Corporal punishment is not allowed in British classrooms (unlike in the U.S. where some schools still allow teachers to paddle children).
In a recent study, nearly half of British parents thought teachers ought to be allowed to cane or switch children who get too out of line. Seriously, nearly half. Forty-nine percent, to be exact. Perhaps unsurprisingly, only nineteen percent of students thought corporal punishment was a good idea.
It’s not an idea teachers support. Teachers unions want more support for teachers in classrooms, and clearer guidance about discipline, but they don’t want to hit kids.
I don’t know what British schools are like, but it’s hard to imagine a classroom situation that could be improved by empowering the teacher to hit the students.
While some government officials are pushing for a relaxation of rules prohibiting corporal punishment, the teacher’s unions are pushing back. The BBC reports:
But the National Union of Teachers said parents may have got the “erroneous impression” from government statements that the classroom was a place of “rowdy and disrespectful behaviour”.
It said teachers needed consistent support from management, along with appropriate sanctions and rewards, “not the right to hit children”.
It seems obvious that what kids need in the classroom is support and guidance, not the fear of violence. I find it disturbing that any adult, let alone half of British parents, would advocate for an educational system that institutionalized violence against children as a discipline tool.
What do you think?