Corporal Punishment 3 - The Rules

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Today, a growing body of research shows that spanking can lead to aggression and mental illness later in life; one study showed that "harsh punishment" -- defined as being struck with objects like a belt, paddle or hairbrush at least 12 times a year for a period of three years -- produced less gray matter in the brains of children.

In an apparently staged performance whose date is unknown, a teacher "strikes" a child over her knee while the rest of the class grimaces.

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In-school corporal punishment is allowed in 22 states, according to the US Department of Education, with the vast majority occurring in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee. Spanking was a common theme in pop culture. Catholic schools were known for their knuckle-rapping nuns, administering corporal punishment to any and all educational slackers. Today, most teachers in Catholic schools are not nuns or priests, and most have put the paddle away.

Children were not the only victims of corporal punishment. Wives were often whipped by their husbands; the "right" to do so dates all the way to BC in the Code of Hammurabi.

Customary IHL - Rule Corporal Punishment

In the Western comedy "McLintock! Over-the-knee spanking is still practiced as a form of wife discipline as part of Christian Domestic Discipline , described as a Christian patriarchy movement. Story highlights "Explaining why a behavior is wrong is the most common form of discipline used across countries," one expert says Here's where spanking and other forms of corporal punishment in the home are illegal. But in recent years, many have debated whether to practice physical discipline, such as spanking or smacking, in their own homes. To spank or not to spank has become a highly contentious issue.

Many experts have advised against using physical discipline to teach kids lessons. Others argue that the uproar surrounding spanking has been overblown. Some parents have decided not to spank and view it as harmful to their child's development , whereas others see no harm in physical discipline and believe it teaches respect. Though there is no clear definition of "spanking" in the scientific literature, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the act as "to strike especially on the buttocks with the open hand.

In some countries, such discipline could land a parent in jail. Around the world, close to million children aged 2 to 4 receive some type of physical discipline from their parents or caregivers on a regular basis, according to a UNICEF report published in November. That discipline includes spanking, shaking or hitting the hands or other body parts with an instrument, said Claudia Cappa, a statistics and monitoring specialist at UNICEF and an author of the report.

Overall, simply "explaining why a behavior is wrong is the most common form of discipline used across countries," Cappa said. Here's a look at how children are disciplined around the world, including where spanking is legally allowed and where it isn't. Globally, about 1. In the United States , corporal punishment is still lawful in the home in all states, and legal provisions against violence and abuse are not interpreted as prohibiting all corporal punishment, like spanking, according to the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children.

In Sweden, a generation of kids who've never been spanked. In , Sweden became the first country to ban the physical punishment of children by law. The cultural, regional and generational roots of spanking. There has been a recent move to discourage parents worldwide from spanking or physically punishing their children, led by UNICEF, the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children and other organizations calling for more laws. In other words, "there are more than million children under the age of 5 " in countries where there are no such laws, Cappa said.

A study of six European countries found that the odds of having parents who reported using occasional to frequent corporal punishment were 1. At the time of the study, all but two of those countries -- Turkey and Lithuania -- had legal bans on corporal punishment in the home. More Videos Spanking may lead to aggressive behavior Yet not all experts agree that laws should dictate how parents decide to punish their children.

Ashley Frawley, senior lecturer in sociology and social policy at Swansea University in the United Kingdom, said that such laws disproportionally impact marginalized groups -- such as the working poor or certain ethnic minorities -- regardless of whether incidences of physical punishment actually warrant such surveillance or not. In Canada where I'm from it was called the ' Sixties Scoop ' where large numbers of indigenous children were taken from their homes in the [incorrect] belief that indigenous women were not good parents," said Frawley, who identifies as Ojibwa.

Such a defence allows a parent or person acting in loco parentis i. In the sections that follow, information is presented about the current laws on the use of corporal punishment. Table 1 documents details of current law by state and territory on the use of punishment by parents. Table 2 and Table 3 provide details of current law by state and territory regarding the use of corporal punishment in early education and child care centres and primary and secondary schools, respectively.

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Table 4 outlines details of current law by state and territory on the use of corporal punishment in alternative care settings, including out-of-home residential care and foster care. New South Wales is the only state to have made legislative amendments concerning corporal punishment by parents.

Learn from Mistakes—Including Your Own

This amendment to the Crimes Act NSW did not entirely remove parental capacity for corporal punishment nor explicitly ban the use of physical force towards children, but it did introduce strict guidelines on what is acceptable. Criminal Code Act s There is no legislation that explicitly provides for the use of corporal punishment by parents in South Australia. There is a section in the Criminal Law Consolidation Act SA that provides for contact between persons that would generally be regarded as accepted within the community.

