I saw a link on Facebook recently that saddened me immensely. The story is a write up regarding a school district in Texas that voted to re-instate corporal punishment in their schools. You can read the article here.
I commented on the thread of the friend who shared the link and engaged in a very heated discussion. To be clear, the folks who were in favor of the legislation were the ones that were fired up, not me. The subject of corporal punishment is so controversial, and it seems to anger those in favor when challenged about their approval. I’m still debating on whether there is a correlation there or not but it appears that there may be.
The article states that “The school district hopes that paddling will help improve classroom behavior so students can retain more information and improve the district’s falling test scores.” So literally the district believes that they can pound better test scores into the children. That not only doesn’t make any sense, it’s barbaric. Not to mention it is ineffective by all of today’s standards and research studies.
While researching this, I found that corporal punishment is still legal in 19 of our 50 states. As far as we’ve come as a nation and we still allow this archaic treatment of our school children in nearly half of our united states is depressing. With more than 52 countries worldwide that have banned the use of corporal punishment (even in homes) the action is deemed child abuse. Yet, in 2017, in one of the most powerful and progressive countries of the world, we still allow strangers to hit our kids.
When my children were attending public school I signed a form for each child at the beginning of every school year to forbid the use of corporal punishment on my child. I didn’t hit my kids and I love them, I wasn’t about to let someone who didn’t care any more for my child than the next one to inflict pain on them. For years I have struggled to understand why any parent would allow this, especially in this day and age. Especially considering all the studies over the past half century that have proven how damaging it is to a child to be hit by an adult. I honestly hoped that by the time I had grandchildren corporal punishment in schools would be a distant memory. Apparently, not only is that not the case, but some school districts are moving to reverse their former ban on the punishment.
This legislature is backwards progression. When we continue to excuse the behavior of an adult striking a child in any capacity we are dancing dangerously close to child abuse. Corporal punishment, spanking, paddling, whichever term you choose to use, is detrimental to the emotional well being of a child. It has been proven time and time again. We want violence to end yet we are using violence to correct behavior in a child. The hypocrisy is staggering.
The bottom line however, is that if parents did their job well at home, punishment at school would not be necessary. Children are not emotionally capable of handling the guilt and shame brought on by spanking. It just brings on more behavioral issues in the long run. It’s our job as parents to strengthen their emotional fortitude, not ruin it. If you reside in one of the 19 states where this treatment is still favored, do the right thing for your child and refuse to allow it.
Children should not be used as an outlet for school administrators to work out their frustrations. And no child deserves to be hit by an adult. Ever.
Love your child. Teach your child. Work hard at parenting to raise a good human. But please, do not hit them or allow others to hit them.