Children at School
Editorial: The New York Times, January 22, 1871
The question as to the propriety of using the rod is a very difficult one to decide. Whether corporal punishment is essential to education is a point continually debated, but the discussion commonly leaves off were it began...
The periodical disturbance about the beating of youth has just come around again... In this instance the maltreated children are of very tender years. They have seen only five or six summers. Yet the cruel teacher--we may presume to think her so since she has been censured on investigation, by the committee of her school--has been "trouncing" three poor little pupils until they were black and blue and until they screamed in agony. What is worse, this teacher has beaten children on the head and face, an outrage which few people would like to see inflicted on a horse or dog, much less on a human being... Yet such is the temper and moral culture of teachers themselves that it is exceedingly unsafe to leave too wide a discretion in their hands. The nature even of instructors of youth is fallible, and there is a kind of intoxication in the exercise of unlimited power, though it be only over little boys and girls, that may wisely be checked and controlled.
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