Physical punishment by a parent towards a child remains lawful under the Criminal Code Act Tas. It is lawful for a parent or a person in the place of a parent to use, by way of correction, any force towards a child in his or her care that is reasonable in the circumstances. There is no legislation concerning corporal punishment by parents in Victoria, however, there is a common law defence for parental use of corporal punishment.

Victorian common law allows parents to administer corporal punishment to children in their charge provided the punishment is neither unreasonable nor excessive. Under the Criminal Code Act WA it remains lawful for parents to physically discipline their children.

It is lawful for a parent or a person in the place of a parent to use, by way of correction, toward a child or pupil under his care, such force as is reasonable under the circumstances. However, not all jurisdictions have specifically included corporal punishment as an offence under individual state and territory education and care services legislation. Variations to the applied law by jurisdiction are described in Table 2 below. The Child and Young People Act also states that a person responsible for a child care service commits an offence if they use unreasonable discipline in the form of physical punishment or any behaviour management strategy likely to cause physical harm to a child, which includes but is not limited to smacking.

New South Wales has adopted the National Law Act prohibiting the use of corporal punishment by providers, nominated supervisors, staff members, volunteers and family day care providers of an approved education and care service see Part 6, section This law applies to non-approved child care services. However, the Northern Territory has adopted the National Law Act prohibiting the use of corporal punishment by providers, nominated supervisors, staff members, volunteers and family day care providers of an approved education and care service.

South Australia has adopted the National Law Act prohibiting the use of corporal punishment by providers, nominated supervisors, staff members, volunteers and family day care providers of an approved education and care service see Part 6, section Behaviour management techniques used should not include physical, verbal or emotional punishment, including, for example, punishment that humiliates, frightens or threatens the child. Criminal Code Act s Education Act Tas.

In initiating the National Law Act, the Victorian Act prohibits the use of corporal punishment by providers, nominated supervisors, staff members, volunteers and family day care providers of an approved education and care service see Part 6, section WA has adopted the National Law Act prohibiting the use of corporal punishment by providers, nominated supervisors, staff members, volunteers and family day care providers of an approved education and care service see Part 6, section The Child Care Services Child Care Regulation s 85 also refers to the prohibited use of corporal punishment in child care settings.

New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria are the only states that have explicitly prohibited the use of corporal punishment in all schools. While the ACT has not explicitly banned corporal punishment in non-government schools, the current interpretation of the law is that the ban applies to all school contexts.

Therefore, the consequence of using corporal punishment in the school setting is dependent on whether a child attends a government or non-government school. The Act does not explicitly state that it relates to both government and non-government schools; however, the interpretation is that it applies to both. An amendment to the Act the Education Discipline Act , which came into effect in extended the ban on corporal punishment to non-government schools. The Children Education and Care Services National Law NSW No a states that it is an offence for an approved provider of an education and care service to subject a child being educated and cared for by a service to use any form of corporal punishment or any unreasonable discipline in the circumstances.


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In the Education and Care Services National Uniform Legislation Act not all education settings are prohibited from using corporal punishment. In , the Northern Territory amended the Education Act requiring that the use of corporal punishment be banned in non-government schools as part of the school registration requirements. There is currently no provision banning or permitting the use of corporal punishment in government schools. The Criminal Code Act NT still makes it lawful for teachers to use corporal punishment unless parents expressly withhold their consent to such forms of correction.

Queensland prohibited the use of corporal punishment in state schools in by repealing provisions that allowed for it in the Education General Provisions Act Qld.

Rule 91. Corporal Punishment

South Australia repealed provisions that allowed for corporal punishment in schools in in the Education Amendment Act SA. Education Amendment Act Tas. Corporal punishment was banned in both government and non-government schools in under the Education Amendment Act Tas.

The amendment specified that the principals of both state and registered schools are responsible for ensuring that students under their care are not subjected to corporal punishment. Corporal punishment was banned in government schools in It was banned in non-government schools in following the enactment of the Education and Training Reform Act Vic.

The School Education Regulations state that a student at a government school is not to be disciplined by way of corporal punishment. Regulations banning corporal punishment do not extend to non-government schools. In residential care settings including residential centres and foster care, corporal punishment is prohibited in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.

Internationally, 52 countries have prohibited corporal punishment in all settings. The use of corporal punishment in schools has been prohibited in countries. Only 57 countries have fully prohibited corporal punishment in alternative care settings including day care.

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