I believe there are strong arguments for both sides of this debate. One question we can ask ourselves is: What is considered “misbehaving”? There will be some teachers that may not have the patience to calmly ask your child to be silent and there wil be some teachers who may refrain from striking if the child refuses to remain seated. Each teacher will have a different concept of misbehavior.
If we can allow school faculty and administration the privelage of physical disciplinary action, are we also going to let them determine when to administer this discipline? How will this be monitored? Will there be more punishment for repeat offenders of misbehavior? When I was in elementary school, I recall a specific child who insisted on swinging from the coat racks in the classroom. That is an instance I believe the child should be “hit”. If we allow this child to continue behaving in such a manner he/she will possibly grow up learning that behaving in such a manner is acceptable. Others will say countless times that it’s up to the parents to do the physical punishment. Where will the line be drawn about what constitutes “misbehavior”
There is also another problem with letting teachers and administrators “hit” students for misbehaving. Will we still let them tell us that our students need medication for ADD or ADHD? How much of an influence will we let teachers be to our children? A teacher is someone a student should respect. Will the child respect the teachers if he/she hits him/her for a behavior problem they may not have control over? At a young age, the student doesn’t know that what he/she does is wrong. Allowing teachers and administrators “hit” younger students may cause them to have problems later in life.
Suppose we are talking of middle schools and say we encounter a particularly unruley little darling. The teacher gives him/her a little pop and the student decides to take matters into their own hands and pop the teacher back. Then we have a problem. For instance, we take a student attending high school. Now we encounter the debate over a “hit” or a full fledge knock-your-teeth-out punch. There are countless ways that this simple attempt at control turns into all-out battle.
Here’s an interesting position. Does anyone recall news stories about teacher-student sexual assault? I would not like to be the parent of the child who was raped and beaten by their teacher. In the teacher’s eyes, its “misbehavior”. I know that’s a stretch of the topic, but hey, it could happen.
Another interesting position: if you’re child is in the school system that allows employees to strike children, what will be done with children whose parents do not want their children physically disciplined by teachers. There are people who were around during the days of corporal punishment who will tell you it made all the difference because they were given a generous paddling and they turned out to be better than ok.
The days of corporal punishment are over and in today’s world, with so many unclear lines about child abuse I must remain in opposition of allowing teachers and principals to “hit” students if they are misbehaving in class.