March 22, 2023

The Editor speaks: Corporal punishment

We have two extreme views on corporal punishment for children.

  1. Absolutely zero.
  2. Absolutely yes.

The extreme YES is the case that was heard in the Cayman Islands Grand Court where a mother was found guilty Mon (26) of beating her son so bad with a belt and a broom she not only broke the broom but her son’s arm as well!

Absolute zero corporate punishment also has its dangers of allowing a child to get away with anything he or she wants.


Corporal punishment is a good tool for disciplining unruly children Walter Williams. “Making a Case for Corporal Punishment”. Bnet. Sept 13, 1999: “Regardless of what the experts preached, the undeniable fact is the ‘uncivilized’ practice of whipping children produced more civilized young people. Youngsters didn’t direct foul language to, or use it in the presence of, teachers and other adults. In that ‘uncivilized’ era, assaulting a teacher or adult never would have crossed our minds. Today, foul language and assaults against teachers are routine in many schools. For some kinds of criminal behavior, I think we’d benefit from having punishment along the lines of Singapore’s caning as a part of our judicial system.”

Corporal punishment can ethically help save a child’s future Walter Williams. “Making a Case for Corporal Punishment”. Bnet. Sept 13, 1999: “Let’s think about cruelty. Today, it’s not uncommon for young criminals to be arrested, counseled and released to the custody of a parent 20 or 30 times before they spend one night in jail. Such a person is a very good candidate for later serving a long prison sentence or, worse, facing the death penalty. If you interviewed such a person and asked: “Thinking back to when you started your life of crime, would you have preferred a punishment, such as caning, that might have set you straight or be where you are today?” I’d bet my retirement money that he’d say he wished someone had caned some sense into him. That being the case, which is more cruel: caning or allowing such a person to become a criminal?”

Corporal punishment can make a valuable example of a student Oscar Goodman: “I also believe in a little bit of corporal punishment going back to the days of yore, where examples have to be shown.”

General statements in support of corporal punishment Mark Benedict, Christian Family Foundations: “I also believe the scriptural reference to the ‘rod’ best corresponds to a switch or perhaps a flexible paddle.”

Corporal punishment is justifiable as a last resort Ken Gallinger. “Ethically Speaking”. Toronto Star: “Spanking is an act of violence, so ethically, it could be justified only if there was absolutely no other way to improve the way kids act.”[

Corporal punishment does not represent teacher failures David Benatar. “Corporal Punishment Social Theory and Practice”. Social Theory and Practice. Summer 1998: “there is a big difference between […] a failure in the pupil, and a failure in the teacher. In either case it is true, in some sense, that the teacher failed to discourage the child from doing wrong–failed to prevent failure in the child. However, it is not a failure for which the teacher necessarily is responsible. I am well aware that the responsibility for children’s wrongdoing is all too often placed exclusively at the door of children themselves, without due attention to the influences to which they are subjected. However, there is a danger that in rejecting this incorrect evaluation, teachers (and parents) will be blamed for all shortcomings in children.”

Corporal punishment helps protect teachers and adults Walter Williams. “Making a Case for Corporal Punishment”. Bnet. Sept 13, 1999: “During my youth, I might have been doing something mischievous, such as throwing stones. An adult would come over to me and ask, ‘Does your mother know you’re out here throwing stones?’ I’d reply, ‘No sir or no ma’am,’ and hope that the matter ended there. […] Today, it’s quite different. An adult correcting a youngster risks being cursed and possibly assaulted. That’s a sad commentary. Adults are justifiably afraid of children. Do we Americans as parents, teachers, principals and others in positions of authority have the guts and willpower to control our youngsters?”

Generations of people have been subjected to corporal punishment. People have been subjected to corporal punishment for years and have turned out just fine. Individuals of all types in society continually give testimony to their own happy and disciplined lives, following corporal punishment as children, and there is no reason to doubt the validity of these claims. Indeed, if someone was spanked as a child and turned out more disciplined, successful, and happy as a result – even if only according to their own interpretations – who is to say that their judgment to deal with their kids in similar ways is invalid. How can the government restrict their right to exercise this judgment and what they see as within the interests of their children.

Quotations from the Bible that promote corporal punishment.

Proverbs 23:14. The authorship is traditionally attributed to King Solomon: “Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”

“He who spareth his rod hateth his son, but he who loveth him is chasteneth him betimes.” (King Solomon, in the Book of Proverbs [13:24].

