Corporal punishment or physical punishment is a punishment intended to cause physical pain on a person. It is most often practised on minors, especially in home and school settings. Common methods include spanking or paddling. It has also historically been used on adults, particularly on prisoners and enslaved people. Other common methods include flagellation and caning.
Official punishment for crime by inflicting pain or injury, including flogging, branding and even mutilation, was practised in most civilizations since ancient times. However, with the growth of humanitarian ideals since the Enlightenment, such punishments were increasingly viewed as inhumane. By the late 20th century, corporal punishment had been eliminated from the legal systems of most developed countries.
The legality in the 21st century of corporal punishment in various settings differs by jurisdiction. Internationally, the late 20th century and early 21st century saw the application of human rights law to the question of corporal punishment in a number of contexts:
Other uses of corporal punishment have existed, for instance, as once practised on apprentices by their masters. In many Western countries, medical and human-rights organizations oppose corporal punishment of children. Campaigns against corporal punishment have aimed to bring about legal reform to ban the use of corporal punishment against minors in homes and schools.
Author Jared Diamond writes that hunter-gatherer societies have tended to use little corporal punishment whereas agricultural and industrial societies tend to use progressively more of it. Diamond suggests this may be because hunter-gatherers tend to have few valuable physical possessions, and misbehavior of the child would not cause harm to others' property.
Probably the only generalization that can be made about the use of physical punishment among primitive tribes is that there was no common procedure [...] Pettit concludes that among primitive societies corporal punishment is rare, not because of the innate kindliness of these people but because it is contrary to developing the type of individual personality they set up as their ideal [...] An important point to be made here is that we cannot state that physical punishment as a motivational or corrective device is 'innate' to man.
Corporal punishment of children has traditionally been used in the Western world by adults in authority roles. Beating one's child as a punishment was recommended as early as the c. 10th century BC book of Proverbs attributed to Solomon:
He that spareth the rod, hateth his son; but he that loveth him, chasteneth him betimes. (Proverbs, XIII, 24)
A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes. (Proverbs, XVIII, 6)
Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. (Proverbs, XIX, 18)
Judgements are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the backs of fools. (Proverbs, XIX, 29)
Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it from him. (Proverbs, XXII, 15)
Withhold not correction from the child; for if thou beatest him with a rod, thou shalt deliver his soul from hell. (Proverbs, XXIII, 13–14)
A whip for a horse, a bridle for an ass, and a rod for a fool's back. (Proverbs, XXIX, 15)
Robert McCole Wilson argues, "Probably this attitude comes, at least in part, from the desire in the patriarchal society for the elder to maintain his authority, where that authority was the main agent for social stability. But these are the words that not only justified the use of physical punishment on children for over a thousand years in Christian communities, but ordered it to be used. The words were accepted with but few exceptions; it is only in the last two hundred years that there has been a growing body of opinion that differed. Curiously, the gentleness of Christ towards children (Mark, X) was usually ignored".
Corporal punishment was used in Egypt, China, Greece, and Rome for both judicial and educational discipline. Disfigured Egyptian criminals were exiled to the Sinai border at Tjaru and Rhinocorura, whose own name meant "cut-off noses". China also disfigured some criminals and tattooed others. Some states gained a reputation for using such punishments cruelly; Sparta, in particular, used them as part of a disciplinary regime designed to build willpower and physical strength. Although the Spartan example was extreme, corporal punishment was possibly the most frequent type of punishment. In the Roman Empire, the maximum penalty that a Roman citizen could receive under the law was 40 "lashes" or "strokes" with a whip applied to the back and shoulders, or with the "fasces" (similar to a birch rod, but consisting of 8–10 lengths of willow rather than birch) applied to the buttocks. Such punishments could draw blood, and were frequently inflicted in public.
Quintilian (c. 35 – c. 100) voiced some opposition to the use of corporal punishment. According to Robert McCole Wilson, "probably no more lucid indictment of it has been made in the succeeding two thousand years".
By that boys should suffer corporal punishment, though it is received by custom, and Chrysippus makes no objection to it, I by no means approve; first, because it is a disgrace, and a punishment fit for slaves, and in reality (as will be evident if you imagine the age change) an affront; secondly, because, if a boy's disposition be so abject as not to be amended by reproof, he will be hardened, like the worst of slaves, even to stripes; and lastly, because, if one who regularly exacts his tasks be with him, there will not be the need of any chastisement (Quintilian, Institutes of Oratory, 1856 edition, I, III).
