Spare the rod and spoil the child : should the abolition of corporal punishment be reversed?
Teh, Mui Kim 2010, Spare the rod and spoil the child : should the abolition of corporal punishment be reversed?, in ANZELA 2010 : Proceedings of the 19th Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association Conference 2010, ANZELA, Sydney, N.S.W., pp. 49-60.
The classic English case of Williams v Eady (1893) had, for over a century, supported a teacher acting in loco parentis when inflicting punishment on a child, so long as the punishment was reasonable and given in good faith. But in response to the European Convention on Human Rights, which calls for all to respect a child’s right not to be “subject to torture or to inhumane or degrading treatment” (Article 3), many countries have banned the practice of using corporal punishment in schools. This might even include the use of reasonable force to prevent a student from injuring others or causing damage to property if it is seen as a form of discipline or punishment. Schools, therefore, have a difficult task of striking a balance between providing a safe environment for the whole school community and a child’s individual rights. This paper gives an overview of the trends in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, England, Canada and Singapore concerning corporal punishment, and then discusses the implications for employing or banning corporal punishment as a disciplinary strategy. The discussion takes on a brief jurisprudential analysis of this issue: that is, whether, corporal punishment, if carried out reasonably, is seen as a proper form of discipline, ensuring a safe and disciplined environment in which the school community, as a whole, might operate. Is the teaching profession over regulated in the area of physical discipline? If so, would the continuation or reintroduction of corporal punishment make sense, or would it make education an even riskier business?
Field of Research
180199 Law not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970118 Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies
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