Historically, has corporal punishment been more prevelant in Catholic schools than other schools?

There is a notion that Catholic schools, at least back in the day tended to resort to corporal punishment moreso than other schools. Is this true or a misconception? If it is true how do you best defend the Church in light of this information? I know the Church is made up of sinners and the actions of her members doesn’t discredit the faith but it still would be problematic if the Church influenced a lot of severe corporal punishment. Help!

The corporal punishment that is usually thought of to be in Catholic schools is along the lines of being smacked with a ruler. I’m not saying we should smack kids with rulers but there are much worse forms of corporal punishment many of which are known to be in secular schools and I have never heard of being in Catholic schools. So I don’t think severe is what is really thought of when we think of Catholic schools using corporal punishment.

I went to a small private elementary school (non-catholic) for a while and one time the teacher broke a yard stick over this kid’s head. It was funny for us and hard to keep our laughter in.

I don’t see the big deal about teachers using rulers or spanking kids in school if they are misbehaving.
I think we are becoming a little too sensitive. I’m not talking about beating a child, but using a sticks and carrots type of teaching is ok.

In the 1960s, there was general unity between corporal punishment and related punishment in public and private schools, and in the home. It was never regarded as a good thing to be beaten but I knew, or saw, no one in the 1960s physically harmed by their teachers or parents. The worst that occurred in Catholic schools was a ruler across the knuckles or a whack on your back side and standing in a corner or by the chalk board. I can say that there were consequences for bad behavior in public and private schools but the perception was that Catholic schools were more strict, and they were.

Eventually, schools became experimental labs. Some people with too much time on their hands decided that kids needed to have their “self esteem” protected. I watched in disbelief as all the kids in a little league team got trophies after a game. As public schools became more “modern” they became less rational. As families were torn apart by divorce, kids were allowed to get away with bad behavior, ignoring the fact that regardless of the time period, children need guidance and discipline to give up their desire to cause trouble. Now, it has been decided that the law will get involved with parents and their school age children. Hopefully, children will not end up hand-cuffed to their desks.

Too many parents aren’t parenting. I see kids cussing out mom in public. Has parenting suddenly become that much harder? And no, I’m not talking about families with six kids.

With all due respect to the various people reading this, until we truly understand that right and wrong are mostly, very black and white, adults and kids will be confused, and do the wrong thing or do what they “think” is the right thing based on what some expert said last week. As social creatures, human beings have not changed substantially in 2,000 years. Our computers, cell phones and other tech do not make us better people by themselves.


Corporal punishment was a societal reality! Steal or misbehave, you get hanged or beheaded!

Where would you rather learn to behave, by force if necessary?? At school ??.. or kneeling at the chopping block?

Times have changed and societal views of consequences have changed.

At the rate societal miscreants are being churned out of schools these days, I say don’t smack them with rulers…smack’em with the keyboards!!


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