Google Groups no longer supports new Usenet posts or subscriptions. Historical content remains viewable.

Corporal Punishment

Skip to first unread message

Joel Orleck

Aug 1, 1993, 10:38:56 PM8/1/93

Sunday July 25 1993 09:14, Joel Orleck wrote to Cindy Cole:

> It appears that this type of punishment/abuse is more prevalent in the south

JF> Once again I move my fingers to complain of the term used above.
JF> I contend that there is a difference between punishment and abuse.

Hi John,

I fully agree! I quoted as I did above because Cindy referred to the use
of corporal punishment as "abuse." I should have made my position clearer.

In the USA there is a movement to stop the use of corporal punishment in ALL
schools. Those involved in this movement frequently refer to corporal punishment
as either abuse or assault. However, the Supreme Court has ruled time and again
that corporal punishment is neither abuse nor cruel and unusual punishment.

As for me, I have not paddled a kid in 3 or 4 years. There are several reasons
why I have stopped.

First, parents in the US are ready, willing, and able to sue a teacher for
almost anything. Many teachers have been taken to court by parents claiming
that the "punishment" their child received was "abuse". Parents rarely win these
cases but it is an embarrassment for both the teacher and the school.

Second, I have a problem with punishing kids for being violent by using violence
(corporal punishment) against them. I'd much rather suspend them.

Third, I would agree that corporal punishment works for some kids but has
little or no effect on other kids. The problem is that the kids who are scared
of being paddled behave appropriately and avoid corporal punishment. The kids
that are not effected by being paddled continue to misbehave and get paddled
again and again. Thus we end up using corporal punishment on the same set of
kids over and over ....the set of kids for which this type of punishment doesn't
work because if it did work we wouldn't be wearing their butts out every two
or three days.



uucp: uunet!m2xenix!puddle!116!41.5!Joel.Orleck

Cindy Cole

Aug 4, 1993, 10:29:10 PM8/4/93
She:Kon KWe KWE
Growing up in the state of Massachusetts in the 50's I do not know if corporal punishment was legal or not but I do remember having a teacher who should not have been one. She hit me repeatedly across the knuckles with a metal edged ruler. My poor sister had her twice, in first and than again in third grade. I was not one who showed a lot of self control in those elementary days but my sister did and was also punished by this"teacher".
The treat of this type of person still being in kcharge of a classroom does still exist. My gorge still rises at this unfeeling woman although I have greater compassion now than I did at that time.
I have known since I was seven I wanted to become a teacher and vowed after my third grade experience to be as disimiliar as possible to this poor person. I have a strong respect for my students and in most instances am able to convey this respect and earn their allegiance. This and a wholesome love and concern make the need for corporal punishment unnecessary. The system I work in is extremely supportive and we work closely with the families to insure cooperation and behavioral standards which are

acceptable for all.

uucp: uunet!m2xenix!puddle!321!152!Cindy.Cole

John Attwood

Aug 5, 1993, 1:59:00 AM8/5/93

CC:She:Kon KWe KWe
CC: I don't think there are any easy answers to howto helpa child behave in
CC:what we deem an appropriate manner.
If there was an easy answer to that, I'm sure it would be in every
marriage licence test (or someone would devise a test *just* to put it

CC: We use behavior modifiction, time-out, 3 warnings, positive
CC:reinforcement(which being human at times is very difficult) after school clu
CC:home visits, phone calls home anything and everything to try and help keep

But at what cost to the family of the teachers?
Who supervises 'time-out'? Who runs the after school classes? when do
the home visits take place?

I suspect that the answers to all/most of these questions is "the
teachers", which puts them at odds with their own family needs (they do
have families, some of them), and also becomes a chore on the teachers
so they would choose not to impose these 'disciplines' on the kids.

CC: I wonder how many of us were spanked and what our adult reaction is if
CC:this was a form ofpunishment used on us

When I was a child, I was spanked. I know it hurt my parents to do it,
but they believed that I needed an immediate, sharp reminder that I had
transgressed the limits of acceptable behaviour.

