Impact of Corporal Punishment on Schoolchildren

Before teachers begin educating children, they consider what kind of plan of discipline they will follow. At times this is dictated by the school, but at other times the teachers decide themselves. All discipline plans need to include the severity of the punishment expected and the amount of compassion that will be shown. Corporal punishment, which inflicts physical pain, was once used by many teachers to discipline students. However, today, the effectiveness of this type of punishment has been brought into question. Even with these questions, corporal punishment is still an option in states in the United States. There are effects that corporal punishment can have on a student.


When a child has corporal punishment administered on them, it acts as an enforcement of abuse they may receive at their home. It also shows students that violence is a method of problem-solving, if this continues with the child the child may become a delinquent student in their adolescent years.


A child, as a result of having corporal punishment, can develop negative mental and emotional statuses. These children often begin to internalize their emotions and signs of guilt. This can lead to future mental health problems such as anxiety or depression. A withdrawal academically is often times noted in these students. Often these children look at their educators as a source of love and support and when they are punished in this way, the child becomes confused.


If a child is disciplines verbally, instead of through corporal punishment, their cognitive development will be impacted in a negative way. These students generally are less like to do well in school and will continue to have discipline problems while in school. Students that are disciplined verbally do not show a tendency to develop this way.

Family relationship

Just as a child’s relationship with the teacher is affected by corporal punishment, so is their relationship with their parents. The child will begin to look at the parent with a sense of mistrust or hostility, even if the parent is not involved in the decision to inflict this punishment on the child. This can cause further damage by working its way into all relationships that this child may form as they become adults.

According to Rights Watch, “some parents who learn that their children are being struck at public school find themselves without recourse.” These parents are not able to back out of the discipline policy, plus there are not any legal ways to address the issue of their children being paddled without their permission.

In spite of the fact that many states still allow corporal punishment, a look at the way the children respond to this discipline should be addressed before it is acted upon.