Arguments Against Corporal Punishmenthttp://www.stophitting.com/disatschool/facts.phpIngraham v Wright
1. It perpetuates a cycle of child abuse. It teaches children to hit someone smaller and weaker when angry.
2. Injuries occur. Bruises are common. Broken bones are not unusual. Children's deaths have occurred in the U.S. due to school corporal punishment.
3. Corporal punishment is used much more often on poor children, minorities, children with disabilities, and boys.
4. Schools are the only institutions in America in which striking another person is legally sanctioned. It is not allowed in prisons, in the military or in mental hospitals.
5. Educators and school boards are sometimes sued when corporal punishment is used in their schools.
6. Schools that use corporal punishment often have poorer academic achievement, more vandalism, truancy, pupil violence and higher drop out rates.
7. Corporal punishment is often not used as a last resort. It is often the first resort for minor misbehaviors.
8. Many alternatives to corporal punishment have proven their worth. Alternatives teach children to be self-disciplined rather than cooperative only because of fear.
Alternatives to corporal punishment include emphasizing positive behaviors of students, realistic rules consistently enforced, instruction that reaches all students, conferences with students for planning acceptable behavior, parent/teacher conferences about student behavior, use of staff such as school psychologists and counselors, detentions, in-school suspension and Saturday school.
MR. JUSTICE WHITE, with whom MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN, MR. JUSTICE MARSHALL, and MR. JUSTICE STEVENS join, dissenting.
Today the Court holds that corporal punishment in public schools, no matter how severe, can never be the subject of the protections afforded by the Eighth Amendment. It also holds that students in the public school systems are not constitutionally entitled to a hearing of any sort before beatings can be inflicted on them. Because I believe that these holdings are inconsistent with the prior decisions of this Court and are contrary to a reasoned analysis of the constitutional provisions involved, I respectfully dissent. ...
The Eighth Amendment places a flat prohibition against the infliction of "cruel and unusual punishments." This reflects a societal judgment that there are some punishments that are so barbaric and inhumane that we will not permit them to be imposed on anyone, no matter how opprobrious the offense. See Robinson v. California, 370 U. S. 660, 676 ( 1962) (Douglas, J., concurring). If there are some punishments that are so barbaric that they may not be imposed for the commission of crimes, designated by our social system as the most thoroughly reprehensible acts an individual can commit, then, a fortiori ,similar punishments may not be imposed on persons for less culpable acts, such as breaches of school discipline. Thus, if it is constitutionally impermissible to cut off someone's ear for the commission of murder, it must be unconstitutional to cut off a child's ear for being late to class. 1 Although there were no ears cut off in this case, the record reveals beatings so severe that if they were inflicted on a hardened criminal for the commission of a serious crime, they might not pass constitutional muster.
Nevertheless, the majority holds that the Eighth Amendment "was designed to protect [only] those convicted of crimes," ante, at 664, relying on a vague and inconclusive recitation of the history of the Amendment. Yet the constitutional prohibition is against cruel and unusual punishments; nowhere is that prohibition limited or modified by the language of the Constitution. Certainly, the fact that the Framers did not choose to insert the word "criminal" into the language of the Eighth Amendment is strong evidence that the Amendment was designed to prohibit all inhumane or barbaric punishments, no matter what the nature of the offense for which the punishment is imposed.
No one can deny that spanking of schoolchildren is "punishment" under any reasonable reading of the word, for the similarities between spanking in public schools and other forms of punishment are too obvious to ignore. Like other forms of punishment, spanking of schoolchildren involves an institutionalized response to the violation of some official rule or regulation proscribing certain conduct and is imposed for the purpose of rehabilitating the offender, deterring the offender and others like him from committing the violation in the future, and inflicting some measure of social retribution for the harm that has been done....
Follow this link for more of the dissenting opinion on the constitutionality of corporal punishment in schools. [/quote][/b]
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