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Topics Homepage> Schools should have the option to use corporal punishment

Schools should have the option to use corporal punishment

PRO (6 assertions)

Links to more PRO research:


Voluntary Corporal Punishment Reduces Suspension Rates

Tim Yancey explains how a voluntary corporal punishment program has reduced tardiness in schools.



should have option to: when beneficial to student- we’re not saying schools have to it students. They may never use it, but they should have the option to in extreme situations

Corporal punishment: physically hurting someone without dealing serious damage to the body such as scars and is not child abuse

1. Assertion: Countries with corporal punishment have shown better discipline and academic results


-In Asia, schools are allowed to use corporal punishment.

-Asian students do not have issues such as guns in school and serious rule infractions after 3rd grade

-Asian students perform better academically than nations that do not use corporal punishment

Evidence: According to, Asian nations that legalized corporal punishment scored over 24% higher in math and science. This is because of corporal punishment, and strict rules that teach children who’s boss and to behave and try hard at school

2. Assertion: Corporal punishment is a quick and effective way of punishing students and has a long-term effect on them


- Alice Farmer conducted a test on 27,000 kids in Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Florida.

-Used corporal punishment for two months only

-61% of these students did not commit another rule infraction, whether minor or major, for rest of school year, which was 6 months

- The corporal punishment that the children received for two months was enough to set them straight for the next 6 months. Corporal punishment is quick, easy, and the punishment sets children straight for good because they don’t want to have to endure another punishment again

Evidence: CNN

3. Assertion: Corporal punishment is a good disciplinary tool for children


-Physical punishment is the only language children understand, and they understand it instantly

-It has a deterrent effect as well. If you beat one child in front of the other children, not only that child learns to behave, others also learn a lesson to behave.

-It is only fear that restrains children from misbehaving

-Show them something to fear and they’ll behave

-Corporal punishment has instantaneous effect

-Children obey and behave right when punished

-Prevents children from spoiling by showing who’s in charge (teacher is)

-When beaten in front of other children, you will not likely make the same mistake again

-Child will be ashamed

Evidence: Dr. Noel Swanson, Psychology Today, USA Today

4. Assertion: Children understand physical punishment better than verbal punishment


-It will affect child more if you hit him and tell him not to do that misdemeanor again than if you just told him, “Don’t do it again.”

-Why, then?

-Because when you say, “Don’t do it again,” children think or else what? Without corporal punishment, there is nothing else you can do. However, once children know that you can physically hurt them, they know that this verbal punishment is one step away from them being hit

-Also, better for student

-Because “Verbal punishment is a poor practice which tends to destroy respect for the teacher because the language tends to humiliate and degrade the student. Verbal abuse is, therefore, considered unprofessional and unacceptable,” Washington Post

Evidence: Washington Post

Assertions #5, 6

CON (8 assertions)

Links to more CON research:

The influence of corporal punishment on crime

The proposition can use this paper to create a case. Adah Maurer, Ph.D. and James S. Wallerstein use research to explain how corporal punishment is linked to violent behavior in children.


Experts: Spanking Harms Children, Especially Girls

Melinda Rice explains the dangers of corporal punishment to women's rights.


Banning Corporal Punishment of Children: A Position Paper

Sureshrani Paintal outlines reasons why corporal punishment does more harm than good. Alternative modes of punishment are explained.



1. Unless the PRO can prove that corporal punishment alone is responsible for better academic performances and behavioral improvements, then we should win this debate. They have brought up some examples that show corporal punishment does work, however, there is no absolute way to tell if the changes in academic performances and behavioral changes are due directly and only to the result of the allowance of corporal punishment. And because of this doubt and uncertainty, we cannot credit corporal punishment as the reason why these changes were made.

1. Assertion: Corporal punishment leads kids to believe that injuring people is the way to solve problems


-Children see their teacher hitting another child who misbehaved

-Think that because their teacher does it, who “teaches” them how to act properly (word teacher means “to teach”), that hitting is the right thing to do

-Then hit other kids to solve their problems and get in more trouble

-We’re teaching kids that hurting people is the right thing to do

Evidence: 36% of 1st graders say that their role model is their teacher- L.A. Times

2. Assertion: When you beat someone as a child, this leads to resentment of learning


-When teacher gives a student pain, this causes the student to dislike learning

-That means that student essentially “shuts down” in class and refuses to participate and learn because he dislikes the teacher

-Less motivation to succeed

Evidence: After corporal punishment was given out to 335 students, 74% of them had test scores drop at least 5%. 13% of them had test scores that dropped over 15%. (Robert Lazerelere, professor of psychology)

3. Assertion: Some children can and will be injured by the misuse of corporal punishment


-School officials administered corporal punishment to 223,190 school children from 2006-2007

-10,000-20,000 of these students requested medical treatment (Washington Post)

-Injures children and therefore angers their parents

-Parents can and will sue school or teacher because of this act of mistreatment

-This is because some teachers don’t know their own strengths

-Hit child in wrong place like chest

-Hit too often and injured them

Evidence: Washington Post

4. Assertion: Corporal punishment in schools is discriminatory


-Current studies indicate that physical punishment is more common

-in boys

-in disadvantaged children

-non-Caucasian children

Evidence: According to the Washington Post, African American students comprise 17% of all public school students but make up 36% of those who are victims of corporal punishment (2x white students). Also, students with disabilities are hit at a rate twice that of the general student population in areas where corporal punishment is allowed. (Human Rights Watch)

Assertions #5, 6, 7, 8