Corporal punishment will only worsen student-teacher relationships

By Amy Ng Cheuk-ka, King Ling College
By Amy Ng Cheuk-ka, King Ling College |

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No to corporal punishment

Corporal punishment is intended to cause a person physical pain.

With an increase in teenage crime and a decline in classroom discipline, some people are arguing that corporal punishment should be reintroduced to Hong Kong schools.

I do not agree with this idea because corporal punishment will just make things worse.

Corporal punishment will only further weaken the relationship between students
and teachers. If students do something
wrong, they will be scared that their teachers will beat them.

Even parents should not use corporal punishment as a way to discipline their children. Kids are not parents’ belongings. They are entitled to the same human rights as everyone else. If we are to uphold human rights, we can’t use such cruel methods against children.

There are many ways to punish children; there’s no need to beat them. If we “teach” youngsters by beating and scolding them, they will feel they are being neglected, or worse, treated like animals.

Punishment that doesn’t involve physical beatings is the only long-term solution.

Amy Ng Cheuk-ka, King Ling College

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Amy. Corporal punishment is a cultural issue, really.

Some cultures believe that using violence to discipline children is awful because it teaches them that violence is a solution to a problem. But that is usually to do with parents who lash out at their kids in anger or frustration, instead of taking five minutes to calm down and regain their rational thinking.

However, corporal punishment at school is against the law, which was introduced in 1991. Thank heavens for that.

It may be the perception of adults that there has been an increase in teenage crime, but that is false. In fact, police figures show a drop in the arrests of young people and juveniles. According to the figures, crime spiked in 2007 with 4,510 juveniles and 4,974 young people arrested. Last year saw the arrest of 1,309 juveniles and 2,826 young people, a drop of 70 per cent for juveniles and 43 per cent for young people, for a combined drop of 56 per cent.

So the moral of the story here is not whether or not corporal punishment should be brought back to schools, but don’t believe everything adults say ... use the internet to check.

Susan Ramsay, Editor