Corporal punishment, often referred to as smacking, is the use of physical force by a parent, teacher, or other adult to correct a child’s behavior. It is an ancient form of discipline that is still used in many countries today.
It is often a controversial issue, and research has shown that corporal punishment can negatively impact a child’s development and long-term health. It is also a violation of a child’s rights to education and safety.
Despite a growing body of evidence, corporal punishment remains an important part of some families’ discipline practices. However, it is not recommended for all situations and parents should always consult with their child’s doctor to decide whether or not corporal punishment is right for their child.
A number of studies have found that students who are subjected to corporal punishment in school are less likely to get good grades and to have high self-esteem. This may be due to the fact that corporal punishment can lead to physical injuries, which can affect a student’s overall wellbeing.
Researchers have also discovered that students with disabilities are more likely to be subjected to corporal punishment than their White peers. This is a racial disparity that is not only damaging to student academic performance but can also have lasting repercussions for the child’s mental and physical well-being.
As a result, the National Association of School Psychologists and other groups have called for the end of corporal punishment in schools. In an effort to curb the use of corporal punishment in schools, a number of states have banned its use.
The United Nations Children’s Rights Committee, the UN agency responsible for monitoring children’s rights, has called for the end of corporal punishment and all other forms of cruel treatment of children. In addition, the Council of Europe has made a Recommendation calling for the end of corporal punishment in all member states, and it is estimated that more than 100 countries have banned it.
In many of these countries, the ban on corporal punishment was introduced after parents’ attitudes about the use of this form of disciplinary intervention changed significantly. For example, in Sweden, where the first ban on corporal punishment came into effect in 1971, a decline in endorsement of this disciplinary method occurred prior to the law, thereby facilitating the passage of the new legislation.
There are a variety of reasons why corporal punishment is prohibited in public schools and other educational settings, including its negative impacts on student learning and a lack of evidence supporting its effectiveness as a form of discipline. In addition, some public-funded juvenile facilities and long-term care facilities for adults have banned its use as a disciplinary tool.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Psychologists have joined together to urge the federal government to prohibit the use of corporal punishment in K-12 public schools. The group has also partnered with other medical and human rights organizations to promote the use of positive, non-violent disciplinary techniques.