A paddle for your crimes

Should corporal punishment be a thing of the past?

Is corporal punishment a good idea?

Photo courtesy of MCT Campus.

Is corporal punishment a good idea?

Story by Easton Cowart, Student Reporter

There are many things that we want to forget about high school, like the horrible slop they serve in cafeterias, or your horrible emo phase. However, an unsettling practice still occurs in Arkansas schools that is forgotten to many: corporal punishment.

Yes, corporal punishment, the act of a grown man or woman delivering physical pain on a student via paddle or hand in some instances, as a means of discipline. Many states prohibit the use of corporal punishment by teachers and administrators, but under our state’s School Discipline Act, teachers and administrators may use corporal punishment on students if their district authorizes it. No other guidelines exist.

“I mean I took it like a man, but it was a little weird since I was so old,” Layton Crow, a recipient of corporal punishment, said. “There’s no hard feelings though.”

Layton chose to receive a paddling, when given the choice between swats, and Saturday detention in his senior year of high school. Three brisk, firm swings and it was over.

Even if the state is not aware of it, there are other choices to corporal punishment. Alternative punishments can include in school suspension, parental meetings with faculty or alternative school programs.

Although this practice may seem bizarre, it is implemented in schools across the state. Those who support this practice cite that one of the most universal motivations is fear, and this threat can make children behave better than any written rule or verbal technique could. Those who oppose say that physical confrontation with anyone is unwarranted in most cases, let alone a teacher performing it on a student.

This rule comes some unsettling moral qualms. For example, under current legislation it is legal for students with disabilities or behavioral issues to be given physical punishment, because not doing so would be considered discrimination. Another issue is female students receiving paddlings from male instructors, as it may seem inappropriate to some.

Even if the practice seems problematic, ultimately it is the school and district’s job to decide whether to incorporate corporal punishment into their disciplinary measures. Though spanking is becoming a less favorable consequence in the public’s eye, many people believe it should only be implemented at home.

“I don’t think that it is right for anyone other than myself to spank my child,” Kara Amato, a junior mass media major, said. This perspective has been expressed in many shows such as Desperate Housewives, Modern Family and many others.

While you’re enjoying the many freedoms of the real world and college alike consider that a few years ago you could have been hit by one of your teachers if you misbehaved too much.

Rest assured knowing that never again will the threat of being spanked without consent loom over your head, and while enjoying think about it for your future kids. Is that a consequence you are willing to let them face?