Corporal punishment must remain an option for teachers

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  • #1652102

    Joseph
    Participant

    Sometimes corporal punishment is the most effective teaching tool. Not just for parents but for teachers in school. Not only does the Torah tell us this and Shulchan Aruch pasken as such, but it remains legal from the time they start preschool until they graduate 12th grade and is in use in about half of U.S. States, even though the liberal states have banned it in public schools (corporal punishment is legal in private schools in 48 states; the only exceptions are Iowa and New Jersey), and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in its Ingraham v. Wright decision that school corporal punishment is constitutional.

    #1652307

    Clearly, Joseph beats the living daylights out of his children. I mean this seriously. I would suggest child services take a good hard look inside that dungeon.

    #1652314

    CS
    Participant

    “Sometimes corporal punishment is the most effective teaching tool.”

    Just want to point out that hitting was never an effective teaching as in chinuch tool. It was an effective discipline tool. However education results in where the child understands what is right and wrong and why etc. Not when they don’t do something for fear of punishment. That’s not educating because the minute the scary teacher or punishment is gone, they’re happy to do it. And when it is overdone, they end up rebelling even if the beating stopped them temporarily

    #1652312

    CS
    Participant

    Joseph I would agree with you if not for the impression it makes on children in society TODAY. In the days where all parents spanked, and the king would kill whoever he wanted, whipping was used in society, it would be beneficial. But today as it is looked at as evil, the negative results far outweigh the positives… I guess a good place to start would be to reinstate whipping for adults for crimes… Why start with the children? Yes there is a rise in chutzpa and unbridled self worship in society because corporal punishment is lacking, but if the only place a child is hit is within the world of Torah and mitzvos, and usually because of Torah and mitzvos, today that just leads children to hate Yiddishkeit altogether, and once a child leaves there is no ghetto wall to push him back. So you’re very much risking his chinuch by using such punishments especially if on a regular basis.

    #1652345

    Ferd
    Participant

    Only Joseph, who loves violent hafganos, neturei karta and stalking people would condone beating children. I concur with the earlier poster. Call ACS on this rasha.

    #1652353

    Phil
    Participant

    “Sometimes corporal punishment is the most effective teaching tool.”

    Here we go again. After a brief hiatus, Joseph is back to advocate that we beat the stuffing out of defenseless children. Gedolim and educators of every stripe caution against doing so in our generation due to the destructive effect this has. How ever do we properly educate stubborn Joseph in this matter? Perhaps a good whipping will help.

    #1652390

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    It’s a good thing Joseph works in the NYC Public Schools and can’t legally hit students.

    For those concerned about his children, don’t be. Joseph is all talk and no action.
    His daughter has spent the past two summers with us and he is a loving and gentle father. His bark is worse than his bite

    #1652397

    The little I know
    Participant

    CS was correct. Corporal punishment was never an effective educational tool. For that matter, shaming a child is also not an educational tool. And most of the time, kids react poorly to this infringement on their person.

    But before the self-righteous wolves start attacking me about the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch, I must qualify. There is a limited place for discipline in schools. Once the greatest concentration is about the rules and the consequences, we have stopped teaching and the students have stopped learning. The true message of the beauty of Torah and Mitzvos cannot be learned in such an environment.

    I have quoted before that there are treasures of seforim from the gedolim of the past many generations about chinuch (some authored seforim, others collected an anthology). Most of them address the subject, and I would turn to them for guidance on this subject. There are zero seforim who approach hitting as a good thing. At the most, they acknowledge that it can be a last resort. They also list prerequisite conditions. The rebbe/teacher cannot be angry, the “punishment” must teach not punish, all other forms of intervention have been exhausted, etc. If these criteria are not met, the pronouncement of these gedolim is, “רשע למה תכה רעך”, as this an aveiro, not a mitzvah. The Brisker Rov stated that under very specific and limited conditions, the first potch can be excused, but the second one is an aveiro – Min Hatorah! This is not a contemporary, secular, liberal mind.

    What is most sad here is that a good rebbe/teacher makes lessons interesting enough that there is hardly a role for discipline. It is not an easy job, and definitely not handled by someone whose experience is just kollel study. Planning lessons is no quick task, and having learned the material is not enough to teach it.

