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Corporal Punishment in Schools Essay Example for Free
There is some debate about the appropriate timing for punishment of children in general. Some think that it should follow as soon after the wrongdoing as possible in order to make explicit the connection between the offense and the punishment. In the case of very young children I am inclined to agree. They, like the animals on whom "punishment" studies are done, are unable to draw the connection between a wrong done at one time and a punishment inflicted much later. However, I believe that children at school already have the capacity to understand that a punishment inflicted now can be for a wrong committed at some significantly earlier time.
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There are two additional reasons to favor (somewhat) delayed punishment. First, it allows time for due process. It would be completely inappropriate to rush into punishment without the necessary inquiries. However, the second reason provides important grounds for delaying corporal punishment. This is the idea that it would be wrong to beat a child in anger. Some think that this is precisely the only time when one should hit a child -- to eliminate the aura of a cold-blooded assault,30 or to show the child that the beating was a natural reaction to the wrongdoing. Quite to the contrary, I think that we need to avoid spur-of-the-moment beatings of passion. They are and appear to be more of a loss of temper and control than a punishment. Similarly, the punishment must not be and look like a reflex reaction to wrongdoing. Not only would beatings in anger remove the possibility of due process, but they would also teach the wrong lessons about what just punishment ought to be -- cool and methodical, not passionate. Children are likely to be punished more often and more severely if it is done in anger. The parent or teacher should allow some time to elapse before inflicting corporal punishment. With tempers cooled and the perspective of some temporal distance from the event, the punishing adult is in a better situation to conduct a fair inquiry and determine an appropriate punishment. The child also has the opportunity to reflect on the wrongdoing prior to the punishment. Children, like adults, are often more susceptible to repentant feelings during the period between doing wrong and being punished than in the time following punishment.