The Corporal Punishment Debate.
TASK: Write a discursive essay on a topic of your choice.
There has been a lot of controversy over the rights for adults to smack children in the U.K. Smacking children is currently illegal in the U.K with the exception of parents and child minders. Under current British law, a parent has the right to use "reasonable punishment" but six other European countries; Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Austria and Cyprus have banned all types of physical punishment. Many individuals and organisation believe that smacking children is immoral, cruel and should be made illegal in all cases. On the other hand the majority of people believe the smacking is right and shows a child where their boundaries lie.
A United Nations spokesman said that smacking is "a breach of children's dignity and rights." This sentiment is held by a large minority of people because of its moral nature. Furthermore, a spokesman for the NSPCC, National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Children said, "Hitting children is incompatible with the spirit of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child." A children's organisation called Epoch argues that smacking children encourages the use of violence in society. To back up that point, the Department of Health found that children in 1997 who were frequently aggressive with their brothers and sisters were four times as likely to have suffered regular smacking.
Many groups say that smacking blurs the lines between normal discipline and assault. They say that if smacking were made illegal then assaults would be identified more easily. Claire Rayner, the broadcaster and journalist who has talked about her own experiences of being beaten as a child said parents should use love and praise to teach children the difference between right and wrong. Her point is that "perhaps people should think of the root of the word "discipline", which is "disciple" or "follower.