The Korea Herald


Readers' Voice

By John.Power

Published : June 22, 2011 - 19:14

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On indirect corporal punishment...

The role of schools in society is to give children knowledge and to prepare them to succeed in adult life. Indirect corporal punishment teaches children that their choices have consequences, just like in the real world. It also helps maintain class discipline, which is essential to creating an environment where learning can flourish. As long as it is carried out respectfully and with a goal of encouraging better behavior in the future, I think it can be a highly beneficial policy in our schools.

― James Moyer, Anyang

Students must abide by the rules set by different schools and if they choose to break the rules, their actions should be judged by various punishments. I agree that corporal punishment such as hitting the students is against their rights, but I don’t agree that indirect corporal punishment is against the students’ rights because I think it helps students refrain from breaking the school rules and also makes them become more disciplined.

― Lee Tae-hwa, Seoul

It’s not better than beating them. If push-ups, laps or squats are being used for a purpose other than training then it’s physical punishment. And of course this is an infringement of students’ rights. We wouldn’t treat adults this way, unless we’d like to invite a law suit, so why should we give less rights to students than to adults? In my elementary school in Ireland we had corporal punishment and there was very much a lack of discipline and always the same repeat offenders. I don’t think removing physical punishment has made it any more undisciplined.

― Brian Arundel, Seoul

Harsh punishments may violate students’ rights, but appropriate indirect punishments do positively affect students’ performance. People learn and become mature through mistakes they make throughout their lives. Students, especially, are young and inexperienced; therefore, they are more likely to cause problems. For teachers to effectively guide their students, a balance between punishment and praise is a must. Both words of praise without wise punishment and inhumane punishments without any applause will not successfully inspire students. Therefore, if one can use punishment as a tool to lead students in the right direction, it should be respected.

― Julie Han, Seoul