Corporal Punishment Law and Legal Definition

Corporal punishment is infliction of physical punishment on a person's body, which is sometimes employed in various settings, such as school, home, military, judicial, and other settings. Corporal punishment goes by a variety of names including, but not limited to, "beating," "hitting," "spanking," "paddling," "swatting," and "caning."

The effectiveness of corporal punishment of juveniles is a hotly debated topic. The Bible is often quoted as a rationale for corporal punishment: "Spare the rod and spoil the child. " Those who oppose it cite the danger of its escalation to battering or physical abuse, degrading effects, and general ineffectiveness as a deterrent for controlling unwanted behaviors. As of this writing, 27 states ban corporal punishment in schools.