Corporal punishment is a physical punishment in which pain is deliberately inflicted on a perpetrator of a wrong in order to exact retribution and to deter similar behavior in future. An accepted form of discipline through the ages, it has been upheld by all the Abrahamic religions, and has been practiced in some form in almost every human civilization. Corporal punishment was for a long time considered an appropriate method for disciplining children in schools. The birch rod was once a fixture of the schoolhouse. In the latter half of the 20th century, however, a growing number of states have outlawed the use of corporal punishment, particularly in schools. Corporal punishment in schools is now illegal in all European countries, except for France and Czech Republic. Corporal punishment is practiced in schools across the world, including 20 states of the USA. Proponents of corporal punishment need to demonstrate the effectiveness of the method as a tool of discipline. Opponents on the other hand highlight the costs both physical and mental inherent in the punishment.
The kind of punishment used can vary considerably both in terms of the severity and were is being hit with what as well as in what context. A traditional case is the implementation of a "school disciplinarian" who performs the actual punishment so as to avoid excesses or misapplications by individual teachers not versed in such methods. Likewise, having a separate disciplinarian means teachers too physically weak or timid to mete out the punishment themselves, have recourse to an external arbiter that does not look like an abrogation of responsibility, and thus weakness, in the eyes of the class1. Strict regulation of the extent of acceptable punishment is also important to consider when proposing such a disciplinary regime.
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