“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15)

“Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod. And deliver his soul from hell.” (Proverbs 23:13)


It is dubious that corporal punishment helps discipline children. Even the power of physical punishment to teach a child the difference between right and wrong is dubious; a young child may learn that the adult is displeased, but not why. Spanking will cause a state of extreme distress and confusion which makes it less likely they will analyse their behaviour with clarity. In older children disciplined at school, a physical punishment is likely to provoke resentment and further misbehaviour.

Corporal punishment can lower a child’s IQ “Child Corporal Punishment: Spanking. The anti-spanking position”. Religious tolerance: “Spanking lowers a child’s IQ: A study at the University of New Hampshire, released in 1998-JUL, found that spanking children apparently slows down their intellectual development. 3 A study of 960 children found an average 4 point reduction in IQ among students, from and average IQ of 102 (above average) for children who are not spanked, to an average IQ 98 (below average) for who are. A reduction of 4 points is enough to have a significant negative functional effect on the students. More information.”

Corporal punishment hampers children’s creativity Ms. Dawn Walker, executive director of the Canadian Institute of Child Health commented: “We know that children who are under the threat of violence or aggression develop a fight-or-flight response system that has an impact on creativity and imagination, both of which could influence their IQ…Children need discipline but not hitting.”

Corporal punishment creates anti-social behavior. Andrew Grogan-Kaylor, University of Michigan. “Even minimal amounts of spanking can lead to an increased likelihood in antisocial behavior by children.”

Corporal punishment fosters violence in society.

General statements against corporal punishment Psychologist H. Stephen Glenn said “Corporal punishment is the least effective method [of discipline]. Punishment reinforces a failure identity. It reinforces rebellion, resistance, revenge and resentment. And, what people who spank children will learn is that it teaches more about you than it does about them that the whole goal is to crush the child. It’s not dignified, and it’s not respectful.”

Violence of corporal punishment is never justified as “last resort” Laurie A. Couture. “10 pro-corporal punishment arguments & 10 commonsense answers”. 2003: “Argument #4: ‘I only use corporal punishment as a last resort.’ Answer: This reasoning teaches children that it is acceptable to use violence as a last resort to getting their way or to solving a difficult problem. This teaches that violence is the end result to frustrating situations that seem to have no other solution. Wars are fought on this principle. This argument is no more acceptable than an angry spouse saying that they “only” hit their mate “as a last resort” to a problem.”

Better ways exist; corporal punishment is lazy way There are always ways to discipline children that do not involve violence, and which are inherently superior than resorting to violence. Resorting to violence is the lazy way out for parent or teachers.

Corporal punishment represents failure to engage students The Christian Science Monitor, 1989-MAR-21: “The fundamental need of American education is to find ways of engaging today’s children in the thrill of learning. Fear of pain has no place in that process.”

Corporal punishment reflects breakdown of communication American Medical Association, (1985): “Infliction of pain or discomfort, however minor, is not a desirable method of communicating with children.”

Corporal punishment distracts from teaching and training. Bill Gothard: “We don’t focus on corporal punishment. We focus on teaching and training.”

People “doing fine” after corporal punishment were harmed Laurie A. Couture. “Argument #1: “It didn’t do ME any harm!”. Child “Answer: Often people who declare this typical argument do so very defensively. They may feel they must defend the actions of their caretakers. To do otherwise is to admit that as children, they never deserved to have pain inflicted upon them. They must also admit to the feelings of fear, anger and mistrust that may have resulted from being hit by loved ones who were supposed to keep them safe from harm. Often, people who use this argument use or have used corporal punishment on their own children, thus defending their actions to minimize guilt. However, their actions reveal that corporal punishment DID do them harm: It perpetuated the cycle of violence that they now endorse or inflict upon children.”

Scripture can be cited to enforce or debunk corporal punishment. “The Devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.” [Shakespeare] The Bible frequently condones practices that are outrageous to the modern sensibility. It sometimes promotes what would appear to be retribution or wanton acts of violence, while at other times it promotes a more Jesus-like philosophy of complete non-violence and compassion. So, while there are passage in the Bible that give support to corporal punishment, there are also ones that clearly condemn it. For this reason, little value should be assigned to individual passages in the Bible as they relate to corporal punishment.

SOURCE: Excerpts from

My own personal experience as a child. My mother was the disciplinarian. My father was the peacemaker.

My mother banged my head down so hard on the plate of food I refused to eat she broke the plate and cut my forehead so badly it bled for hours and had to be bandaged up for over a week. I was four years old at the time. I was not allowed out to play so the neighbors would not see.

I can still remember it as if it was yesterday.

Did it make me eat my food? Not that food. It was found out soon afterwards I am allergic to certain vegetables making me wretch and vomit. The allergy still exists today.

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