CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN SCHOOLS
spanking, paddling, caning and flogging
THE DREAM AND THE REALITY
compiled by Dee Finney
This is obviously not a new practice
If we are ever to turn toward a kindlier society and a safer world,
- Dr. Spock
|This is dream by a friend of mine who wishes to remain anonymous.
10-1-02 - DREAM - My daughter, who is now two years old, was starting kindergarten. When we got there, she turned into 4 little girls, instead of just one.
The teacher looked exactly like Greta Van Susteren, the lawyer/reporter for several TV stations. She seemed to be a nun, in the dream.
The nun/teacher had the practice of slapping the children who misbehaved. The Christian teachers in this school also slapped the children who got their lessons incorrect. They said that corporal punishment was a good teaching system, because children knew that if they didn't get their lessons correct, they would be punished.
I decided I would take my children out of the school, but I was not allowed to.
A representative of the Republican Party came to the school and stopped me from taking my children out of the school. The representative was Colin Mockery - A Canadian man, who is a comedian who works with Drew Carey on his TV show.
He told me there was nothing wrong with corporal punishment, and this was the Republican party line.
However, in secret, he whispered to me, "Don't believe what I say - it's all a lie. Your daughter is no longer yours. She has been changed by the school. People who know the truth will see that the kids are being changed. You have to open your eyes to see the truth."
It took us a few minutes to get to the point where we could get our eyes open to the point where we could see what he was talking about. We could then see that the kids were actually rotting corpses, like zombies, and had big running sores on their faces.
Unfortunately, the teachers discovered that we found out the truth, so they took us to the attic, captured us, and made us sleep in beds that had our names labeled on them.
My husband discovered a hole in the wall and we were going to escape, but we discovered then that the building was on fire too. We would die if we stayed, and tried to save the children.
My husband told me, "All this happened because the Democrats didn't get into office."
In America's early colonial days in the 1600s, schoolmasters frequently spent more time keeping the kids in line than teaching the students to read or write. Some towns had a lot of trouble trying to find schoolmasters who were willing to try to teach. Bigger boys had fun thrashing or kicking the teacher out of town. Only the toughest and strongest could handle such boys. The whipping post and the pillory, which was a wooden frame in which the boy or girl had to put in their hands and head, were the more severe forms of punishment. If you were caught talking in class, your knuckles might be rapped with a ruler. If you fell asleep in class, you might be picked up from your seat by your left ear or even have your ankles burned in the sun with a magnifying glass! Tardy students had to clean the blackboards or pick up trash around the school. If the teacher happened to be a clergyman, he could also scare students with threats of eternal damnation if they didn't behave.
Typical Nineteenth Century Punishments
Here are some examples of typical punishments from the Old Town School in San Diego, California dating back to the 1850s:
Swearing at school - eight lashes.
Misbehaving to girls - ten lashes.
Playing cards at school - ten lashes.
Girls going to boy s' play places - three lashes.
Boys and girls playing together - four lashes.
Telling lies - seven lashes.
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.
CANADA AND THE UN
1989-NOV-20: The United Nations adopted the Convention on the rights of the Child. 1 Two sections of the Convention that have been interpreted as bearing on discipline are: Article 5:
"States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents or, where applicable, the members of the extended family or community as provided for by local custom, legal guardians or other persons legally responsible for the child, to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in the present Convention."
"States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child."
1990-SEP-2: Thirty days after the ratification of the Convention by the 20th state, the document entered into force.
1991-DEC-13: Canada ratified the Convention.
Early 1990s: Corporal punishment of children was not a high-profile topic. With the exception of Christian schools and some other private schools, punishment of children had been largely abolished as counterproductive. Spanking in the home was in decline. One study showed that only 21% of Canadian parents spanked their children. 2 However, an informal poll in Canadian Living magazine showed that 73% of respondents believed that corporal punishment was appropriate in certain situations. In the mid-1990s, many child psychologists, social workers and others became concerned about the findings of studies into corporal punishment. They started to form organizations to combat punishment. Some had as their goal the repeal of Section 43.