    How many readers here can cite the second half of the posuk without looking it up? חושך שבטו שונא בנו. Most would expect it to tell us that the one who truly loves the child should beat the daylights out of him. Rav Wolbe ZT”L points this out. I won’t kill the punchline. Go look it up. משלי י”ג כ”ד.

    #1652416

    Phil
    Participant

    “Joseph is all talk and no action.”

    CT,

    Are you implying that Joseph is a troll? I’m shocked I tell you, shocked.

    #1652512

    NOYB
    Participant

    1. Corporal punishment is illegal. Do you really think it will never get out if it starts being used in yeshivas?
    2. Kids now are different. They will not respond well to being hit anymore. They are much more likely to become traumatized and resentful.
    3. Kids hit back now. The one time a teacher in my yeshiva (not a rebbi, but if it was the result would be no different) hit someone, the kid knocked him down and punched him. When threatened with discipline, the kid told the teacher “Go ahead! tell anyone you want! I’ll tell them why I hit you, and you will never get out of jail!”

    #1652498

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    I love it when people assume that if something is constitutional it therefore must be good.

    #1652480

    1
    Participant

    Some OTD kids could’ve used a good slap, before it was too late. Everything is love until they end up In a bad situation.

    #1652470

    funnybone
    Participant

    If the objective is the to have amount of children OTD, then corporal punishment is the way to go. Otherwise, follow our mechanchim and gedolim.

    #1652560

    1
    Participant

    Our mechanchim are afraid to hit

    #1652581

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Even if you believe that corporal punishment is a proper part of chinuch, parents get to use it because it is presumed that they love their children. Teachers don’t necessarily care about the children at all.

    #1652582

    funnybone
    Participant

    1: our mechanchim are telling parents not to hit.

    #1652610

    Joseph
    Participant

    We are told to utilize corporal punishment directly in the Torah, which is paskened as Halacha in the Shulchan Aruch.

    #1652612

    The little I know
    Participant

    1:

    If your intent was the good slap, i disagree.

    What I hope you meant was that proper chinuch involves the setting of boundaries. There are times when we need to say no. The permissiveness of the Dr. Spock generation was not good for anyone. The OTD kid was not disciplined appropriately, and was more likely to have experienced too much of the negative than the positive. Why else would the positives and love help?

    #1652626

    funnybone
    Participant

    Joseph: Do you really think our gedolim and mechanchim dont know that? R Shlomo Wolbe was the first one (that I know of) who explained the pasuk in mishlei…and said hitting is not the way to be mechanech. Other gedolim and mechanchim have followed. Hitting feels good to the hitter as it gets instant feedback. However, it breeds anger (yes, when I reember my rebbes hitting me it brings up anger) and only helps when punisher is around.

    #1652632

    funnybone
    Participant

    Joseph: I fondly remember the Rebbes and teachers who taught with prizes and compliments, especially. One rebbe, when I asked a question on the first day of class asked who can answer funnybones kashya! Isnt tht a great question?! I learned much bettet tht year.
    Rebbes who hit do so because they dont know how to each their students otherwise, they should look for a job elsewhere.

    #1652649

    Uri22
    Participant

    Wow, seriously you guys get triggered so easily. Joseph is raising a legitimate point of view that was followed in the times of the Gemara, to the point of death sometimes (the Gemara qualifies that this Rebbe was let go for hitting too hard)! Yes, mechanchim nowadays don’t find this to be an appropriate form of discipline anymore, at the same time everyone should stop freaking out and calling Joseph a rasha and what-not for raising an interesting question. I don’t advocate hitting children, but I can appreciate hearing arguments on both sides for the sake of discussion.

    #1652672

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Having an opinion ≠ triggered.

    #1652675

    Doing my best
    Participant

    Joseph,
    Why only hit the kids, let’s restart malkus!
    No! because right now you’d have people leaving the frum communities left and right.
    Maybe when mashiach comes our minds will work differently and that’s why it will be reinstated.

    #1652683

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    DMB, Joseph has previously implied that he is very pro hitting people in general.

