keyaagar.A3.140 - 1 Agarwal Keya G Agarwal Writ 140#64425...

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1 Agarwal, Keya G. Agarwal Writ 140 #64425 Lauren Weindling Assignment #3 8 th March 2012 Spare the Rod, Speak to the Child: Dissecting the Cruelty of Corporal Punishment, One Paddle at a Time. “Matilda,” a fantastical children’s movie about a young girl with extraordinary abilities, is a brilliant although rather light-hearted representation of an all too common problem in our society. The protagonist Matilda is raised by unfit parents, who send her to a school run by the tyrannical headmistress, Mrs. Trunchbull. Within the walls of Crunchem Hall, Mrs. Trunchbull’s word is the law, and she subjects the children to severe punishments for their minor infractions. One of the most disturbing methods that Mrs. Trunchbull employs to torture the students is by locking them in the “Chokey,” which is a small coffin imbedded with massive, pointy nails. Similar forms of corporal punishment are the focus of several movies and novels, indicating that this treatment of children exists in common cultural knowledge. Furthermore, these illustrations of corporal punishment discuss how these harsh physical methods of reprimanding children for their petty mistakes, result in greater consequences than the disciplinarian may anticipate, and are forms of torture, not punishment. We can qualify these acts as torture as there is no logical relationship between a child’s wrongdoing and the authority figure’s disciplinary action. One must contrive the method of punishment from the infraction, in order for the punishment to be effective in teaching the child right from wrong. Hence, one’s intent behind a method of reprimanding children must be to correct their actions, and not to merely put them in their place.
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2 In most cases of corporal punishment, the form of punishment that an authority figure uses on a child is by no means related to the child’s wrongdoing. For instance, in October 2000, a student physically assaulted his peer in Georgia, Atlanta. The victim approached his physical education instructor who told him to “take his problems into his own hands.” 1 Heading to his coach’s advice, the victim took a weight lock from the weight room, and when the other student hit him again that same day; he used the weight lock to strike back. The coach and principal saw this happen and the coach interrogated the victim to find the weight lock, and then used it to hit the victim in his left eye, completely mutilating it. 2 It is hypocritical for the coach to even attempt to teach the victim that hitting the other student was wrong by hitting the victim himself. This is an act of using violence against violence and does not teach the student right from wrong in any way. Hence, the coach’s use of corporal punishment does not logically follow from the student’s mistake. Therefore, the coach abused his authoritative power and his actions qualify as torture. Common forms of corporal punishment do not follow from children’s mistakes either, as
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keyaagar.A3.140 - 1 Agarwal Keya G Agarwal Writ 140#64425...

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