- Schools that use corporal punishment tend
to have poorer academic achievement, more vandalism, truancy, pupil violence and
dropout than schools that don't use corporal punishment.
- Because child abuse and its effects are becoming better
understood by more people, teachers who hit children run a greater
risk of criminal prosecutions and civil suits than ever before.
That risk will continue to increase as long as corporal punishment
of pupils is allowed.
- Teachers who use corporal punishment tend to spend more time
"disciplining" and less time teaching than teachers who don't use
- No creditable teachers' training curriculum includes
instruction in how to hit people and virtually all acknowledged leaders in the fields
of education and child development consider the use of corporal
punishment, whether by teachers or parents,
counterproductive and unprofessional.
- The overwhelming majority of teachers don't hit their pupils.
Many find it difficult or impossible to work in settings where
children have become conditioned to, and expect, violent management by
adults. For this reason, schools that use corporal punishment risk
losing their most able teachers and becoming increasingly punitive,
demoralized and ineffective.
- The use of corporal punishment tends to create feelings of
antagonism between children and authority figures. Being hit by a
person in authority causes victims to lose trust not only in the hitter, but in the institution that
provides a setting for such treatment. These negative feelings can
easily overwhelm a child's natural inclination to learn and desire
for cooperation, replacing them with avoidance behaviors or the
urge to "get even."
- In schools where corporal punishment is permitted, there
typically is little or no incentive for teachers to learn more
humane, effective and up-to-date methods of pupil management.
- By undermining self-respect, corporal punishment plants the
seeds of future self-destructive and antisocial behaviors such as lying,
stealing, fighting, running away, delinquency, chemical dependency
and reckless driving. Ironically, corporal punishment is often used
to punish some of the very behaviors it causes.
- Children with learning disabilities or other handicaps often
corporally punished because of poor performance or because of their
inability to conform. Such mistreatment serves only to compound
their original problem with new ones.
- Corporal punishment tends to diminish or destroy the natural
feelings of empathy that are in every child. Children who
repeatedly witness their peers being hurt, while they are powerless
to intervene, tend to become indifferent to human suffering and
- People who have been trained from childhood to behave out of
fear of punishment rarely learn to govern their own conduct except
out of fear of punishment. Children develop moral judgment,
self-control, responsibility and consideration for others by
imitating the good example of the significant adults in their
- Corporal punishment teaches submissiveness (alternatively to
provoking rebellion). Children are expected to cooperate in the
act and usually do. This conditions them to become easy targets
for predators who molest or exploit children sexually. One cannot
reasonably expect a child who obediently bends over for a smacking
on Monday to be able to say "no" to a molester on Tuesday.
- In the overwhelming majority of cases, the perpetrators and
victims of spousal battery were routinely exposed to corporal
punishment when they were children - receiving it, witnessing it or
both. The seeds of domestic violence are planted early in the
growing season by corporal punishers.
- Corporal punishment can cause serious physical damage.
Hitting a child's buttocks can cause injuries to the muscles, the
sciatic nerve, pelvis, genitals or spinal column. Hitting a
child's hands can injure delicate bones, joints and ligaments resulting in
reduced dexterity or permanent impairment. Shaking a child can cause
whiplash injury, brain damage, blindness or death.
- Medical science has long recognized a direct link between
violent punishment in early childhood, particularly battering to
the buttocks, and the subsequent development of deviant sexual
- Any line of work, including teaching and parenting, that permits persons in
authority to inflict pain on others, will attract some people who
are mentally disturbed and who enjoy inflicting pain. Such people will
do it at every opportunity and will even create opportunities to do it
because they are addicted to the feelings they experience when they are
- The very existence of corporal punishment as an option tends
to legitimate a wide variety of acts which are as degrading and
humiliating to children as being struck. In circumstances where
children's physical integrity is violated, it is illogical to expect that their
psychological integrity will fare any better.
- Children of poverty are corporally punished far more
frequently than children of the middle or affluent classes. Such unequal
treatment further handicaps and discourages the very children who
most need to be encouraged. It helps plant the illusion in the
minds of all children that certain people are inferior, that they
deserve to be beaten and when they drop out of school, it's their own
fault. Corporal punishment is a powerful reinforcer of bigotry,
class discrimination and collective hatred.
- Corporal punishment is a degrading and humiliating
treatment. Some children, upon seeing an adult in authority behave this way toward a
child, interpret it as a license for them to do the same. For this
reason, the use of corporal punishment promotes
bullying, cruelty and scapegoating among children.
- Schools are role models for their communities. They should
set the highest possible standard. When teacher violence is condoned,
abusive parents and other abusive adults feel exonerated. Corporal
punishment in the schools promotes child abuse in the general community.
Spanish: Veinte razones suficientes para abandonar una práctica nociva