Anyone who has trained a dog (or other animal) will know that praise
works well, if earned, to reinforce a desirable behaviour. To
discourage an unwanted behaviour, some form of discipline is IMMEDIATELY
applied. the sooner after the *offence* the better, so that the
offending behaviour and the punishment are 'associated'. (Pavlov et al)

If, in the opinion of a mature and reasonable adult (which is what all
teachers SHOULD be), a student is in need of discouragement for an
inappropriate behaviour, I believe that there is a case to be made for
some form of physical punishment. It should be:
- immediate,
- more painful to the ego than the physical body, and
- administered fairly to both genders.

This is where the debate in NSW went to the wall. We were not permitted
to 'cane' (read 'strike with a length of bamboo rod') girls over 13
years, yet boys at all ages could be caned. The discrimination people
got hold of this, and forced the government to do away with this
obviously discriminatory practice. The Govt did exactly what the 'do
gooders' wanted, and removed all right to administer corporal punishment
from teachers. AND replaced it with NOTHING!

For want of a nail .. the shoe was lost, etc

~ OLX 2.1 TD ~ Thesaurus: Large extinct reptile with excelent vocbulary

uucp: uunet!m2xenix!puddle!3!711!508.0!John.Attwood

John Attwood

Aug 5, 1993, 8:42:00 PM8/5/93

In a message to John Feltham, Joel writes ..

JO: Second, I have a problem with punishing kids for being violent by using
JO:(corporal punishment) against them. I'd much rather suspend them.

Who restricted the reason for punishment to "for being violent"? Aren't
there other reasons why a student should be disciplined? Don't students
ever work out that the 'easy' way to get time off school is to be

Now .. if we were to use the neck ... (GBG)

JO: Third, I would agree that corporal punishment works for some kids but has
JO:little or no effect on other kids.

In that case, then .. some other form of effective punishment is needed
FOR THOSE STUDENTS ONLY!!!! Why do the education systems in almost
every country feel that they have to remove totally, anything that is
seen as not being effective for ALL students. In other words, why can't
we keep that which works for many, then devote time to finding effective
remedies for the cases where there are deficiencies, rather than
scrapping a *mostly functional* system to replace it *TOTALLY* with
another system that also has flaws?

Someone please pull the soapbox out from under me!

~ OLX 2.1 TD ~ Neither the kangaroo nor the emu can go backwards.

John Feltham

Aug 6, 1993, 5:35:34 PM8/6/93
G'day Richard,

Thursday August 05 1993 06:31, Richard Rubin wrote to All:

> You obviously don't know that corporal punishment teaches kids to
> deal with problems by resorting to violence. When you spank a child,
> you are saying to him, "When you have problems dealing with people, just
> smack them. Don't bother to use your mind to find sophisticated
> solutions.

Some people and students, aren't able to be spoken to such that they will do what the teacher wants them to do. The problem is not the teachers. The students already have that behaviour problem built in to them by their parents.

> Violence is the key to solving problems." This view is not
> merely mine; psychologists, psychiatrists, and experts in child rearing
> support the above theory.

Your supposition may be correct, however it still doesn't solve the problem.
Corporal punishment however temporary, does. Thats what I am interested in as a teacher. I am more interested in teaching thoise student swho WANT tyo learn and are prevented from learning by students who have behavioural problems. I am not to concerned about a program which may or may not correct their problem. I want instant change. And that, I'm afraid is what upsets a lot of people.

Corporal punishment works too. I know, it worked for me.

You say "don't bother to use your mind to find sophisticated solutions"...

In a classroom full of students (in which I might add, the politicians are bent on increasing the numbers) I just do not have the time to "find sophisticated solutions".

/ \ ooroo
\.--._/ \
v /

uucp: uunet!m2xenix!puddle!3!640!706!John.Feltham

John Feltham

Aug 7, 1993, 11:26:22 PM8/7/93
G'day John!

Wednesday August 04 1993, John Attwood writes to Cindy Cole:

> CC:She:Kon KWe KWe
> CC: I don't think there are any easy answers to howto helpa child behave

> If there was an easy answer to

> that, I'm sure it would be in every marriage licence test (or someone would
> devise a test *just* to put it in).

If there was a way, we could bottle it and make a fortune..... :-)

/ \ ooroo
\.--._/ \
v /

uucp: uunet!m2xenix!puddle!3!640!706.2!John.Feltham

John Feltham

Aug 7, 1993, 11:24:42 PM8/7/93
G'day John!