1996-APR: Citizen is a publication of Focus on the Family, a Fundamentalist, international, Christian group. In a major article, they addressed the matter of corporal punishment. They believe that the ideological basis of the anti-spanking movement is found in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child. This is a document signed by every federal government in the world, with the exception of the United States. Focus feels that the Convention views children as individual rights-bearers, separate from their families of origin, with the State as their ultimate guardian. 3,4 Fundamentalist Christians generally believe that the state should not intrude into the inner workings of families. The father should be in charge, the wife should be submissive to her husband, and the children are under the control of both parents.
1996: The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada issued a position paper on corporal discipline. 5 They acknowledge that "some parents resort to physical discipline too quickly and too often..." They suggested that "it would be preferable, and more effective, for the state to launch an education campaign about alternate approaches to discipline." They interpret Article 5 of the Convention as emphasizing the role of parents in bringing up their children. They do not believe that "reasonable physical discipline" violates Section 19.1. The latter requires parents to "protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence" (Emphasis ours). They continued: "every responsible Canadian opposes child abuse.... the issue here is the intrusion of the state into the domain of parental responsibility." They argued that "by criminalizing [corporal punishment], society would be saying that parents cannot be trusted to raise their children."
Unknown date: A private member's bill by Canadian Member of Parliament, Svend Robinson, proposed the repeal of Section 43 of the Canadian Criminal Code which permits parents to use "reasonable force" when disciplining children. Like almost all private member's bills, this one died without being voted upon.
2001-Summer: Six children from Alymer, ON , aged six to 14, were taken in to care. Their Fundamentalist Christian parents had allegedly spanked them with paddles. In their belief system, parents are not allowed to strike their children with their hands. The children were returned home after their parents promised to suspend spanking. A trial will start on 2002-MAY-27 to determine if the children need the protection of Family and Children's Services.
2002-JAN: The Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a lower court ruling that found that Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada is constitutional. The Government argued that allowing limited corporal punishment does not harm children, and that it "balances the societal interest in sustaining the family unit with the charter rights of the child."
About a week later, Léger Marketing conducted a cross-Canada survey of adults' beliefs concerning spanking. To the question: "Should the government pass legislation to ban parents from spanking their children:"
69% of Canadian adults said "no."
21.9% said "yes."
9.1% didn't answer.
To the question: "Is a light slap an effective way to make a child think?"
49.9% said "yes."
46.6% said "no."
6.5% didn't answer.
Joan Durrant of the University of Manitoba's family-studies department criticized the second question. She said: "It...doesn't ask them if they think its the best way or the right thing to do, so the question really doesn't tell us a whole lot about what people think." She reported on a survey that she had conducted in the 1990's. It showed that 65% of respondents would support a legal prohibition of spanking if it were proven to reduce injuries to children.
|Singapore: School Caning
(site has been removed from the web)
Regulation No 88 under the Schools Regulation Act 1957
Quoted in Teachers' Perception of the State of Discipline in Singapore Schools, Singapore Teachers' Union, 1985
1. No corporal punishment shall be administered to girl pupils.
2. The corporal punishment of boy pupils shall be administered with a light cane on the palms of the hand or on the buttocks over the clothing. No other forms of corporal punishment shall be administered to boy pupils.
3. Where there is more than one teacher in the school, corporal punishment shall be inflicted by the Principal only or under his express authority.
School Principals' Handbook, Section 19
19.3 Corporal punishment
Corporal punishment should be given only as a last resort for serious offences. It should not be inflicted for failure to learn or remember or do homework. Under no circumstances should girls be subjected to corporal punishment.
Corporal punishment inflicted on a group, irrespective of which of its members are guilty, is wrong and equivalent to assault.
The person administering corporal punishment, usually by caning, should not do so while in a fit of temper or when he is emotionally upset. Another teacher should be present to witness the caning.
The caning must be done with a light cane on the palms or buttocks, and nowhere else. All other forms of corporal punishment are strictly forbidden.
The caning should be recorded in a book, giving the name and class of the pupil and details of the occasion when it was administered, the date and time of the caning, and the nature of the offence. The name of the person who had administered the corporal punishment and the name of the witness, together with their signature and the signature of the principal, should also be on record.