Plutarch, also in the first century, writes:
This also I assert, that children ought to be led to honourable practices by means of encouragement and reasoning, and most certainly not by blows or ill-treatment, for it surely is agreed that these are fitting rather for slaves than for the free-born; for so they grow numb and shudder at their tasks, partly from the pain of the blows, partly from the degradation.
In Medieval Europe, the Byzantine Empire blinded and denosed some criminals and rival emperors. Their belief that the emperor should be physically ideal meant that such disfigurement notionally disqualified the recipient from office. (The second reign of Justinian the Slit-nosed was the notable exception.) Elsewhere, corporal punishment was encouraged by the attitudes of the Catholic church towards the human body, flagellation being a common means of self-discipline. This had an influence on the use of corporal punishment in schools, as educational establishments were closely attached to the church during this period. Nevertheless, corporal punishment was not used uncritically; as early as the eleventh century Saint Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury was speaking out against what he saw as the excessive use of corporal punishment in the treatment of children.
From the 16th century onwards, new trends were seen in corporal punishment. Judicial punishments were increasingly turned into public spectacles, with public beatings of criminals intended as a deterrent to other would-be offenders. Meanwhile, early writers on education, such as Roger Ascham, complained of the arbitrary manner in which children were punished.
Peter Newell writes that perhaps the most influential writer on the subject was the English philosopher John Locke, whose Some Thoughts Concerning Education explicitly criticised the central role of corporal punishment in education. Locke's work was highly influential, and may have helped influence Polish legislators to ban corporal punishment from Poland's schools in 1783, the first country in the world to do so.
During the 18th century, the concept of corporal punishment was challenged by some philosophers and legal reformers. Merely inflicting pain was seen as an inefficient form of discipline, influencing the subject only for a short period of time and effecting no permanent change in their behaviour. Some believed that the purpose of punishment should be reformation, not retribution. This is perhaps best expressed in Jeremy Bentham's idea of a panoptic prison, in which prisoners were controlled and surveyed at all times, perceived to be advantageous in that this system supposedly reduced the need of measures such as corporal punishment.
A consequence of this mode of thinking was a reduction in the use of corporal punishment in the 19th century in Europe and North America. In some countries this was encouraged by scandals involving individuals seriously hurt during acts of corporal punishment. For instance, in Britain, popular opposition to punishment was encouraged by two significant cases, the death of Private Frederick John White, who died after a military flogging in 1846, and the death of Reginald Cancellor, killed by his schoolmaster in 1860. Events such as these mobilised public opinion and, by the late nineteenth century, the extent of corporal punishment's use in state schools was unpopular with many parents in England. Authorities in Britain and some other countries introduced more detailed rules for the infliction of corporal punishment in government institutions such as schools, prisons and reformatories. By the First World War, parents' complaints about disciplinary excesses in England had died down, and corporal punishment was established as an expected form of school discipline.
In the 1870s, courts in the United States overruled the common-law principle that a husband had the right to "physically chastise an errant wife". In the UK the traditional right of a husband to inflict moderate corporal punishment on his wife in order to keep her "within the bounds of duty" was similarly removed in 1891. See Domestic violence for more information.
In the United Kingdom, the use of judicial corporal punishment declined during the first half of the 20th century and it was abolished altogether in the Criminal Justice Act, 1948 (zi & z2 GEo. 6. CH. 58.), whereby whipping and flogging were outlawed except for use in very serious internal prison discipline cases, while most other European countries had abolished it earlier. Meanwhile, in many schools, the use of the cane, paddle or tawse remained commonplace in the UK and the United States until the 1980s. In several other countries, it still is: see School corporal punishment.
Key developments related to corporal punishment occurred in the late 20th century. Years with particular significance to the prohibition of corporal punishment are emphasised.
The notion of children’s rights in the Western world developed in the 20th century, but the issue of corporal punishment was not addressed generally before mid-century. Years with particular significance to the prohibition of corporal punishment of children are emphasised.
