10 Forms of Discipline Banned From U.S. Schools

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Older generations often relay horror stories about the discipline they received, or at the very least witnessed, when they were in school and how vastly different and tame it is from the discipline kids receive today. Some teachers and principals were notorious for their heavy handed approach to maintaining order in their classroom and schools, and spanking children was a norm. Corporal punishment has since been banned from public schools so students needn’t worry about getting the snot smacked out of them for misbehaving; and while everyone can agree that students shouldn’t be subjected to abuse, some feel that school policies have become too soft, to the point that they’re nearly ineffective. These 10 forms of discipline are banned from U.S. school because they were seen as too harsh:

  1. Slapping – Teachers and school officials are banned from hitting students in any way. This includes slapping, smacking, punching, or any other form of direct contact. And while there’s no doubt why this type of punishment has been banned, that doesn’t mean teachers experience times when they feel sorely tempted.
  2. Spanking – Many people consider spanking a more tolerable form of corporal punishment because there’s little risk of real injury. However, it too has been banned from U.S. schools as an unacceptable form of punishment for transgressions.
  3. Paddling – Some teachers used to have specially made paddles to whack misbehaving kids with when they acted up in class. They would drill holes in them for less wind resistance to gain the maximum effect. Since paddling is now banned, those paddles have now become relics of the past.
  4. Knuckle rapping – One discipline that was a teacher favorite was rapping knuckles with a ruler. This quick and effective discipline has also been relegated to the dustbin of history. No more red knuckles for today’s students.
  5. Humiliation – Then there were the teachers who felt a healthy amount of shame was a good form of punishment for students. Humiliation is no longer considered an acceptable form of discipline in schools so students can rest easy. No more standing at the front of the class with your gum stuck to the end of your nose.
  6. Verbal abuse – Since physical contact is banned some teachers may want to take out their frustration on students verbally. However any verbal abuse would set the teacher up for their own round of punishment from higher-ups and parents alike.
  7. Demeaning – School disciplinarians are not allowed to use any punishment that students or their parents consider demeaning. No more having to clean erasers or do other chores for the teachers as punishment for misdeeds.
  8. Theme papers – English teachers were notorious for assigning theme papers as a form of discipline. Talking in class would get you sentenced with 1000 words on some obscure historian you never heard of.
  9. Repeat sentences – Some students were punished by having to write “I will not swear in class” or whatever their offense was a thousand times. Since this might give kids writing cramps, this discipline is now banned from schools.
  10. Dunce cap – Years ago bad grades were rewarded by making the student wear a dunce cap. This ancient discipline has vanished long ago and is no longer tolerated. Instead, students who have trouble learning are assigned a special tutor.

So with all these former disciplines banned from schools, what’s left to punish miscreant kids? Basically detention, suspension and expulsion are the only tools left for school administrators to maintain order. For kids who don’t think of these disciplines as any kind of threat, this can lead to real problems in the classroom. With the ban of corporal punishment teachers are forced to find new and inventive ways to discipline their class.

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