The child's parents should be informed immediately of all the details of the offence and of the corporal punishment.
A typical Singapore boys' secondary school.
Violence Against Children in Schools
For many children around the world, violence was a regular part of the school experience. In some countries, school officials routinely used corporal punishment to maintain classroom discipline and to punish children for poor academic performance. In other countries, authorities failed to intervene to protect minority children from harassment and attacks by other students. The failure of school officials to protect children from violence in school denied them their right to be free from all forms of physical or mental violence and the full enjoyment of their right to education.
Human Rights Watch worked to highlight these abuses, undertaking a fact-finding mission to Kenya and issuing its findings in August 1999. Kenya's School Discipline Regulations authorized the use of corporal punishment in schools but failed effectively to regulate its use. Nominal restraints were routinely ignored by teachers and the regulations rarely enforced. Teachers caned children for "offenses" such as tardiness, talking in class, wearing torn or dirty uniforms, being unable to answer a question, or failing to achieve target marks set on exams. These measures often resulted in bruising, swelling, and small cuts; at times, however, children suffered more serious injuries such as sprained or broken fingers or wrists, knocked-out teeth, internal injuries, and even death.
Corporal Punishment in School
Is spanking a child for breaking school rules a useful or destructive practice? Parents and educators are sharply divided. Twenty-three states allow some form of corporal punishment while twenty-seven have banned the practice.
Corporal punishment is legal in 23 states. Would you support a policy of corporal punishment at your child's school?
Would you support a policy allowing physical punishment in your school?
Thirty years ago, I was a student at Henry Clay Junior High School in Los Angeles, and I have vivid memories of being told to bend over and grab my ankles while a teacher administered three blows with a paddle. When I think back I can't remember why I was punished and the only thing it taught me was to loath and hate that teacher.
PEOPLE WHO WERE ABUSED IN SCHOOLS AS KIDS
The next incident that I can clearly recall was probably more devastating. This time Miss Collin decided I deserved the strap. When she meted out this punishment it was a ritual. On this occasion she ordered me out into the cloakroom. I was ordered to stand behind the door there. While standing behind that door I heard the whole class clapping. It was great to them, that I was being given this treatment. It is difficult to describe the feeling I experienced but I seem to remember closing down. It was the knowing that I had to accept the treatment. I had no control over what was being done to me. I was rendered totally powerless. I can recall Miss Collin coming in with her strap and ordering me to hold out my hand. She gave at least one stroke of the strap over the hand. I can not remember whether I felt any physical pain but I remember how my stomach felt. It was as if I had swallowed burning acid. I know I never cried or showed any feeling during this abuse. If I was shaken Miss Collin would have laughed. Another incident involved abuse with words. As I said, Miss Collin used humiliation as punishment. This was the result of me not understanding something in class. I recall her asking me a question and I could not answer it. Very often this would qualify for the strap and I was petrified. On this occasion she used humiliation. She called me rubbish. I was rubbish to her and I was made to feel like rubbish. She often described me as rubbish if something was in disagreement with her.
Johannesburg, South Africa. March, 1999
MEC fuels debate about corporal punishment
The MEC for education in Kwazulu-Natal is stirring a hornets' nest with her outspoken support for corporal punishment.
JULIA GREY reports
THE newly appointed MEC for education in KwaZulu-Natal has hardly had time to settle into her new office, but she has already established herself as a figure of controversy - because of her outspoken support for corporal punishment.
Eileen kaNkosi Shandu, formerly the deputy minister of public works in KwaZulu-Natal and with 28 years' experience as an educator under her belt, was installed as the provincial head of education last month. In a recent interview with The Teacher, she states: "If I had my way, I would reintroduce corporal punishment."
Ministry of Education representative Bheki Khumalo says that Shandu's position is "in violation of the national constitution". He goes on to say that "corporal punishment is simple assault. Teachers who use corporal punishment are doing so at their own peril. They are opening themselves up to prosecution."
