Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Does Prohibiting Corporal Punishment Prevent Abuse?

Where there's a will, there's a way. -- Proverb
In the public schools, people seem to be rabid partisans on the issue of corporal punishment: the Pro’s salivate contemplating the wonders they imagine spanking will wreak; the Con’s worry, worry, worry that any physical contact initiates a very short walk to the torture chamber.

The Pro’s seem to see punishment, of all sorts, to offer a convincing argument for conformity. The Con’s are indisposed to entertain the possibility that non-physical punishment may easily reach the level of torture, even though every grade school bully knows this in his (her?) bones.

And cyberbullying opens a new dimension in which the infliction of anguish has little to do with physical contact. So long as adults delude themselves that merely forbidding a mode of infliction will suffice, cruelty will out.

To pursue related considerations, see School Violence, Punishment, and Justice 

-- EGR