Poll: Are you for or against corporal punishment in Catholic schools? If you are for it, post, if you would, about the conditions and methods you condone.
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Corporal Punishment in Catholic Schools
#1

So, what do you all think?

As an aside, for a VERY interesting study about corporal punishment in the family, see this, in case you missed it, from the FE website:  http://www.fisheaters.com/spanking.html

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#2
I think that if a teacher has to hit a student in order to maintain order that is a problem.  I am not categorically opposed to parents using corporal punishment in the home, but I would be very upset if someone else hit my child.  I also think that on the old days the class sizes were huge for younger kids which might have made it hard to discipline them effectively
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#3

Yeah, I hear you, C. I, myself, am kind of torn, though. I am fine with parents spanking a kid when need be (and that need should be consistent, not even close to abusive, done in sorrow and only when necessary, after other means of discipline have failed, etc.) -- but when it comes to schools, I'm torn.

I think it's pretty clear that our public schools are a huge mess, and the inability of teachers to effectively discipline students is a big part of that. But the idea of a teacher -- no, wait:  it's not the idea of a teacher, of someone who is not me or the father spanking the kid that's problematic in itself. I think it does "take a village" (not a government) and that we'd all be a lot better off if our society ran the way things did in the old days, when even a neighbor might discipline your kid, even giving the kid a smack for an egregious offense, and no one cried foul. But what I find scary is people's stupidity and the idea of their seeing things as punishable that I might well not see as punishable. On the one extreme, I can imagine a raging progressive (who likely wouldn't spank kids, but just arguendo here) spanking a kid because the kid believes sex outside of marriage is wrong. And on the other extreme, a toxic trad type spanking a kid for using the word "vagina" in an appropriate way. And now, with our culture sooooooooooo heterogeneous, I wouldn't trust anyone I don't know personally and deeply to spank a kid of mine. It's sad, but we're just too screwed up, I think.  If everyone were sanely Catholic, I'd likely think differently in that I don't have a problem with corporal punishment in itself and can see out schools now are WAY out of order. But as things are now --- Sigh.

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#4
As a teacher, I wouldn't want to have that responsibility.  I can control a classroom without it.
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#5
I was taught in a "thrashing school." We were strapped for running in the hallways, for talking in class. One teacher the first day of class sent the entire class the the headmaster for the strap - except for me and another kid.  Teachers pulled our hair or ears if we didn't know the answer, so hard you eyes would water. We had our faces slapped by the math teacher, who would put chalk dust on both palms of his hands and hit you simultaneously with both hands across the face in front of the class. Another teacher would pick kids up and hit their head on the top of the door opening. the Phys Ed department would hit you with a trainer if you forgot your gym clothes. If you were strapped by the headmaster you got an extra stroke if you moved or made a sound.

The culture of corporal punishment where a teacher could touch a student in anger bled over into other kinds of touching though.

It was a morally sick school.

I don't know how you can institutionalize violence and stop it from degenerating into the morally grey, and then into actual evil.

And speaking as a teacher, and I've taught programs for street kids, gang kids, and kids with chronic attendance, and chronic drug problems, I have always managed to maintain the class and their respect without violence, and without put downs or humiliating them. 

If the kids don't respect you they will never take the kind of risks necessary to become a self motivated and life-long leaner.
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#6
(03-12-2014, 11:21 AM)triumphguy Wrote: I was taught in a "thrashing school." We were strapped for running in the hallways, for talking in class. One teacher the first day of class sent the entire class the the headmaster for the strap - except for me and another kid.  Teachers pulled our hair or ears if we didn't know the answer, so hard you eyes would water. We had our faces slapped by the math teacher, who would put chalk dust on both palms of his hands and hit you simultaneously with both hands across the face in front of the class. Another teacher would pick kids up and hit their head on the top of the door opening. the Phys Ed department would hit you with a trainer if you forgot your gym clothes. If you were strapped by the headmaster you got an extra stroke if you moved or made a sound.

The culture of corporal punishment where a teacher could touch a student in anger bled over into other kinds of touching though.

It was a morally sick school.

I don't know how you can institutionalize violence and stop it from degenerating into the morally grey, and then into actual evil.

And speaking as a teacher, and I've taught programs for street kids, gang kids, and kids with chronic attendance, and chronic drug problems, I have always managed to maintain the class and their respect without violence, and without put downs or humiliating them. 

