Sunday, October 01, 2006

Corporal Punishment

In Many Public Schools, the Paddle Is No Relic - New York Times

As views of child-rearing have changed, groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of School Psychologists and the American Medical and Bar Associations have come out against corporal punishment.

“I believe we have reached the point in our social evolution where this is no longer acceptable, just as we reached a point in the last half of the 19th century where husbands using corporal punishment on their wives was no longer acceptable,” said Murray Straus, a director of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire.

Among adherents of the practice is James C. Dobson, the child psychologist who founded Focus on the Family and is widely regarded as one of the nation’s most influential evangelical leaders.

DuBose Ravenel, a North Carolina pediatrician who is the in-house expert on the subject for Mr. Dobson’s group, said, “I believe the whole country would be better off if corporal punishment was allowed in schools by parents who wish it.”

I am not exactly sure how I feel about this. I went to school in New Zealand until I was 10 years old, and corporal punishment was used there... I understood that if you crossed the line their would be consquences.

I recognize that there are benefits to corporal punishment, but unfortunately it has the potential to be abused.

My hope is that more effective instruction would reduce behavior problems and eliminate the need for it.