The earliest recorded attempt to prohibit corporal punishment of children by a state dates back to Poland in 1783.:31–2 However, its prohibition in all spheres of life – in homes, schools, the penal system and alternative care settings – occurred first in 1966 in Sweden. The 1979 Swedish Parental Code reads: "Children are entitled to care, security and a good upbringing. Children are to be treated with respect for their person and individuality and may not be subjected to corporal punishment or any other humiliating treatment.":32
As of 2018, corporal punishment of children by parents (or other adults) is outlawed in all settings in 54 nations and 3 constituent nations.
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For a more detailed overview of the global use and prohibition of the corporal punishment of children, see the following table.
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Domestic corporal punishment, i.e. the punishment of children by their parents, is often referred to colloquially as "spanking", "smacking" or "slapping."
It has been outlawed in an increasing number of countries, starting with Sweden in 1966. In some other countries, corporal punishment is legal, but restricted (e.g. blows to the head are outlawed, implements may not be used, only children within a certain age range may be spanked).
In all states of the United States and most African and Asian nations, corporal punishment by parents is currently legal. It is also legal to use certain implements such as a belt or paddle.
In Canada, spanking by parents or legal guardians (but nobody else) is legal, as long as the child is not under 2 years or at least 12 years of age, and no implement other than an open, bare hand is used (belts, paddles, etc. are strictly prohibited). It is also illegal to strike the head when disciplining a child.
In the UK, spanking or smacking is legal, but it must not cause an injury amounting to Actual Bodily Harm (any injury such as visible bruising, breaking of the whole skin etc.); in addition, in Scotland, since October 2003, it has been illegal to use any implements or to strike the head when disciplining a child, and it is also prohibited to use corporal punishment towards children under the age of 3 years.
In Pakistan, Section 89 of Pakistan Penal Code allows corporal punishment.
Corporal punishment in schools for misbehaviour has been outlawed in many countries. It often involves striking the student on the buttocks or the palm of the hand with an implement kept for the purpose such as a rattan cane or spanking paddle, or with the open hand. There may be restrictions in some jurisdictions, for example, in Singapore caning is permitted for boys only. Medical professionals have urged putting an end to the practice, noting the danger of injury to children's hands especially. In India, corporal punishment has been abolished by law. However, corporal punishment continues to exist and be practised in many Indian schools. Cultural perception of corporal punishment has rarely been studied and researched. One study carried out by Arijit Ghosh and Madhumathi Pasupathi discusses how corporal punishment is perceived among parents and students in the Indian context, with the help of a representative sample size.
Around 33 countries in the world still retain judicial corporal punishment, including a number of former British territories such as Botswana, Malaysia, Singapore and Tanzania. In Singapore, for certain specified offences, males are routinely sentenced to caning in addition to a prison term. The Singaporean practice of caning became much discussed around the world in 1994 when American teenager Michael P. Fay received four strokes of the cane for vandalism. Judicial caning and whipping are also used in Aceh Province in Indonesia.
A number of other countries with an Islamic legal system, such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan and some northern states in Nigeria, employ judicial whipping for a range of offences. As of 2009, some regions of Pakistan are experiencing a breakdown of law and government, leading to a reintroduction of corporal punishment by ad hoc Islamicist courts. As well as corporal punishment, some Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran use other kinds of physical penalties such as amputation or mutilation. However, the term "corporal punishment" has since the 19th century usually meant caning, flagellation or bastinado rather than those other types of physical penalty.
In parts of England, boys were once beaten under the old tradition of "Beating the Bounds" whereby a boy was paraded around the edge of a city or parish and spanked with a switch or cane to mark the boundary. One famous "Beating the Bounds" took place around the boundary of St Giles and the area where Tottenham Court Road now stands in central London. The actual stone that marked the boundary is now underneath the Centre Point office tower.
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The New Zealand corporal punishment referendum, 2009 was held from 31 July to 21 August, and was a citizens-initiated referendum on parental corporal punishment. It asked:
Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?
Voter turnout was 56.1%. 87.4% of votes answered 'no'. The result of the referendum was non-binding and the New Zealand government did not change the law in response to the outcome.Birching
Birching is a form of corporal punishment with a birch rod, typically applied to the recipient's bare buttocks, although occasionally to the back and/or shoulders.Campaigns against corporal punishment
Campaigns against corporal punishment aim to reduce or eliminate corporal punishment of minors by instigating legal and cultural changes in the areas where such punishments are practiced. Such campaigns date mostly from the late 20th century, although occasional voices in opposition to corporal punishment existed from ancient times through to the modern era.