Titus Kunene, a matriculant
'I do not agree with corporal punishment. It could bring teachers into conflict with parents and pupils. Many pupils already carry dangerous weapons to school. They could be used in retaliation if they are caned. It is therefore safer for teachers and principals to explore other ways to discipline pupils. Detention, suspension and - in serious cases - expulsion are better alternatives."
Claudia Ndlela, a parent
'Discipline in schools is important but I do not think that corporal punishment should be brought back. Beating a child could have psychological effects later on. Detention could be used in place of the cane. If corporal punishment is abused our children could be severely injured. Some children may even run away from school like I used to do because of the fear of being beaten by teachers."
Mbali Sibiya, a high school pupil
'There are alternative ways of punishing children. No one likes staying late after school so detention might be just as effective. Giving a pupil extra work as punishment may discipline as well as help the pupil academically. Corporal punishment could also leave psychological scars."
Deon Human, high school pupil
'It should be brought back. If pupils know that they are going to be lashed, they won't be naughty any more. It could also stop smoking and drug abuse and results may also improve if there is better discipline in schools. I am usually well behaved but sometimes take advantage of the situation because physical punishment is not allowed."
But Shandu is adamant that the cane is the surest way of maintaining "an orderly and safe environment" in schools, and is convinced that "parents want teachers to administer corporal punishment".
Shandu is herself a mother. She says she has an "internal arrangement" with the teachers at her only son's school - Vryheid High school - that "if they feel he has done an act that warrants he should be given a slap, they should do so".
This is in direct violation of the South African Schools Act, which specifically says that parents cannot legally make such arrangements. Simply put, this is tantamount to encouraging someone else to break the law.
In doing this, Shandu is opening herself - and the teacher carrying out the corporal punishment - up to the possibility of being prosecuted. Legally, her son, who is in matric, could institute court proceedings against her and the teacher for violating his constitutional rights, as could any entity with jurisdiction (like the state).
Khumalo would not comment on whether the education ministry would prosecute Shandu, saying, "I would prefer to discuss this matter with the MEC."
Meanwhile, the new MEC makes no bones about her disagreement with her ministry's policy, even going as far as to say that the government is undemocratically imposing its will in spite of widespread popular support for corporal punishment. "The government is acting on delegated power from society, not absolute power. It must make norms, but if these norms go against what society wants, then the government must listen ... Who should they [the government] listen to if they don't listen to the owners of the children - the parents?"
Although there is no hard evidence to support her view that the majority of stakeholders in education want the cane brought back, certain voices are clamouring for its return. Much of their argument stems from the perception that a good beating is a time-tested way of instilling obedience in the child, whereas "soft" alternatives - detention, suspension and the like - apparently have little effect as deterrents on student misbehaviour.
Shandu's belief in the effectiveness of corporal punishment is based not only on her own experience as a teacher and principal, but also on the dismal matric results, and her perception of a deterioration of effective learning in schools:
"If there are effective alternatives [to corporal punishment], why do we see so many pupils in the streets? Why do we see teachers with their hands up crying that they can't maintain discipline?"
Shandu's criticism of the government's handling of the transition of corporal punishment from endorsed to outlawed becomes even more biting when she says:
"Whoever has outlawed corporal punishment should have put in alternatives. If effective alternatives have not been put in place, I think it is an irresponsible move to make [to ban corporal punishment]."
Khumalo refutes the idea that there are no effective alternatives, but concedes that the government "still has a lot of work to do" to convince all stakeholders to abandon the practice of beating students in the name of discipline.
While saying that this is simply her "own opinion", the fact remains that Shandu is in a position of significant authority within the education hierarchy. As such, her opinion carries a weight that could influence teachers not to bother exploring alternatives, and to regard the practice of corporal punishment as officially condoned.
-- The Teacher/Mail & Guardian, March, 1999.
According to the National Coalition to Abolish Corporal Punishment in Schools, school-inflicted corporal punishment has even caused the deaths of seven children - including a kindergarten girl. Among the emotional problems that can result from corporal punishment are depression, withdrawal, sleep disturbances, avoidance of school, learning problems, loss of self-esteem, and delinquency.
