Supporters for corporal punishment say that it is a deterrent to misbehavior and delinquency, is needed to maintain discipline, and is not a form of child abuse.
The position against corporal punishment says that it is of limited effectiveness, has potentially serious side effects, is a form of child abuse, and should be abolished in all schools.
One could regard some of this as analogous with canings by prefects in English schools. It seems to have been something quite different from fraternity paddling, a private unofficial activity that has more to do with hazing than punishment. Meanwhile at Texas A&M University, paddling with an ax handle has been described by one informed source as "the traditional method of discipline at the university" until as recently as the mid-1980s -- see .
In the past, some paddles had holes drilled in them, to reduce air resistance, as in this picture from a fictional film (right). This supposedly increases the effectiveness of the punishment, but is nowadays rare, and explicitly disallowed by some school district regulations, probably because of fears that it could increase the propensity for bruising.
Part of the paddled boys' testimony in the landmark 1977 Supreme Court case which upheld school corporal punishment as constitutional. (For more on this case, see "External Links" below.)
Psychologists, on the other hand, conducted research; a lot of which was biased and false, telling parents that corporal punishment was bad for their children.
The United States has outlawed corporal punishment from our prisons as cruel and inhumane treatment, as well as wife-beating, once thought to be the right of a husband....
Augustine High school in New Orleans, expresses how beneficial corporal punishment served him as a teacher: "Sometimes we sent a student to the principal's office for a paddling, and I have seen a marvelous clearing of the air with a simple whack on the butt....
After years of researching and studying the effects of corporal punishment, the most popular theories stating that it is a harmful technique, were proven wrong....
Modus operandi. Corporal punishment in US schools is almost invariably applied with a wooden paddle across the student's clothed posterior, after removing anything found in the back pockets. Paddles come in many shapes and sizes -- see . Very occasionally nowadays the implement may be of a composite plastic material, such as perspex (Plexiglass) or polycarbonate (Lexan), sometimes wrongly described as "fiberglass". For an early instance of this, see about a Texas school district adopting Plexiglass paddles for its elementary schools but wooden ones (maple) at secondary level. Oak and ash also seem to be popular woods for paddles, which are often made in a school's own shop class.
It seemed in fact to be reinforcing the very behaviors I was attempting to eliminate." Advocates of corporal punishment view it as a fast and effective procedure as opposed to a time consuming suspension.
Where and by whom. Until recent years, CP was often administered in the classroom, or in the hallway outside it. It was also an American tradition for sports coaches to do a lot of on-the-spot paddling, typically in the locker-room or even out on the field. While all those things still happen in a few places -- see from Louisiana -- it is much more common now for the punishment to be delivered privately in an office, often by the principal or assistant principal or at least in his or her presence. It is less likely nowadays to be done on the spur of the moment, and more likely to require formal bureaucratic procedures and specific documentation. This affords greater legal certainty, and guards against the danger of angry teachers resorting to random violence.
In South Africa however, although corporal punishment has been outlawed since the drawing up of the South African Schools Act in 1996, there is evidence collected in recent years that revealing that the practice is still prevalent in local schools to this day....
An unusually late convert to the cause of sexual equality was Sulphur Springs High School in Texas, where it was not until 2013 that a student survey asked, "Should girls be allowed to get swats?" The replies were positive, and female students began choosing to receive corporal discipline at the start of 2014, according to informed sources.