The ViewPoint

Illegal to Hit a Prisoner, Legal to Hit a Student?

Brittney Means, Opinion Editor

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In the state of Nebraska, animal cruelty can get a person a one thousand dollar fine and six months in jail. In Nebraska, spanking can be considered child abuse if it causes harm or mental distress.  However, in 19 states, it is legal for teachers to spank children as a form of punishment in schools.

The states that allow spanking include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming.

The spanking is usually done with a wooden or fiberglass paddle.  According to ABC news 200,000 students receive corporal punishment each year but the number is probably more.  Of those 200,000 students, 20,000 need medical treatment after their punishment.

A year ago in Florida, a five year old boy was severely paddled by his teacher for roughhousing on the school bus.  The boy received welts causing him to cry for hours, resulting in an asthma attack and a trip to the emergency room.  His mother said he missed a week of school and had nightmares after the incident.

Spanking by teachers in schools should not be allowed.  If a parent causes welts and mental harm on a child and it is considered child abuse, it should be child abuse if a teacher does it. 

Not only does the student usually receive physical evidence of the abuse, the mental evidence can be there for years.  One Clare Primary School teacher was accused of child abuse for hitting her students with a “spanking machine” if they did not wear the right shoes to gym class.  A father of one of the students involved stated that his daughter had to attend therapy sessions after she was hit with the “spanking machine”.

In all fifty states it is illegal to hit prisoners.  In 19 states it is legal to hit a student.  Where is the justice in that?  Corporal punishment needs to stop now!

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Illegal to Hit a Prisoner, Legal to Hit a Student?