Additionally, corporal punishment provides children with a poor role model of adult behavior by teaching them that the use of physical violence against smaller and weaker persons is an appropriate method of dealing with problems. As the social philosopher Josiah Warren said in the nineteenth century: "Children are principally the creatures of example - whatever surrounding adults do, they will do. If we strike them, they will strike each other."
Warren's observation is consistent with the adage that "violence begets violence." Our violent society has a tremendous need to end the cycle of violence by teaching people, through word and example, peaceful means of resolving problems.
The use of corporal punishment can cause schools to neglect nonviolent solutions such as counseling, detention, Saturday school, withdrawal of privileges, and use of student mediators. Those methods are effective, and they teach children to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence.
Moreover, corporal punishment is an ineffective means of discipline, because the same students are repeatedly the recipients of it. Corporal punishment does not teach a child appropriate behavior, but only suppresses the undesirable behavior when the child perceives the punisher as being nearby.
Corporal punishment also is administered in a discriminatory manner. The children who most often receive it are boys, the disabled and minorities.
Spare the Rod, but Dont Spoil the Child
Indentured servants were whipped, but that was outlawed. The mentally ill lived in cages, but that was outlawed. Prisoners went without food and water, but that was outlawed. Students were hit with boards for misbehavingand that still continues.
Corporal punishment is alive and well in Americas schools (NAESPs Platform calls for abolishing school corporal punishmentsee below). In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Education, nearly 456,000 students were paddled during the 1996-1997 school year. But in an era when we dont tolerate abuse in our criminal justice system, our mental hospitals, or our workplaces, why does this form of punishment continue?
" We never condone any kind of discipline that is demeaning, but there are many reasons that could explain why paddling still continues," said Alabama principal and NAESP Past President Jill Eaton. "Although the research shows that paddling isnt effective discipline, down here in the Bible Belt, the mentality and culture of dont spare the rod still exists to some extent."
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, isnt 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 its 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 dont 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."
FROM: http://community-2.webtv.net/Zootsy/BanSpanking/ (This site has photos of abused children)
According to Mississippi Department of Human Services, there were 900 substantiated physical abuse cases reported in Mississippi in the year 2000. That statistic leaves out the nearly 50,000 paddlings of Mississippi schoolchildren by their teachers. Of the 23 states that allow this practice, Mississippi ranks highest in the percentage of students hit. Apparently, being beaten in the pelvic area with a flat wooden board, sometimes resulting in the kind of injuries illustrated below, doesn't constitute child abuse according to MDHS. The official statisticians, it seems, were only interested in counting deaths and major physical injuries caused by parents and other non-professional caretakers.
However, by looking at the problem with one eye shut, they missed something very important. Parents who beat a child to the point of injury or death can rationalize, as many do, that they were merely following the good example of schoolteachers. They can claim they were only disciplining their naughty child in the usual way and got carried away. Too much of a good thing, one might say.
Those who deliver "human services" in Mississippi should be aware that advanced civilized societies worldwide have prohibited pupil beating and they have nowhere near the child abuse problem Mississippi has. The correlation can be explained this way: Informed governments have set high standards for educators, and the educators, in turn, have set a good example for parents. All parties reap the benefits. They have come to recognize that the use of corporal punishmenta fancy term for violenceis the mark of incompetence. Mississippi lawmakers recklessly have set far too low a standard for educators, with inevitable and obvious consequences.
As long as trained, credentialled schoolteachers can legally physically beat children, it is unrealistic to expect others to refrain. Furthermore, an education system that condones such violence offers unique opportunities and gratifications for certain people who derive perverse pleasure from inflicting pain on others. Every person in a position of influence or authority who declines to act on these facts is an accomplice and an enabler in every incident of physical child abuse.
