Are teachers empowered to punish ???

Yesterday, I happened to watch a show on NDTV-Hindu. It was a discussion with school children,  about this recent happening in a school.

A 13-year old boy, in Erode, Tamil Nadu, was thrashed and later hospitalised. His mistake was that he fell on a girl, while travelling in a bus and losing his balance.

This news really saddened me because of many reasons.

– Punishments are still prevalent in many schools. I found more news articles, while searching for this one.

– Physical injury to students by teachers,  is totally incomprehensible to me.

– Why people refuse to listen to the other side of the story ???? The one who complained first, takes the lead.

– Can’t a boy-girl interaction be on healthy grounds ???  Imagine, if a 5th standard girl has complained about this incident, then how much brain-washing is happening at home.

The more shocking was the discussion in that show, where the children felt it was OK for the teachers to give a pinch, or give a pat on the back (not a friendly one) or a slight hit on the head. My God, what have we trained our kids to accept, as part of school life ???

The parents don’t have the right to hit the children. Any attitude problems, unwanted personality traits are to be monitored and dealt without using physical force. Why, physical force will never solve that problem at all.

Then, what gives the teachers the right to hit the students ????

If the teachers are unable to manage a class strength of 40 or 50, then let them take a break.  This is not the way, the students should be made to think. Little bit of hitting or pinching is OK – I am still not able to digest this.

With the amount of exposure, due to the internet, the problems are also many. I agree. So, we need to devise methods to resolve those problems, not take up the cane as the problem solver.

The workloads are high, actually it is more after the cancellation of the X board exams – now, that’s another post by itself.

With too much of workload, the children are unable to finish work, study and do well in the tests. So, if a student repeatedly fails, is it reason enough to punish him ???? What about the insensitive teachers who give unlimited work loads, to be finished in one day ???

The students are not miracle makers – to finish off the school work in a jiffy, learn the answers all in a minute, perform excellently well in exams, show aptitude for sports and extra curricular activities – all these are not possible for every child in the school.

Why don’t the teachers learn to understand the capabilities of the students and give them space to learn, differently ????

Why cant the teachers guide and coach those students who are not doing well academically ????

Punishments are not solutions.  Lets change them.

Let our children not be led to think, that small punishments are OK, its only the big ones that are not OK. Small or big, it is still a punishment.

Even with stricter laws being enforced, we still remain to be backward in our thinking !!! Lets really banish these corporal punishments – in the real sense of the word.


32 Replies to “Are teachers empowered to punish ???”

    1. Physical punishments are totally unacceptable and unnecessary.
      Beating doesn’t help one bit and leaves scars in little minds for all their lives.
      In this particular incident the boy hadn’t done anything wrong and the fall was accidental. Reacting with a beating so severe was totally irrational and inhuman.

      You are right Uma, reducing the size of class of children shall definitely help. The teacher shall get better opportunity to pay more attentions to the individual needs of the kids and will create more job opportunities for teachers as well, so there is nothing to loose in this scenario 😀 😀 😀


    2. FIRST, Yay !!! 🙂

      CB, who are we to hit children ??? Aren’t they individuals on their own ???

      Giving birth doesn’t mean that they can punish the child physically. Neither does teaching.

      I was totally agitated with that news and the casual acceptance of physical punishment by the children on the show. 😦

      Yeah, reducing class strength and focussing better on individuals will certainly go a long way. 🙂


  1. Agree completely! There should neither be any form of physical punishment or any mentally torturing punishment in schools!
    There are many ways of handling difficult situations or students.
    I read somewhere, “Spare the rod and spoil the child” should be changed to “spare the rod and save the childhood”!!


    1. Thats better – spare the rod and save the childhood. Why cant these teachers do such a simple thing. I think its the teachers who need guiding and counselling to handle the children.

      What example are they setting – by hitting someone in front of the whole class ??? Are they trying to make physical hitting sound so cool ????


  2. I have been guilty of raising my hand on my little girl. The guilt is unbearable afterward. You are right, it is a useless method of behavior correction. I am learning new methods of parenting without having to lose my cool.

    Corporal punishment should be banned and laws are coming into place for it. Very soon, our kids will be taught helpline numbers in school. Things should improve then.

    The incident that u mentioned is deplorable.


    1. See, the fact that u accepted and changed your methods, shows how hard you struggle with parenting your daughter. Its a tough job and I am glad that you are finding other methods to deal without losing ur cool. 🙂

      But there are these ppl who dont think that punishing is wrong and they keep doing it again and again, without any remorse at hitting small children.

      Waiting for those helpline numbers to become a reality. 🙂


  3. I agree on your views Uma.. physical punishment is no way to “teach a lesson” to children!
    And the kind of brainwashing that happens is amazing!!
    I still remember one teacher had gone and complained to my headmistress that I was letting an auto driver “touch me”!! 🙄
    And this was when I was in 6th std!
    My HM had more sense thankfully and had blasted the teacher!!!

    This kind of brainwashing that a boy and girl can’t be friends is very common and very dangerous…

    Unwanted corporal punishments should be banned and also such teachings – that a boy and a girl can’t be friends also should be stopped


    1. OMG !! Pix, how can that teacher lodge a complaint like that ???? Didn’t she inquire on what really happened ????

      Really, the teachers are breaking under pressure and hitting is certainly not going to solve problems. I really feel sad for the children, who are physically punished by teachers.


      1. Actually nothing had happened Uma!
        Even the auto driver was innocent! He used to drive us everyday and all he did was take my heavy bag and lunch bag from my back and hands… all very innocent.. she saw that and went and complained!! 🙄


  4. Gone are the days when kids were physically punished and that was still acceptable. As you said, its not anyone’s right to punish the kids in front of whole class for petty reasons..And there should be strong action taken against such teachers


    1. Absolutely…now a days, punishments are not tolerated so much, but still we need to do a lot, before its totally abolished. Teachers should be guided well with counselling groups, to help with dealing difficult children.


