Last month, when I wrote about corporal punishment, there were arguments for the rod and against it. While the debate goes on, I recently read this very disturbing news.
This is the gist: In 2010, when Piya was seven years old, her teacher hit her and damaged the little girl’s eye. The injury required eight surgeries. Two months ago, her doctors diagnosed cancer and she died on November 16, 2012.
The doctors reportedly told her uncle that “Piya’s condition worsened due to severe head injuries and clots in her brain.”
Do you find this difficult to believe? Is this just sensational reporting? Perhaps, I would have agreed with you, if I had not come across this report some days before I read about Piya.
This is not from the lay press, but a research finding from Journal of Behavioral Medicine, reported by The Telegraph.
“Those who had cancer were 70 per cent more likely to have been beaten as a child compared to the healthy group.
Those with cardiac disease were 30 per cent more likely and those with asthma 60 per cent more likely.”
Even as we all feel sorry for Piya (how dare she not complete her homework!), there is that little voice asking the question. Was the beating the direct reason for her cancer? Or, to put it more bluntly, did her teacher really kill her?
This is what the researchers conclude: “Our results lend support to those who suggest that physical punishment should not be used. Our interpretation, however, is that it is not physical punishment per se but the threat produced by the use of physical punishment that leads to negative outcomes.”
This is my question to you.
As a parent or as a teacher, will the fear of the big C (or some other chronic disease) arrest your hand (or cane) mid-air? Or silence that yell?
Or, in your opinion, would it cause more harm if you let a misdeed go (corporally) unpunished?