At present, the following 23 states still allow paddling:
Alabama Arizona Arkansas Colorado
According to estimates from the federal Department of Education, there were about 365,058 paddlings of students in the 1997/98 school year -- down from 457,754 the previous year, representing a dramatic fall of 20%. This shows that the rapid decline of the 1980s and early 1990s, which had levelled off by the middle of the 1990s, has now resumed. I think this, whether we like it or not, very much reinforces the feeling that corporal punishment in American schools really is now on its way out. Total paddlings were equivalent to 1% of the total US school population. This might be an underestimate, since anecdotal evidence suggests that some, maybe many, punishments are not properly recorded.
In percentage terms the heaviest-paddling states in 1997/98 were still Mississippi
(10.1 per cent of students paddled during the year, down from from over 12%)
followed by Arkansas
(down from 11 per cent to 9.2%).
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
In absolute terms, however, Texas with its much greater population is the "world capital of paddling": 81,373 punishments recorded, but this is down from 118,701 the previous year, a quite remarkably sharp drop, completely discrediting various anecdotal suggestions that many Texas school districts have become more enthusiastic about spanking in recent years, rather than less.
This Texas figure represents over one-quarter of the US total.
At the other extreme, the number of officially recorded paddlings in Idaho was just 17,
in Kansas 20,
and in Colorado 0,
though the number in Wyoming was up from zero to 56.
All these figures, however, should be treated as approximate: they are extrapolated from only a sample of the figures for each state, and therefore suffer from what statisticians call "spurious accuracy".
A surprisingly large number of schools in Pennsylvania and, particularly, Indiana http://www.corpun.com/usscr2.htm seem to make a point of saying they retain the right to use the paddle, but the total incidence in these states is low
(0.1% and 0.3% respectively in 1997/98).
"Spare the rod and spoil the child" is the most quoted biblical endorsement, even though these words do not appear in any Christian Bible.
They are simply a phrase from a poem by Samuel Butler, written in 1664.
All of the biblical quotations advocating corporal punishment of children are taken from the book of Proverbs in the King James Version of the Bible. They were written by King Solomon, and presumably reflected his parenting beliefs with respect to his own son.
Proverbs 13:24 "He that spareth his rod hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (diligently)."
Proverbs 19:18 "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying."
Proverbs 22:15 "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."
Proverbs 23:13 "Withhold no correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die."
Proverbs 23:14 "Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell (Shoel)."
Proverbs 29:15 "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame."
The Bible itself records the negative effect of Solomon's parenting style on his son, Rehoboam. He became a widely hated ruler after his father's death and had to leave to avoid assassination by his own people.
Church sued after school strappings
Catholic Church (AUS)
"The time has come to recognise the painful truth that traditional Judeo-Christian moral values of pain and pleasure in human relationships have contributed substantially to child abuse and to the prevalence of physical violence in Western civilisation. ... The religious system upon which our culture is based holds that pain, suffering and deprivation are moral and necessary to save one's soul and make one a 'good person.' The crucifixion and scourging of Christ are examples."
- James W Prescott, US psychologist
On 30 January, 2001, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that a man was suing a teacher and the Catholic Church, claiming the corporal punishment he received as a student in 1984 had left him with a permanent hand injury and caused him loss of income.
The newspaper said Paul Martin Hogan, 30, told the NSW Supreme Court that he had received the strap twice in one day from the master of discipline of St John's College Lakemba, NSW.
As a result, he had trouble writing, could not enjoy life to the full, was restricted in his activities, had to use a left-handed keyboard, worked only part-time, and suffered frequent headaches and pain in his hand.
Hogan claimed the injury prevented him from becoming a project manager in the construction industry.
In his opening address to the jury, Hogan's barrister, William Kearns, SC, submitted that the school was guilty of an assault and of negligence, that it had breached its duty of care, and that the punishment was "unnecessary and excessive."
The court heard Hogan was given the strap three times, which he said left his hand and part of his wrist bruised and swollen.
When Hogan got home, his father allegedly took him to a doctor, who bandaged his hand.
In the months following, Hogan had trouble using a knife and fork, tried to write left-handed, had to give up leatherwork at school and suffered pins and needles in his hand ...
Update: On 14 February 2001, the Catholic Church was ordered to pay Paul Hogan AU$2.5 million for the strappings he received 17 years ago.