If the kids don't respect you they will never take the kind of risks necessary to become a self motivated and life-long leaner.

Wow... Horrific stuff! And to hit a child for not KNOWING something or for making a sound when getting smacked? (the NORMAL HUMAN REACTION!)  -- that is abuse, plain and simple. And it's just that sort of thing that'd make me unwilling to allow a teacher or principal to have that power over my child. Punishing kids for not knowing something or for having a normal human reaction -- almost a REFLEXIVE action -- to something -- that's just irrational (and ineffective to boot!). What is he supposed to LEARN by being hit for not knowing something or for making a sound when hit? What is the LESSON there? It's stupid -- and cruel! And on top of that, people are not that bright, are too easily corrupted, too easily tempted to use the weaker of us as emotional or physical punching bags.

Sounds to me like the thing to do is to leave all that to parents. If a teacher thinks there's a discipline problem that requires corporal punishment, leaving that punishment to the kid's parents sounds like the way to go about it without risking "institutionalizing violence," as you put it, and allowing for a place that too easily allows a teacher or principal to vent his frustrations physically on some poor kid.

What do you mean by having said, "The culture of corporal punishment where a teacher could touch a student in anger bled over into other kinds of touching though."?  Are you referring to sexual abuse? I so pray not...

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#7
Sexual abuse, yes.

One of the teachers was in court yesterday for his pleading.

And it was a good school in many ways too. The head master (principal) was a priest who had degrees from Cambridge and Rome, who was later made a Monsignor. we always had two or three priests on the faculty including from Opus Dei. Many of the teachers also had degrees from Oxford.  We had a chapel with a proper pipe organ, and mass was said every morning before school. We had assembly EVERY day with 2 sung hymns. The school was built in one of the poorest parts of the city of my birth, a huge "council housing" estate - the biggest in Europe, and was meant to help Catholic kids get to good universities, and get into Medicine and Law etc.  And it did that.

But the principal was an alcoholic - and when sober a charismatic, wonderful priest, a natural leader of men.

And, I found out, or figured out, later there was a "gay mafia" in the school, and I believe some acted in collusion to target particular students for abuse.

And the level of bullying in the school was sickening.

I got 12 O Levels and 4 A levels at that school - which for the time was spectacularly impressive. and I got into the best Law School (at the time) in the UK .  But my time at school had significant and long-lasting effects on me as a person.

We looked like angels:

[Image: stag65.jpg]
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#8


Hey! You're an attorney -- er, a "barrister"? -- too, eh? (My Pops was an attorney :)

Which one is you in that picture?

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#9
(03-12-2014, 12:39 PM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: Hey! You're an attorney -- er, a "barrister"? -- too, eh? (My Pops was an attorney :)

Which one is you in that picture?

So is your real name Scout?  :grin: I was going to be a barrister, but joined the OFMs instead.

I deliberately picked a picture I wasn't in - this class was a couple of years ahead of me. There's a court case etc.

Sorry - I didn't mean this to be about me. Yesterday was a bit of a rough day. I went to confession and actually wept - I haven't cried for years.

I''d much rather not talk about myself - but just giving strangers carte blanche to hit children just sticks in my throat, and I thought I would share why.

Moral of the story - in a school started by a priest, for poor but bright catholic boys, with daily mass, strict discipline, and a fantastic academic record there was physical and sexual abuse, and I believe the acceptance of corporal punishment allowed the staff to get away with stuff that was both illegal and immoral and damaging.


PS. Just to be absolutely clear I don;t believe ANY priest was involved in anything sexual with a student. Some of them were fearsome strappers though!
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#10
Here the schools still use corporal punishment. I was surprised to learn that, since in California where I grew up, corporal punishment in public schools was made illegal shortly before I was born. For most things (talking in class, chewing gum, running in the halls) I think that there is probably a more effective way to enforce rules or teach students right from wrong. But for serious things, like lying, cheating, stealing, corrupting other students, or deliberate acts of malice, I wouldn't have a problem with corporal punishment as long as the parents agreed and the offences meriting corporal punishment were made perfectly clear to the students at the beginning of the year. Here, the parents sign a form if they object to corporal punishment, presumably so that everybody is on the same page and there's no outrage later. It seems to work well.  :shrug:
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