ERIC Number: ED311595
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Oct
The Debate Over Corporal Punishment. Policy Memo Series No. 5.
Buechler, Mark; And Others
Corporal punishment, the act of disciplining students by inflicting physical pain (usually paddling the child's backside), has recently come under fire due to the public's growing concern over child abuse. Opponents of corporal punishment assert that there is little hard evidence showing that physical punishment promotes character development or produces lasting behavioral change. In fact, opponents claim that corporal punishment can be counterproductive by increasing rather than curtailing antisocial behavior. Corporal punishment supporters believe that coddling students who deserve to be punished is likely to do lasting harm; supporters suggest that children who do not learn that misbehavior has unfortunate consequences may never learn to behave acceptably. Currently, according to federal court rulings, school authorities can use reasonable physical punishment unless board policies or state laws stipulate otherwise. Across the 32 states that permit corporal punishment in their public schools, the laws vary considerably. Most states provide general authority to administer corporal punishment, but a few discourage this disciplinary technique. Whether corporal punishment continues to be used as a disciplinary tool will ultimately be resolved through the legislative process. (48 references) (KM)
Descriptors: Behavior Problems, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Corporal Punishment, Discipline, Elementary Secondary Education, In School Suspension, Public Schools, Punishment, School Policy, Student Rights
Publications, Consortium on Educational Policy Studies, School of Education, Suite 326, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405 ($2.50).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Consortium on Educational Policy Studies, Bloomington, IN.