I must admit I was quite surprised and shocked to learn that only now are some members of the state legislature taking action to get spanking banned at Ohio schools. It should be noted that the vast majority of Ohio schools do not allow students to be punished in this way.
Ohio Schools Should Not Have the Right to Use Corporal Punishment
We have programs in place in Ohio schools and elsewhere designed to combat bullying. How, then, can we advocate school administrators behaving in much the same fashion? The idea behind corporal punishment is to inflict pain to get someone to either behave in a specific way or to get them to stop behaving in a certain way. It’s a control issue. Isn’t that what bullies are all about?
They seek to control the behavior of other people through intimidation tactics. If we decide to support the continuing practice of spanking as a form of discipline in Ohio schools, are we not giving children the message that whoever is bigger and stronger gets to do whatever they want to someone who is younger and weaker? Is that the kind of message we want to give students attending Ohio schools?
Spanking in Ohio Schools is Not the Answer
The idea of discipline should be to teach children to take responsibility for their behavior and to learn how to make better choices for the next time. This sounds like a very reasonable idea to me. We all want students who go to Ohio schools to grow up with the skills they need to make responsible choices for themselves and their lives.
My concern about the continuing practice of spanking in Ohio schools is that this practice may make frustrated school administrators feel better, but it won’t teach the student anything except how to be angry at the people meting out the punishment. I’m also not convinced that spanking students at Ohio schools is a deterrent to bad behavior.
If adults hit each other, it’s called assault and it’s a crime. The fact that the person being hit is a child doesn’t make it any less distasteful. In the last year, 450 spankings were given to students in Ohio schools. That number is 450 too many, in my opinion.
Times have changed and Ohio schools need to move forward with the times. I can’t see how continuing this practice is going to get the results that school administrators are looking for. There has to be a better way to teach young people that there are consequences for their actions; one that doesn’t include physical violence. Isn’t that what you would want if it was your child?