Wednesday August 04 1993, John Attwood writes to Cindy Cole:

Stuff deleted....

> For want of a nail .. the shoe was lost, etc

Phew, I thought that I was a lone voice in the wilderness! Thanks for sharing the load.

Aug 12, 1993, 5:15:03 PM8/12/93
I have been using a form of 'corporal punishment' that is quite effective
with 75% of the students in the class. It won't work with the hard-core
disrupters, but it is impossible to be sued over.

When a student touches something they shouldn't, I go over to them and
ask them to hold out their right (or offending) hand, now hold out the
other hand, move the other hand up 12 inches, now move it down 12 inches
very fast. I then proceed to explain to them that they slapped their own
hand so cannot sue me for abuse. By the end, the students are usually
giggling so hard they almost fall out of their seats.

I have rarely had to use this punishment more than once in a class, and
the things that are not to be touched are left alone.

What do you think?

Paul Weber
Middle School Computer Teacher, Kansas City, MO

Nathan Paxton

Aug 12, 1993, 4:01:42 PM8/12/93
I'm all for using techniques that work. I also get frustrated
when those students in my classroom that want to learn are
being held back by those who are misbehaving. As some have
said, if there was an easy answer to this, a few of us would be

For some time now we have been told that we can't leave behind
the "problem" child because even that student is guaranteed an
education by law. But isn't the "non-problem" student
guaranteed just as much education as the "problem" child too?
For some reason, this fact is not stressed as much as it needs
to be in our public schools.

Nathan Paxton
Computer Exploration Teacher
** Bayside Sixth Grade Center **
Virginia Beach City Public Schools

Charles Beams

Aug 13, 1993, 8:52:16 PM8/13/93
In a message dated 08-08-93, Sheila King wrote to John Attwood about

I won't quote - it's not important.

New York State has outlawed corporal punishment in the public schools and
I must say I am totally in agreement with the decision.

I was a fairly new teacher - maybe my 3rd or 4th year - when I first
witnessed corporal punishment in our schools. I was asked by our
vice-principal to serve as a witness to a spanking. It was a sixth grade
boy (girls were rarely hit) and he had previously been suspended, kept
after school and there had been meetings between the administration and
the parents.

The boy was told to remove everything from his pockets and to lean over,
hands on the VP's desk. He was struck twice with a fraternity paddle
(about 2.5 ft long and about 6 inches wide) so hard that he was driven up
and over the desk both times. I was afraid for his physical well-being,
to be quite honest.

I'd be far more impressed with corporal punishment if it weren't for what
followed - he was back in the office two days later for fighting with
other kids. I became convinced that all we teach children when we hit
them is that hitting is okay. I believe if the educated and the
role-models are using physical punishment against kids then we are
teaching them that it is okay for THEM to hit.

I've spanked my own daughter only once and I still feel guilty about it
today. There are other ways to handle kids that are far more effective.
For what it's worth.

I picked you to write too only because you are the first to broach the
topic in a while. I had written a response on the issue previously, but I
think it hit the bit bucket when my *.ZIP packet got zapped ;-)

X WinQwk 2.0 a#871 X Smith & Wesson: the original point-and-click interface.

uucp: uunet!m2xenix!puddle!2608!20!Charles.Beams

John Feltham

Aug 14, 1993, 12:49:10 AM8/14/93
G'day John!

Thursday August 05 1993, John Attwood writes to Joel Orleck:

> Someone please pull the soapbox out from under me!

I got it back John. Just in time! :-)

John Feltham

Aug 17, 1993, 4:19:44 PM8/17/93
G'day Charles,

Friday August 13 1993 17:52, Charles Beams wrote to Sheila King:

> X WinQwk 2.0 a#871 X Smith & Wesson: the original point-and-click
> interface.

In a discussion about CP I found your tag line to be very pertinant to the discussion.

There are some, myself included who believe that the gun laws in the USA and the lack of CP in your schools have been a contributing facter in the violence present in some schools in the USA. Particularly those crimes committed in school where students have brought the weapons to school.

There has been a case in Australia this year of a student bringing a weapon to school.

There are also those who say that whatever happens in the USA, you will find it happening in this country two or three years later.

/ \ ooroo
\.--._/ \
v /

uucp: uunet!m2xenix!puddle!3!640!706!John.Feltham

0 new messages