    #1652687

    Joseph
    Participant

    RY23: Keep your lies to yourself.

    #1652694

    1
    Participant

    People used to get hit in school and they turned out fine.

    #1652712

    NOYB
    Participant

    1: people used to give birth at home without medical attention, and many turned out fine. Do you think we shouldn’t use doctors? We don’t live in the same world as we used to.

    #1652705

    Mariana Santos
    Participant

    I had a student in my class one year who could start a fire with nothing more than a metal wastepaper basket, three wet toothpicks, a paperclip and a used straw from one of those drink boxes. Don’t ask me how because I don’t know. The kid was a genius. I had another one who liked to stick green pencil crayons, point side down, into his nostrils and chase the other children around the classroom while pretending to be a walrus with a head cold.

    Children act out because they need something. They act out because they need attention, because they need not to be hungry, they need not to feel embarrassed from something, they need warmer socks, they need more mental stimulation than the present curriculum is able to give or they need not to feel lost and alone in a curriculum that seems to come so easily and make sense to everyone else but them.

    Shouting, singling out and hitting have never enhanced a child’s ability to learn. Children cannot learn in an atmosphere of fear or embarrassment. The only thing that hitting and shouting accomplish is dread, fear and hatred of school. Should that really become a teacher’s goal? To beat the joy of learning out of an innocent child who is only trying to tell you that he or she stands in need of something? I didn’t think so either.

    #1652726

    The little I know
    Participant

    1:

    They also used to crank up their cars to turn them on. Today’s world is a different world. Today’s kids are not those of earlier generations. And today’s teachers are not those of earlier generations.

    There are many mitzvos that are completely dependent on the outcome. You might check out Mesilas Yeshorim Perek 20, where he addresses the mitzvah of rebuke. Clearly, any form of tochacha that produces an opposite result is prohibited. In fact, he even states that it would be a mitzvah to not offer that rebuke!

    I am not sure of the technicality of the rebbe’s potch. But if it produces the outcome that the kid straightens out, behaves, and does not lose cheishek for learning, it should fall within the “potch that contributes to chinuch”. If not, it is not permitted. The rebbe who harms a talmid is a problem, and should really be employed in another field. That’s why it is academically sound to be aware of what was done in the past, but that we must be cognizant of the facts on the ground when we want to apply old methods to a new phenomenon. Considering the risks involved, I would approach this cautiously.

    #1652737

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Wow, Joseph, such a reaction from you? I didn’t know you could get triggered.

    #1652748

    hml
    Participant

    “Clearly, Joseph beats the living daylights out of his children. I mean this seriously. I would suggest child services take a good hard look inside that dungeon.”

    Probably true & yes, cps needs to get involved.

    When a school employee kicked my son & the Principal refused to take action, I was in the Yeshiva the next day emptying my kids’ lockers. They never set foot in the place again, the Yeshiva lost the ONLY full tuition paying parents, & my only regret is not calling the police, because I had warned the Principal the first time it happened. I should have followed through.

    We are in the 21st century, not an 18th century shtetl. I am a retired teacher & I don’t believe in hitting kids, not my own or others.

    #1652800

    Joseph
    Participant

    ChabadShlucha: Are you familiar with the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s take on this topic?

    #1652811

    CS
    Participant

    Yes as I wrote above and as elaborated on by TLIK. In short, there definitely was place for this in the past but today’s generation needs to be reached with love. Now this does not mean no discipline. The Rebbe worked hand in hand with hanhola and bochurim had to listen to the rules. However they werent enforced with hitting as the Rebbe held it isn’t effective long term in discipline today.

    you might be interested to know that regarding chinuch the Rebbe had a pretty revolutionary approach that we should get the kids to learn for the sake of learning, not for prizes etc. There is a beautiful article by Rabbi Levi Goldstein on how he implemented this with a first grade class. I have implemented this myself in several situations. But I guess this is a sub topic so I’ll only elaborate if you’d like.

    #1652812

    CS
    Participant

    But even in the past, the better teachers wouldn’t have to resort to it and if they did it was a last option. Have you seen the story of Yitzchok Shaul in the Frierdiker Rebbes memoirs? That’s education.

