Spanking at School – Yes or NO?


    Is spanking a good idea? For me, this is a HARD NO. Here is the news, science, and yogic perspective on spanking. 

    The news: The Cassville R-IV School District in western MO gave the ‘OK’ to bring back spanking. Using paddles as a punishment for misbehavior will begin for students whose parents opt-in with written permission and choose to opt out later. Swatting kids will be the last resort in private with two workers present (the spanker and a witness) and no hitting the head or face. The measure is a school board response to a survey that found that parents were worried about student behavior. Many states have outlawed corporal punishment in schools — but Missouri is one of 19 that allow it.

    The science: Spanking may be an effective short-term solution to change behavior, but it is no more effective than other non-violent methods, like a timeout. The long-term impact of spanking is associated with less compliance than other forms of discipline (Gershoff, 2013). Causing physical pain can lead to fear and confusion in children who are still learning whatever their adult is trying to convey. Spanking actually backfires as a method of punishment because researchers found a consistent relationship between spanking and aggressive behavior (Gershoff & Grogan-Kaylor, 2016).

    It’s Yoga: As a yogi, the rule is: Do No Harm. Ahimsa (non-violence) is the first and foremost of the five yamas (restraints) described in the Yoga Sutra. It asks us to live in such a way that we cause no harm in thought, speech, or action to any living being, including ourselves. In its purest form, ahimsa is the expression of the highest form of love—with unwavering positive regard for everyone and everything. This is a tall order in the world and one that should inspire. 

    From these perspectives, spanking is the least effective for positive learned behavior. Children learn most effectively with loving adults who can guide them to their purpose, peace, and power – not over others – but for the greater good. 

    This is The Practice. Come to yoga to learn how at It’s Yoga Kids®


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