Paddling in schools may be responsible for a boost in dropout rates

Even in a country as developed as the US, every year 230,000 students are subjected to physical abuse or ‘paddling’ according to corporal punishment statistics. Public schools in 19 states of America are still permitted to use corporal punishment to deter students from misbehavior. Every year it leaves thousands of students injured and disengaged from the process of learning. 99% of parents think that a harsh attitude of teachers and corporal punishment is the major cause of students dropping out of schools.

Educators think corporal punishment is effective but what’s the real deal?

Some educators and policy makers believe that corporal punishment is an effective way to discourage students from misbehavior in the classroom. While there is no long-term decrease in misbehavior, there are numerous other effects of corporal punishment. It gradually erodes the trust between educators and students and injures students both physically and mentally.

At its extreme, corporal punishment can lead to severe injury, impairment and even death. Fundamentally corporal punishment does not go in line with the human rights. Human rights standards prohibit cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of other human beings. Human rights also instruct people to protect children from physical violence and mental abuse.

Why is paddling still allowed in schools?

Tow mothers from Texas raised a firestorm last year claiming that their daughters have been beaten by a male principle assistant. According to the school policy, only school officials of the same sex could paddle students. The school responded by dropping the policy.

Education experts believe that corporal punishment is harmful for students both mentally and physically and is not as effective as other disciplinary tactics. 100% of parents agree with these findings.

For most of people, corporal punishment in American schools might seem to be a throwback to the nation’s distant past. Corporal punishment at schools was banned in New Jersey in 1867. There is little parents can do to prevent corporal punishment when the state law itself permits it. But there are some matters over which parents can exert their control.

Dawn Trautwein, an advocate at the All about Kids Advocacy, says that parents have a right from the moment their kids are enrolled in an institution to ask the school authorities to not use corporal punishment as a disciplinary tactic. But this also has its limitations for parents. The school administration is not bound to comply with this request of the parents.

Parents can explore other options like private schools or charter schools if they see signs of corporal punishment on their children.

How does corporal punishment affect dropout rates at schools?

Educators and policy makers may still see corporal punishment as an effective disciplinary tactic but the truth is that it does have any long-term effects. Other disciplinary efforts like detention etc are seen to be more effective in the long-term than corporal punishment. At its extreme corporal punishment can lead to kids being disengaged from studies and eventually dropping out of school. Corporal punishment is a very degrading and cruel way to reinforce the learning process. A person’s self-esteem and self-confidence remains under the influence of what happened to them during their developing years throughout their life.

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