[Letters] Physical punishment for educational purposes is not educational.
About two months after entering high school, I had the chance to meet again with my friends who were classmates of mine back in a middle school.
While we were talking about our own school lives, a friend of mine grumbled over having to stay at school late every night for free study. She said students who skip the free study period have no way of avoiding physical punishment like caning. Another friend also complained that there had been continuous conflict between teachers and students because of students checking their hair, which also led to physical punishment from the teachers.
I think it’s necessary for teachers to try to correct various problems taking place at school. I often see my classmates make distracting noises or sending text messages. Some even fall asleep during classes.
In rare cases, some students raise their voices when they talk back to teachers, or worse, fight against the teachers. I’m also upset with a few of my own friends who cause disruptions during class.
In the end, all kinds of physical punishment are used for the reason of educational purposes.
But, in my view, corporal punishment should be banned entirely, regardless of the situation.
Actually, I have wondered if ‘the stick of love’ is truly administered out of true love - because love is something every student wants to receive.
Under the name of love, is it O.K. to beat the shoulder or hip with a stick? Of course not!
Also, it is not appropriate to give students a trivial thump on the head with the fist because that may lead to the students feeling hurt, ashamed, or frustrated.
One of the side effects of the punishment is it has proved ineffective in dealing with bad students. In other words, it doesn’t work well.
Most of the students tend not to reflect on their faults or mistakes, but instead develop a deep hatred for their teachers.
Out of fear, they just pretend to be obedient for a moment. Can we say there is any educational value in such corporal punishment?
Of course, I know it’s not easy to control the troubled students without any physical punishment.
Last month, I was sad to see my teacher shedding tears due to the mischief of my classmates. Despite these hard situations, my teacher gave pocket notebooks to some of my classmates, including me, with encouraging words.
I was really moved to feel the true love of my teacher. I think such love is what most students want to have!
All students often make mistakes unintentionally while some still make mischief on purpose, so we need a devoted guide to lead us in the right direction. Not through physical punishment, but through the patience and love of our teachers which we will keep in our minds and appreciate in the future.
Moon Bo-young, Jeo-Dong high school in Ilsan, Gyoenggi Province
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