School corporal punishment covers official punishments of schools students for misbehaviour that involve striking the student in a generally systematical way. The punishment is usually administered either across the buttocks or on their hands, with an implement such as cane, paddle, leather strap or a wooden yardstick. Less commonly, it includes the spanking of smacking the student in a deliberate manner on a specific part of the body with the open hand, especially at the elementary school level.
Advocates of school corporal punishment argue that it provides an immediate response to indiscipline and that the student attends the classroom learning. Hence it is better than being suspended from school.
Opponents opine that corporal punishment cannot be regarded as more effective than other disciplinary methods. Some research has shown that instead of decreasing, it increases the student’s misbehaviour in most cases. These studies have linked corporal punishment to adverse physical, Psychological and educational outcomings including increased aggressive and destructive behaviour, increased disruptive classroom behaviour, vandalism and school-phobia, low self-esteem, anxiety, somatic complaints, depression, suicide, and retaliation against the teacher. Hence some regard as tantamount to sheer violence and abuse.
In some countries, the use of corporal punishment by schools has historically been covered by the common law doctrine whereby a school has the same rights over minors as their parents. However, in most places, where it is allowed, corporal punishment in public schools is governed by official regulations laid down by governments or local education authorities, defining such things as the implement to be used, the maximum number of strokes to be administered, which member of the staff may carry it out, and whether parents must be informed or Consulted. Depending on how narrowly the regulations are drawn and how rigorously enforced, this has the effect of making the punishment a structured ceremony that is legally defensible in a given jurisdiction and of inhibiting staff from lashing out on the spur of the moment.
The situations in some prominent countries in the world are as follows: The first country in the world to prohibit Corporal punishment was Poland in 1783. In most of continental Europe, school corporal punishment has been banned for several decades. From the 1917 Revolution onwards, corporal punishment was outlawed in Russia and the Soviet Union, because it was deemed contrary to Soviet ideology. In the United States, individual states have the power to ban corporal punishment in their schools. Currently, it is banned in public schools in 31 US States. In China, all corporal punishment has been theoretically banned since the Communist revolution in 1949. In practice, however, students are caned or paddled in some schools.
In Japan, although legally banned in 1947, corporal punishment is still commonly found in schools, especially in school sports clubs. In Pakistan, school corporal punishment is not very common in modern educational institutions though it is still used in rural parts of the country as a means of enforcing student discipline. In Singapore, corporal punishment is legal (for male students only) and fully encouraged by the government in order to maintain discipline.
In India, 17 out of 28 States in India claim to apply ban of corporal punishment in schools, though enforcement is lax. Tagore banned it in his Santiniketan as early as 1901!! And now the Supreme Court in India has passed directives banning school Corporal Punishment.