Should teachers be allowed to punish students?

Should teachers be allowed to punish students? I think that punishment should be allowed. We all know that teachers have a tough job. They are typically dealing with 20 to 35 students in their class. Students WILL misbehave at some point. Even your perfect child. What should the teacher do when this happens? If they do nothing, then the other children may misbehave as well, because they saw no consequence for the bad behavior. What should the teacher do, if he/she doesn't know who is responsible for the infraction? Should they punish the entire class? Unfortunately, there are times when collateral damage will occur and this is one of them. Sometimes it's impossible for a teacher to know who committed an infraction, so if no one will confess, they must punish the entire class. If there are a few known bad children that misbehave, I don't think that the entire class should be punished.

All parents have developed their own forms of punishment for their children. Some parents don't believe in punishing their children. When your child enters school, the teacher is now issuing the punishments and it doesn't matter what your punishment philosophy is. Most schools banned corporal punishment years ago, so most parents don't have to worry about a teacher hitting their child.

Writing linesWhen I was growing up, I had the gift of gab. I couldn't stop talking in school. I was made to write "lines". I had to write "I will not talk in class" 100 times. One of my teachers gave a punishment that was brutal. She made me make a "red chair". I have no idea where this term came from because it doesn't make sense. A red chair is when you squat with your knees together and extend your arms out in front of you. I would be forced to be in this position for 15-20 minutes.  Thank you Mrs. Burke-Aldersen for my nice thighs and calf muscles. If the class was being punished, our punishment was no recess.

Let's fast forward to today. The new punishment for the class is "Silent Lunch". It's self explanatory, the students are not allowed to talk during their lunch period. Some parents are hot mad about it. I can't help but chuckle a bit. Didn't these parents ever give their child a time out? This is actually better than getting a time out because you can eat instead of just sitting by yourself quietly. The canceling of recess still exists today. However, parents are threatening lawsuits because they say that it is in violation of the school policy. Apparently, in some school districts, no child can be denied their (God given) right to recess. Recently, I heard about a teacher who made the students run laps outside during recess because the class misbehaved. Some parents were really upset about that as well. The other punishments being handed out by teachers include, yelling, making children sit in the front of the class, taking away treats and revoking non-uniform day privileges.

Silent lunchI don't have a problem with teachers punishing students, as long as it's a fair punishment. Punishment should always be age appropriate. The classrooms would be complete chaos if there were no consequences for bad behavior. I think that teachers should consider giving extra school work as a punishment. Maybe the children should be required to write an essay about respect, common courtesy, good behavior, punishment, peer pressure or anything else that could make them think about why the punishment needed to be issued.

No matter what stage you are in your life, there are consequences for your actions and school is no exception. Teachers need to be able to set boundaries in their classrooms. A classroom without boundaries and consequences is a great disservice to every student in that class. If you are a parent that believes that teachers should not be allowed to punish students, maybe you should consider homeschooling your child.  When your child misbehaves in school, he/she is cheating the other children out of their education because the teacher is not teaching when he/she dealing with behavioral issues.

What are some punishments (if any) that you think are acceptable for a teacher to administer?


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