A jury of two men and two women took two hours to find the church had breached its duty of care to the then 14-year-old ...
"I am now convinced that children should not be subjected to the frightfulness of the Christian religion. ... If the concept of a father who plots to have his own son put to death is presented to children as beautiful and as worthy of society's admiration, what types of human behaviour can be presented to them as reprehensible?"
- Ruth Hurmence Green,
The Born-Again Sceptic's Guide To The Bible 
Corporal Punishment - Myths and Realities
Myth: Corporal punishment is used only as the last resort
Reality: Corporal punishment is often the first response even for minor infractions. Teachers and parents need training in nonviolent ways to handle behavior problems
Myth: Teachers need the right to use corporal punishment to protect themselves.
Reality: Using physical force for self-protection is not considered corporal punishment. School employees have the right to use force to protect themselves or other people from bodily harm, to gain control of a dangerous weapon or to protect property from damage.
Myth: If corporal punishment is banned, the school will be in chaos.
Reality: Again and again, experience has shown that this does not happen. At worst, behavior remains about the same after corporal punishment is abolished. When alternative discipline codes are put in place, disruption is usually significantly reduce.
Myth: The kid must have deserved it.
Reality: Children are paddled for such minor infractions as whispering, giggling or not finishing their milk.
Myth: Corporal punishment is used only on the worst kids.
Reality: The most likely victims of corporal punishment are the most vulnerable, for example, minorities, the smallest boys, children with disabilities.
Myth: A little swat is good for some kids.
Reality: Corporal punishment hurts all kids, victims and witnesses alike. It increases learning problems and decreases student's ability to concentrate and remember. In severe cases, students subjected to corporal punishment exhibit symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, similar to the syndrome experienced by Vietnam veterans.
Myth: Corporal punishment prevents unruliness.
Reality: The higher the incidence of corporal punishment in a school, the higher the level of vandalism and delinquency.
Myth: It's okay to use corporal punishment if parents give permission.
Reality: A spanking at school is very destructive to a child's sense of self-worth. It hurts other children too by frightening them or sending them the message that violence is a solution to problems. Also, paddling at school sends the message it's okay to hit kids at home, too.
Myth: Using corporal punishment lets kids know who's in charge.
Reality: The best way to teach self-control is by example. When teachers use corporal punishment, they teach that being "in charge" means physically forcing others into submission.
Myth: I was paddled and it didn't hurt me.
Reality: We all learn by example. Adults most likely to physically punish children are those who were corporally punished as children themselves. Using corporal punishment today continues the cycle into the next generation.
Myth: Corporal punishment is the only way to teach some kids.
Reality: The most difficult children are often the most helpless. They cannot protect themselves. They need help, not hitting.
What do we want to teach?
Positive discipline teaches: Right from wrong
Corporal punishment teaches: Might makes right
Positive discipline teaches: Self-control
Corporal punishment teaches: It's okay to strike out in anger
Positive discipline teaches: Cooperation in resolving conflicts
Corporal punishment teaches: We control others by force
Positive discipline teaches: How to assert oneself by stating needs in words
Corporal punishment teaches: The way to let out dissatisfaction is by physically abusing others
Positive discipline teaches: Self-esteem, a feeling that "I am part of the solution"
Corporal punishment teaches: Low self-esteem , a feeling that "It's okay for others to hit me"
Positive discipline teaches: Clear expectations and fair consequences
Corporal punishment teaches: Hurt and humiliation that is often out of proportion to the misbehavior
Positive discipline teaches: Respect for those in authority and other people
Corporal punishment teaches: Fear and resentment of authority
The National PTA Copyright 1991Reprinted with permission of the National PTA, 330 N. Wabash, Suite 2100 Chicago, IL 60611-3690
Some examples of major infractions, which may result in suspension or expulsion, include the following:
Arson or attempted arson
Threat to School Safety
Any student who acts in such a way as to threaten the safety of him/herself
or any other person in the school building or is in possession of,
Search and Seizure
The administration of the school and/or their designate retains the right
to: search students, student lockers, student possessions,
Suspension from school is imposed for serious misbehavior and then only
by school administration.