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child defines "corporal punishment" as:
any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light. Most involves hitting ("smacking", "slapping", "spanking") children, with the hand or with an implement – whip, stick, belt, shoe, wooden spoon, etc. But it can also involve, for example, kicking, shaking or throwing children, scratching, pinching, biting, pulling hair or boxing ears, forcing children to stay in uncomfortable positions, burning, scalding or forced ingestion.Caning
Caning is a form of corporal punishment consisting of a number of hits (known as "strokes" or "cuts") with a single cane usually made of rattan, generally applied to the offender's bare or clothed buttocks (see spanking) or hand(s) (on the palm). Caning on the knuckles or shoulders is much less common. Caning can also be applied to the soles of the feet (foot whipping or bastinado). The size and flexibility of the cane and the mode of application, as well as the number of the strokes, vary greatly — from a couple of light strokes with a small cane across the seat of a junior schoolboy's trousers, to 24 very hard, wounding cuts on the bare buttocks with a large, heavy, soaked rattan as a judicial punishment in some Southeast Asian countries.
The thin cane generally used for corporal punishment is not to be confused with a walking stick, sometimes also called a cane (especially in American English), but which is thicker and much more rigid, and more likely to be made of stronger wood than of cane.Caning in Malaysia
Caning is used as a form of legal corporal punishment in Malaysia. It can be divided into at least three contexts: judicial/prison, school, and sharia (or syariah). Of these three, the first two are largely a legacy of, and are influenced by, British colonial rule in the territories that are now part of Malaysia, particularly Malaya. Similar forms of corporal punishment are also used in some other former British colonies, including two of Malaysia's neighbouring countries, Singapore and Brunei.
Judicial caning, ordered as part of a criminal sentence imposed by civil courts on male criminals, is the most severe of the three types of caning. It is always ordered in addition to a prison sentence for adult offenders. Male convicts who were not sentenced to caning earlier in a court of law may also be punished by caning if they commit aggravated offences while serving time in prison.
In primary and secondary schools, male students who commit serious offences may be punished with a light rattan cane.
Malaysia, being a Muslim majority country, has a separate justice system for its Muslim population. Under this system, sharia courts can sentence Muslim men and women (including Muslim foreigners) to caning for committing certain offences. The offender is caned by an officer of the same sex. Sharia caning is much less severe, compared to judicial caning, and is designed to humiliate the offender rather than to inflict physical pain. This form of caning is also practised in Indonesia's Aceh Province, where it is more common.
Malaysia has been criticised by human rights groups for its use of judicial caning, which Amnesty International claims, "subjects thousands of people each year to systematic torture and ill-treatment, leaving them with permanent physical and psychological scars".Caning in Singapore
Caning is a widely used form of legal corporal punishment in Singapore. It can be divided into several contexts: judicial, prison, reformatory, military, school, and domestic or private. These practices of caning are largely a legacy of, and are influenced by, British colonial rule in Singapore. Similar forms of corporal punishment are also used in some other former British colonies, including two of Singapore's neighbouring countries, Malaysia and Brunei.
Of these, judicial caning, for which Singapore is best known, is the most severe. It is reserved for male convicts under the age of 50, for a wide range of offences under the Criminal Procedure Code, and is also used as a disciplinary measure in prisons. Caning is also a legal form of punishment for delinquent servicemen in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and is conducted in the SAF Detention Barracks. Caning is also used as an official punishment in reform schools.
In a milder form, caning is used to punish male students in primary and secondary schools for serious misbehaviour. The government encourages this but does not allow caning for female students, who instead receive alternative forms of punishment such as detention.