    #1652813

    catch yourself
    Participant

    This is stupid.

    I can’t speak for all teachers, but I and all the educators I know do not want to hit children. But that is like a police officer saying he doesn’t want to shoot black people. What would you think of a doctor who is forced to declare that he does not want to commit malpractice?

    I regard the premise of this thread as an assault on teachers, and its proponents as the assailants. It maligns us, and compromises our ability to do our job. Ultimately, it hurts our students.

    What the OP may have intended as a ‘harmless’ troll is in fact הוצאת שם רע which borders on יורד עמו לחייו and has real victims – both teachers and students.

    #1652818

    1
    Participant

    Today’s kids are different because they have to be worshipped by parents and teachers. It’s 1960s values that aren’t based on reality.

    #1652832

    Phil
    Participant

    ” I don’t advocate hitting children, but I can appreciate hearing arguments on both sides for the sake of discussion.”

    Uri22,

    Advocating for corporal punishment in school is not a legitimate view since our gedolim and chinuch experts have stated unequivocally that it’s counterproductive in our generation so therefore it’s assur. Hearing arguments on both sides for the sake of discussion makes as much sense as hearing arguments on the pros and cons of eating pork for the sake of discussion.

    #1652882

    Phil
    Participant

    “It’s a good thing Joseph works in the NYC Public Schools and can’t legally hit students. For those concerned about his children, don’t be. Joseph is all talk and no action.”

    CT,

    You assume that since Joseph works for the public schools and one of his children lived in your home for two summers that he’s not abusive. What if you’re wrong? I realize that Joseph is a nasty troll but plenty of red flags have been raised over the years and he clearly becomes most animated at the thought of violence against women and children. As an officer of the court, don’t you have an obligation to allow the authorities to investigate this matter as opposed to just assuming that he’s harmless? Could you live with yourself if your assumptions turned out to be wrong?

    #1652895

    Uri22
    Participant

    Unequivocally? Phil have you actually spent any time looking into he subject or are you so horrified by the subject matter that you can’t differentiate between pork as tarfus and an educational discussion? Rav Shlomo Wolbe z”l was known to say that hitting is never appropriate nowadays, however Rav Ovadia Yosef z”l allowed it, cautioning one should not hit during moments of anger. Similarly the Peleh Yoetz (around 200 years ago) allowed hitting students except in cases where one recognizes that the student will react by rebelling even stronger.

    #1652894

    The little I know
    Participant

    1:

    You wrote: “Today’s kids are different because they have to be worshipped by parents and teachers. It’s 1960s values that aren’t based on reality.”

    Either you’re being sarcastic, or you have some serious disorder. Your comment is bizarre. No one is worshiping kids. But you gotta understand something about chinuch that is often missed. The classroom and the school are about the kids, not the teachers or rebbeiim. That’s not 1960’s. That’s Torah. Perhaps you need to review the countless quotes in Chazal about the immense value of our children. How about אין העולם מתקיים אלא מחמת הבל פיהם של תינוקות של בית רבן? Maybe you will be more fond of בנינו ערבים אותנו as a prerequisite to מתן תורה. The main character in the yeshiva or achool is the student. The teachers and rebbeiim are there to serve them. No, the kids are not boss, and they cannot do just anything they want. It is the עיקר of the school day to provide the education to talmidim who should enjoy the experience and want more. NOT to make the teachers and rebbeiim happy. The good rebbe runs a class that the talmidim enjoy, and has the value system to have the internal and external smiles seeing the chinuch working. The good rebbe rarely turns to discipline. And the strict rebbeiim are either untrained, in the wrong career, or have class that is poorly matched for that rebbe.

    It’s not about the 1960’s. It’s about the common situation of a rebbe entering a classroom to teach to a large class without the skills to manage that crowd. When he resorts to the equivalent of riot gear and tear gas, we have lost the dynamic of teaching, and have sunk into crowd control. Success would then be measured by the degree to which that rebbe has managed to cram the kids into his cookie cutter, and created enough fear to beat them into shape. This is an utter disgrace, and has zero connection to real chinuch or a derech of Torah.

