“PREVENT PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT IN SCHOOLS”
by Nanda Kishore R.S.
June 2, 2022
According to UNICEF, sixty percent of all kids globally have experienced physical harm by their legal guardians, caretakers, and even their parents (UNICEF). Ranging from mild to severe consequences, these could be detrimental to the child’s emotional well-being and academic success. Half of all the school kids in the world go to school where physical punishment is legal. Physical punishment has negative impacts on students’ health
The Middle East and North African regions have some of the highest levels of corporal punishment. Ninety percent of kids in countries like Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia have experienced physical punishment at least once a month and this has a negative impact on the students’ academics (Human Rights Watch). This is because the student is demotivated to try and if they make a mistake, they are punished with harm. This can be solved by enforcing strict laws restricting the use of paddles/ harmful instruments in students.
Schools are made to instruct students about education in a safe environment where students but also learn to be safe and trust their teachers, but when physical punishment is brought to play, this environment is not the same. This affects children negatively because it has been proven that “students are less likely to trust teachers if students are harmed” (Young 2). The main reason teachers are less trusted when they harm children is because children do not want to feel harm again and it scares them to talk to the same teacher who hit them. To solve this problem, teachers should positively discipline students when they make mistakes and compliment students when they do something right. This is because “Warm supporting parenting [teaching] means children are more likely to stay in school” (WHO). They are more likely to stay in school because of how positive disciplining can have a positive impact on the student’s mental health and they do not fear school anymore.
Another way to solve this problem is educating parents and teachers about positive parenting skills. Teachers and parents should be educated to teach positively and respect every child’s dignity and respect. Counseling and other programs help promote positive discipline. A local example for educating parents and teachers for positive discipline is in the International School of Beijing where there are “parent workshops that teach parenting skills and communication skills” (Haines). These are helpful because this shows parents how to guide children with positivity, rather than violence and harm, and this can–on a large scale–prevent the generational malpractice of corporal punishment.
Students with handicaps and disabilities have a much harder time in schools, for example, it is hard for kids who have ADHD and Dyslexia to read or pay attention in class. However, this is made worse when they are hurt for making mistakes. This has a detrimental effect on their psychological health because students with disabilities see themselves degrading further (ACLU). They see themselves degrading more in that they already have their own problems to fight and when fear from abuse is brought down by them, this becomes another problem they must face. To help stop child abuse, applying positive discipline and paying more attention to children with disabilities helps the student feel better about themselves and helps them learn in schools.
To conclude, child abuse is a major problem faced by children around the world and this is important to solve because it has many detrimental effects on the students. However, we can make our society better by solving this problem. For example, encouraging students when they do good and positively talk to children about their mistakes can make them understand their problem. These programs which talk about abuse should be held so students can freely talk about their problems to a trusted adult, which can relieve stress that a student is having, which helps the child’s emotional and social health.
ACLU. “Impairing Education: Corporal Punishment of Students with Disabilities in US Public Schools.” American Civil Liberties Union, 28 Jan. 2010, https://www.aclu.org/report/impairing-education-corporal-punishment-students-disabilities-us-public-schools#:~:text=Map%3A%20The%20use%20of%20corporal%20punishment%20on%20children,see%20their%20underlying%20conditions%20worsened%20as%20a%20result.
“Middle East/North Africa: End Violent Punishment of Children.” Human Rights Watch, 10 May 2021, https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/05/10/middle-east/north-africa-end-violent-punishment-children#:~:text=The%20MENA%20region%20has%20some,50%20percent%20%E2%80%93%20was%20in%20Qatar.
“Parenting for Lifelong Health for Young Children: A story from South Africa.” Youtube, Substance Films, 8 Sept. 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=g553h4KGKR8&t=130s. Accessed 29 May 2022.
“Violence against Children.” UNICEF, 24 Sept. 2020, www.unicef.org/protection/violence-against-children. Accessed 5 May 2022.
Young, Alex. “It’s Time to End the Barbaric Practice of Corporal Punishment In…” Courier-Journal, 9 Jan. 2022. SIRS Issues Researcher, explore.proquest.com/sirsissuesresearcher/document/2626985090?accountid=4047.
Organization, World Health. “Corporal punishment and health.” World Health Organization, WHO, 23 Nov. 2021, www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/corporal-punishment-and-health. Accessed 2 June 2022.
Haines, Kara. “How does ISB prevent physical punishment?” Interview by Nanda Kishore. 7 June 2022.