Spanking is detrimental to our kids, as everyone very well knows today. So, why are some schools still allowed to use such a barbaric method? We are in the 21st century, and incredibly, a school district in Cassville, Missouri, just decided to bring back corporal punishment - as it happens, SPANKING YOUNG STUDENTS WITH PADDLES - as a way of disciplining them.

The only limitation is that parents will be asked to opt in or out of this mode of punishment. The more shocking news, however, is that some of them agree. "The child is getting spanked once; it's not beatings," said the grandparent-guardian of an 8-year-old child. What a horrendous idea! Plenty of research has shown that physical punishment - which was still often practiced 20 years ago - negatively affects children's social-emotional and cognitive development later in life.

In fact, studies never found any evidence that spanking can improve a child's behavior. On the contrary, spanking increases the risk of bad outcomes for the victims, such as antisocial conduct and aggression, mental health issues, impaired cognitive ability, and lower self-esteem, among other scary things. Prior experience of spanking tends to be associated not only with adult mental health problems and antisocial behavior but also with supportive attitudes about spanking that promotes it in a self-perpetuating cycle.

There are some reasons why corporal punishment of adults - a cruel violation of human rights - is generally banned. Incredibly, the practice persists when dealing with children. In the USA, in addition to Missouri, 18 other states still allow corporal punishment of kids as early as preschool. Almost 70,000 kids suffered physical punishment during the 2017-2018 school year. And according to a 2019 survey, while parental spanking has diminished to about 35% overall, 49% of children ages zero to 9 had been spanked in the previous year. Are we really regressing to the past?

Picture: Washington Post staff illustration (Getty Images / iStockphoto)