    No, I am not grouping all mechanchim into this category. But I am saying that there was a phase in the development of our communities where this approach was more prevalent, and it had horrible outcomes. Things have reversed a lot, and there are many who deserve credit for that. We are not out of the woods.

    It’s not at all about worshiping kids. It’s about following Divrei Chazal without picking and choosing. They never advocated corporal punishment. Quite the opposite. They were quite advanced in their understanding of the human psyche. They knew that the use of fear and coercion will not produce אהבת התורה and all that follows from this.

    #1652921

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Almost every case is one where the student will react by rebelling even stronger.

    #1652934

    Uri22
    Participant

    @rebyidd I agree with you there. I think that the results of corporal punishment today would be traumatizing and harmful.

    #1652939

    Phil
    Participant

    Uri22,

    Rav Ovadia Yosef, zt”l allowed parents to hit children in certain instances but where did he write that rabbeim may do so? In addition, what might work in Sephardic culture is irrelevant to the non-Sephardic world. Any gadol will tell you that while hitting may have worked two thousand or even two hundred years ago, it can irreparably harm the children of our generation and drive them away from Torah.

    #1652944

    Uri22
    Participant

    @phil ahh and this is what we call discussion. You argue that corporal punishment is permitted in certain cultural settings and situations whil Joseph may argue that it can be extended to differing cultures. Welcome to the table.

    #1652954

    Phil
    Participant

    Uri22,

    I assert that corporal punishment is never permitted nowadays in the classroom, period. Please concentrate, that’s the topic of this thread. So again, where did R. Ovadia Yosef, zt”l or any contemporary gadol write otherwise?

    #1652953

    Uri22
    Participant

    I think to a larger extent, we tend to disagree with the more draconian punishments listed in the Torah, and validate our feelings by thinking the Torah must ‘not have meant it for us’. Imagine if we would hold public floggings every time someone transgressed a lo saaseh with hasraah. The public outrage would be insane. Our 2018 minds can’t handle thinking that physical punishment is ever appropriate, yet the Torah is okay with it.

    #1652970

    Uri22
    Participant

    @phil Rav Ovadia was commenting on the Rambam who paskens that a teacher should only hit with a small belt and not a heavy instrument. Rav Ovadia qualifies that certainly a father who is hitting should also only use a small belt and not in anger.

    #1652971

    catch yourself
    Participant

    Uri22,

    “Every time someone transgressed a lo saaseh with hasraah”? How often does this happen? I doubt that it occurred more than a handful of times since the Mekosheish Eitzim.

    The Rambam, Maharal, and many other of the greatest Jewish thinkers have written that the Torah’s intention was not the practical implementation of these punishments, but the value system their prescription teaches. In truth, this is very nearly explicit in the Mishna which derides the Beis Din Katlonis.

    The broader implication of your post is that you believe you have a better understand the values of the Torah than Gedolim such as Rav Wolbe and Rav Shteinman [who was quite emphatic in his rejection of corporal punishment], along with רוב מנין ובנין of contemporary Mechanchim and Poskim.

    Sure, you’re entitled to an opinion…

    #1652972

    Joseph
    Participant

    It’s about following Divrei Chazal without picking and choosing. They never advocated corporal punishment.

    TLIK: This is blatantly false. Tanach itself tells us to use corporal punishment. And Chazal, Rambam and the Mechaber all directly pasken this is Halacha. You’re the one cherry picking. But you’re doing even worse. You’re taking Chazals that are about other matters and trying to use them to dismiss Torah and Halacha that directly deals with the issue, saying farkert of what you’re saying; namely a total ban on corporal punishment.

    Phil: A rebbi has the same halacha as a father.

    Rebbeim commonly — though sparingly — used petch during the lifetimes of most readers here. Just as they had since the time of Har Sinai. The concept of a total ban on petch by rebbeim is very very new; something that only developed during the last generation or two (or three – no more.)

    #1652984

    Phil
    Participant

    “The concept of a total ban on petch by rebbeim is very very new; something that only developed during the last generation or two (or three – no more.)”

    Joseph,

    And that’s the topic at hand: should rabbeim be hitting children in our generation and contemporary gedolim tell us that it’s destructive to do so.

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