A much smaller cane or other implement is also used by some parents to punish their children for misbehaving. This is allowed in Singapore but "not encouraged by the government". However, the government mentioned that it considers "the judicious application of corporal punishment in the best interest of the child."Capital and corporal punishment in Judaism
Capital and corporal punishment in Judaism has a complex history which has been a subject of extensive debate. While the Bible and the Talmud specify capital and corporal punishments, including death by stoning, decapitation, burning, and strangulation for some crimes, these punishments were substantially modified during the rabbinic era, primarily by adding additional requirements for conviction. According to Talmudic law, the competence to apply capital punishment ceased with the destruction of the Second Temple. The Mishnah states that a sanhedrin that executes one person in seven years — or seventy years, according to Eleazar ben Azariah — is considered bloodthirsty. During the Late Antiquity, the tendency of not applying the death penalty at all became predominant in Jewish courts. In practice, where medieval Jewish courts had the power to pass and execute death sentences, they continued to do so for particularly grave offenses, although not necessarily the ones defined by the law. While it was recognized that the use of capital punishment in the post-Second Temple era went beyond the biblical warrant, the Rabbis who supported it believed that it could be justified by other considerations of Jewish law. Whether Jewish communities ever practiced capital punishment according to rabbinical law and whether the Rabbis of the Talmudic era ever supported its use even in theory has been a subject of historical and ideological debate.The 12th-century Jewish legal scholar Maimonides stated that "It is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to put a single innocent one to death." Maimonides argued that executing a defendant on anything less than absolute certainty would lead to a slippery slope of decreasing burdens of proof, until we would be convicting merely "according to the judge's caprice." Maimonides was concerned about the need for the law to guard itself in public perceptions, to preserve its majesty and retain the people's respect.The position of Jewish Law on capital punishment often formed the basis of deliberations by Israel's Supreme Court. It has been carried out by Israel's judicial system only twice, in the cases of Adolf Eichmann and Meir Tobianski.Corporal Punishment (Blackadder)
"Corporal Punishment", or "Plan B: Corporal Punishment", is the second episode of Blackadder Goes Forth, the fourth series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder. It was first broadcast on BBC One on 5 October 1989. Blackadder faces a court-martial for shooting a carrier pigeon.Corporal punishment in Taiwan
Corporal punishment is banned in the penal and education systems of the Republic of China (Taiwan), but there are no laws banning its use in the home.Corporal punishment in the home
Physical or corporal punishment by a parent or other legal guardian is any act causing deliberate physical pain or discomfort to a minor child in response to some undesired behavior. It typically takes the form of spanking or slapping the child with an open hand or striking with an implement such as a belt, slipper, cane, hairbrush or paddle, and can also include shaking, pinching, forced ingestion of substances, or forcing children to stay in uncomfortable positions.
Social acceptance of corporal punishment is high in countries where it remains lawful, particularly among more traditional groups. In many cultures, parents have historically been regarded as having the right, if not the duty, to physically punish misbehaving children in order to teach appropriate behavior. Researchers, on the other hand, point out that corporal punishment typically has the opposite effect, leading to more aggressive behavior in children and less long-term obedience. Other adverse effects, such as depression, anxiety, anti-social behavior and increased risk of physical abuse, have also been linked to the use of corporal punishment by parents. Evidence shows that spanking and other physical punishments, while nominally for the purpose of child discipline, are inconsistently applied, often being used when parents are angry or under stress. Severe forms of corporal punishment, including kicking, biting, scalding and burning, can also constitute unlawful child abuse.
International human-rights and treaty bodies such as the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Council of Europe and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights have advocated an end to all forms of corporal punishment, arguing that it violates children's dignity and right to bodily integrity. Many existing laws against battery, assault, and/or child abuse make exceptions for "reasonable" physical punishment by parents, a defence rooted in common law and specifically English law. During the late 20th and into the 21st century, some countries began removing legal defences for adult guardians' use of corporal punishment, followed by outright bans on the practice. Most of these bans are part of civil law and therefore do not impose criminal penalties unless a charge of assault and/or battery is justified. Since Sweden outlawed all corporal punishment of children in 1979, an increasing number of countries have enacted similar bans, particularly following international adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, domestic corporal punishment of children remains legal in most of the world.Dippoldism
In psychiatry, the term dippoldism (German: dippoldismus) is used to refer to the spanking (or other corporal punishment) of minors for sexual motives.
Dippoldism is the paraphilia of sexual arousal from spanking or otherwise applying corporal punishment to children. It is named after Andreas Dippold, a German schoolteacher who, in 1903, beat his pupil Heinz Koch to death.Eastbourne manslaughter
R v Hopley (more commonly known as the Eastbourne manslaughter) was an 1860 legal case in Eastbourne, England, concerning the death of 15-year-old Reginald Cancellor (some sources give his name as Chancellor and his age as 13 or 14) at the hands of his teacher, Thomas Hopley. Hopley used corporal punishment with the stated intention of overcoming what he perceived as stubbornness on Cancellor's part, but instead beat the boy to death.
