the consequences will be severe.