Corporal Punishment: The Spread of Violence in Society

As a society, we so often rely on interpersonal relationships in order to be the best we can. Granted, there are different relationships between different people and those also change depending on context. When these interpersonal relationships pan out the way we expect them to we are able to achieve our goals and for life to progress in a positive, happy way.

What happens, though, when the relationships we rely on most in our day-to-day lives – the relationships where we should feel the safest go sour?

Catching up on the news and was listening to the radio this morning, I came across a video on YouTuber (click here to see the video for yourself) where a 16-year-old was assaulted by her teacher while on a bus and very little (if anything) was done to stop the assault. Worse yet, after the assault, the bus driver and the teacher proceeded to remove the student from the bus and quite literally left her on the curb and drove off.

In case you haven’t guessed, I’m vehemently against any form of corporal punishment. Simply put, one of the main reasons for this is that I’m wholeheartedly against violence and I do not wish to even remotely what to be perceived as condoning such a barbaric, hateful practice.

Some people might argue that corporal punishment is a ‘just’ method of instilling discipline. What I think they often forget, though, is just how impressionable a child’s mind is. At the same time, I think it would be safe to say that parents are their child’s first real role models from which they will learn right from wrong and how best to function in the complex organism that is Human Society.

I don’t think I’d be wrong in suggesting that there are people that approve of corporal punishment but condemn violence. No matter whether you are for or against corporal punishment, you have to admit that it is fundamentally-rooted in a violent act. Given that we’ve already established that children often look up to their parents as role models, what kind of lesson is corporal punishment? Violence is OK so long as it’s directed at something that you deem to break the rules? While, yes, corporal punishment might lead to better discipline in the short-term, it would help to perpetuate a culture that is pro-violence.

While any assault should make you sick to your stomach, I think what adds an entirely new dimension to it was the fact that a teacher (a type of person often seen as a role model) is the assaulting party further reinforces an already-existing culture favouring violence as a disciplinary mechanism.

Considering, in an ideal world, one should feel safe and able to open up to people such as policemen or teachers, by perpetuating violence through caning and other forms of corporal punishment, there is a higher likelihood that individuals would avoid figures such as the police, psychiatrists, or doctors – which could result in dire consequences. Not only, then, does corporal punishment further embed violence into the society but it also might lead to mistrust of important societal figures such as the police.

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