An inquest into Cancellor's death began when his brother requested an autopsy. As a result of the inquest Hopley was arrested and charged with manslaughter. He was found guilty at trial and sentenced to four years in prison, although he insisted that his actions were justifiable and that he was not guilty of any crime. The trial was sensationalised by the Victorian press and incited debate over the use of corporal punishment in schools. After Hopley's release and subsequent divorce trial, he largely disappeared from the public record. The case became an important legal precedent in the United Kingdom for discussions of corporal punishment in schools and reasonable limits on discipline.Emily M. Douglas
Emily M. Douglas is a public policy scientist conducting research on child and family well-being, the child welfare system, fatal child maltreatment, domestic violence and divorced families, and corporal punishment. She is professor and head of the Department of Social Science and Policy Studies at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts.Judicial corporal punishment
Judicial corporal punishment (JCP) is the infliction of corporal punishment as a result of a sentence by a court of law. The punishments include caning, bastinado, birching, whipping, or strapping. The practice was once commonplace in many countries, but it is no longer practised in any European country, and it has now been abolished in most Western countries, but remains a legal punishment in some Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries.Paddle (spanking)
A spanking paddle is an implement used to strike a person on the buttocks. The act of spanking a person with a paddle is known as "paddling". A paddling may be for punishment (normally of a student at school in the United States), or as an initiation or hazing ritual.School corporal punishment
School corporal punishment refers to inflicting deliberate physical or emotional pain or discomfort in response to undesired behavior by students in schools. It often involves striking the student either across the buttocks or palms of their hands or on the hands, with a tool such as a rattan cane, wooden paddle, slipper, leather strap or wooden yardstick. Less commonly, it could also include spanking or smacking the student with the open hand, especially at the primary school and junior secondary school levels .
In the English-speaking world, the use by schools of corporal punishment has historically been justified by the common-law doctrine in loco parentis, whereby teachers are considered authority figures granted the same rights as parents to punish children in their care if they do not adhere to the set rules.
Advocates of school corporal punishment argue that it provides an immediate response to indiscipline and that the student is quickly back in the classroom learning, unlike suspension from school. Opponents, including a number of medical and psychological societies, along with human-rights groups, argue that physical punishment is ineffective in the long term, interferes with learning, leads to antisocial behavior as well as various forms of mental distress, disproportionately affects students of color, and is a form of violence that breaches the rights of children.Poland was the first nation to outlaw corporal punishment in schools in 1783. School corporal punishment is no longer legal in any European country. As of 2016, an estimated 128 countries have prohibited corporal punishment in schools, including all of Europe, and most of South America and East Asia. Approximately 69 countries still allow for corporal punishment in schools, including parts of the United States, some Australian states, and a number of countries in Africa and Asia.School discipline
School discipline relates to the actions taken by a teacher or the school organization towards a student (or group of students) when the student's behavior disrupts the ongoing educational activity or breaks a rule created by the teacher or the school system. Discipline can guide the children's behaviour or set limits to help them learn to take care of themselves, other people and the world around them.School systems set rules, and if students break these rules they are subject to discipline. These rules may, for example, define the expected standards of clothing, timekeeping, social conduct, and work ethic. The term "discipline" is applied to the punishment that is the consequence of breaking the rules. The aim of discipline is to set limits restricting certain behaviors or attitudes that are seen as harmful or against school policies, educational norms, school traditions, etc. The focus of discipline is shifting and alternative approaches are emerging due to notably high dropout rates and disproportionate punishment upon minority students.Spanking
Spanking is a common form of corporal punishment, involving the act of striking the buttocks of another person to cause physical pain, generally with an open hand. More severe forms of spanking, such as switching, paddling, belting, caning, whipping, and birching, involve the use of an object instead of a hand.
Parents commonly spank children or adolescents in response to undesired behavior. Boys are more frequently spanked than girls, both at home and in school. Some countries have outlawed the spanking of children in every setting, including homes, schools, and penal institutions, but most allow it when done by a parent or guardian.Switch (corporal punishment)
A switch is a flexible rod which is typically used for corporal punishment, similar to birching.
Substantive human rights
Please note: What is considered a human right is controversial and not all the topics listed are universally accepted as human rights
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