  5. There is no way you can justify corporal schools or at home. There as better ways to disciplining kids that by hitting them. Hitting a student makes then fear the teacher but they also miss out on the respect a teacher should get. The teachers I remember most from my school days are the ones I respected.

    What we need are teachers who help the kids learn and grow..not someone they fear to not ask any questions which results in students not having clarity in the subject. We do have teachers like that..what we need is even more of such teachers..


    1. Its not justified, there are laws around, but still these are going on…where does all these lead to Comfy ???

      Doesn’t every parent need to take up the cause of corporal punishment seriously ???

      Don’t we need to stress on the fact that my kid cannot be touched, by anyone ????

      Its better if something really worthwhile happens on this issue.


  6. Wow. Ofcourse no one, including parents are justified in physically hurting children. Somehow I always feel it actually is not helpful at all, in fact it also incorporates this feeling of rebellion and resentment for the other person. It is sad that such issues are taken up this strongly, and lead to unnecessary violence.


  7. Honestly, I am ok with teachers getting a little physical with their punishment, if the kid is cranky and idiotic; not at an young age though ! Parents trust the teachers and leave their kids to school; any bad behavior shown by the kid, parents would immediately blame the school and teachers, rt? Dont our parents hit us at home when we exhibit our ‘funny’ side ? School is just like another home; infact most of our childhood is spent inside a school, isnt it? Maata, pita, guru daivam is not only for knowledge transfer; its also about the upbringing. My mom knew the kind of kid I was and so during the PTA meetings, she had told my teachers to take care of me just like how they would with their son. Even if I come home all sad and moppy, my mom would say “we know how you are. I am now waiting for your teachers call to understand what exactly happened” 😀 😀 😀 and most of the time, I would be at fault. I mean, a kid jumps out of the window, do you expect the school authorities to put an end to that kind of behavior with just a lecture? Wont our parents give us ‘something memorable’ too ? The school gave me what I deserved; my mom was ok with the punishment and made me an omelette that evening ! 😀 😀

    But yes, I agree, the punishments should not go to an extent where the kid gets hospitalised or even come home injured.

    and in that erode case, its atrocious ! That incident would obviously inject a kind of hatred in the little boys mind about girls and this is where everything starts if you know what I mean ! and would the girl get the same kind of ‘treatment’ if it was she who fell on him?


    1. Vimmuuu, I differ with your views completely.

      Just because you were punished a little on the physical side, which didnt hurt you much, it doesnt make it right. And the teachers have no right touching any child.

      It happened to my brother too – my parents used to give him a slap or two, when he is totally uncontrollable – but that doesnt make it right.

      Every child is an individual with their own ideas, personalities, attitudes and no other person on this Earth can hit that child – whatever is the mistake. Misdeeds need to be corrected differently, not by hitting.

      The teachers are sending out wrong signals to the children, that hitting is OK. This is wrong.

      Whether it hurts or not, whether its hardcore punishment or not, punishment is a punishment – and shld be totally avoided or banned.

      That Erode incident is really a bad example for the children – its teaching all the wrong principles.


    1. Yeah Swaru, the adults make sure that there is no healthy relationships, starting from the birth of the child – they are taught all the unnecessary things. How I wish that our outlooks change, for the better !!!


  8. I have had this debate so many times with my friends!

    Firstly, in that Erode incident, even if that boy fell on the girl purposely, there is a different way to handle it!

    Now coming to the topic of punishments, I agree with you… There is a very fine line between disciplining and punishment which is not very clear to everybody. If a child misbehaves, it has to be corrected without causing physical or mental damage.

    The problem as I see lies here-
    1) Teachers are asked to stop the method that has been used for so long, but are not trained enough on alternative methods of disciplining

    2) Parents(many of them in general) don’t mind the child getting a slap or two, or themselves hitting the child because that’s how they were brought up, they turned out fine, so they don’t see why has it suddenly become unacceptable.

    You see, we need a little more awareness along with rules, especially if the rules mean to break convention…


    1. Agree totally with you, Celestial Rays !! 🙂

      Yes, there need to be more innovative and better methods for the teachers to handle such difficult children.

      Absolutely, my parents might have done the mistake of hitting my brother, but I’ve learnt better. Hitting doesn’t produce results, which they expect.

      Yes, more awareness is certainly required and that too, very soon.


  9. Physical punishment does no good. And the one that you’ve mentioned.. atrocious, most uncalled for 😦 I think teachers must be given appropriate training on how to handle children and not only how to teach. This might be in place…but it needs to evolve too. Just like the kids and the evolving societies. Primitive methods just wont work. And also reducing the strength of the class should help a lot. But i really wonder if we can expect all this, esp in Govt schools!


  10. The problem lies there in, right? We expect students to be miracle workers (basically not have a life) and just work work n work! The one who does not come up with results…suffers…

    Just as the attitude towards all work and no play is so wrong, so is the midguided approach to behaving with the opposite gender. And then they say the kids are spoilt! 😐 ever wondered what kind of example these ppl set…?


  11. So true Ash…they guide the kids all wrong and blame it on the kids again. Its sad that they expect so much out of a student, under pressure to do all the things.


  12. I think a little physical punishment is required… see not every child will do what is said to him/her… there are some kids who are not good.. they cause trouble for others… their parents won;t give a damn about them…. how you would like to treat them.. pampering and kind words were not a solution always…

    And for boy-girl interaction… our society has been pathetic in that… 😦 😦


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