Rosemary Oshiomah Ogedengbe, PhD.
It is indisputable that the school as the formal institution for the training of children should not compromise discipline.
Nevertheless, contemporary child psychology frowns at corporal punishment, especially severe corporal punishment such as flogging. This disapproval of corporal punishment is founded on the rationale that corporal punishment is an attack on the body whereas misbehaviour stems from the mind and not from the body. Hence, it is the mind that therefore needs to be trained. Corporal punishment makes the school environment to become threatening to children and this can make children to develop avoidance towards the school. Moreover, children detest teachers who deal out corporal punishment on them and this can affect classroom learning.
Inflicting pain on the child especially in the morning can demoralize the child for the entire day, hence, he may not benefit adequately from the day’s learning activities.
Corporal punishment makes children to become tough, hardened, fearless, violent and ready to unleash pain on others.
Some children have health conditions that can be triggered off if physical pain is inflicted on them. Some care givers have ended up in jail for inflicting injury on children in the course of executing corporal punishment on them.
Modern child psychologists and counselors therefore uphold counseling as the most reliable and effective instrument for bringing about positive change in behaviour. This is so because, counseling involves identifying the cause(s) of misbehaviour and dealing with such cause(s) as well as the effects of such cause(s) on the child’s mind, because, human behaviour whether good or bad is a response to some stimuli which could be physical, social or psychological. Where it is found that a child has deliberately misbehaved, healthy punishments such as with holding of rewards combined with counselling are advisable rather than corporal punishment.
Please do not be misled by parents who request that you flog their children, because such parents have already failed in their homes and ignorantly wish that the school’s cane could do the magic. A child who is well brought up at home does not require a cane to behave well at school.
Corporal punishment dehumanizes man and reduces him to an animal. Which would you rather give back to the society? humans or animals?