Reasonable corporal punishment should be permitted in American public schools.
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Four Key Points for Judges and potential contenders:
1. Reasonable corporal punishment includes, but is not necessarily limited to, physical conditioning (e.g., running laps around a track), spanking/paddling and the like. (1). The only corporal punishment at issue is "reasonable" corporal punishment. Any abusive corporal punishment would be, by definition, unreasonable. Thus, abusive corporal punishment (e.g., depriving a student of access to water while making him or her run laps in 115 degree Texas heat, beating with a baseball bat, thrashing with an electrical cord) is outside the scope of this debate. Corporal punishment permitted by law in those states permitting it is presumptively reasonable. (1).
2. The legality of corporal punishment is a different issue than reasonableness, however. This is about the normative question of whether corporal punishment should be allowed, not whether it is allowed in any type or form. Arguments with respect to the legal status of corporal punishment shall be considered non-topical and disregarded by judges.
3. The debate is limited to use of corporal punishment in the school setting, and the specific school setting at issue is American public schools. Other contexts beyond the school setting (e.g., corporal punishment at home), in non-American settings (e.g., Australia or Sweden) or in non-public contexts (private and/or religious schools) may be relevant as illustrative examples. But this is a debate about the United States (as opposed countries where corporal punishment is routinely carried out in unreasonable ways according to American sensibilities, like Malaysia, Uganda, Thailand, India or South Korea).
4. The debate is only about whether reasonable corporal punishment should be "permitted," as opposed to mandatory. Permitting corporal punishment does not imply that it will be used wholly or totally in place of other available measures of discipline (like in-school suspension, detention or revocation of extra curricular privileges).
Further, PRO does not have to come up with a plan for HOW corporal punishment should be applied or provide evidence that any particular scheme of implementing would avoid harms (such as potential abuses), identify what if any safeguards as to preventing abuse should be implemented, whether it should be a default punishment as opposed to something like in-school suspension, whether parents should be required to opt-in or opt-out or other issues focusing on implementation. Implementation-focused issues are beyond the scope of this resolution.
Rules: Please review the rules carefully before accepting.
Structure. The structure of this debate shall follow as such:
Round 1: debaters shall make their affirmative cases (absent any specific refutation of arguments made by the opposing side).
Round 2: debaters shall rebut the affirmative cases raised in round 1 (and may introduce new evidence in support of such rebuttals).
Round 3: debaters shall reply to the rebuttals provided in round 2 and provide any reconstructive arguments in support of arguments initially raised in round 1 (but may not introduce new evidence in support of such replies or reconstructive arguments).
Burdens of Persuasion. The burdens of persuasion shall be equal, as stated below:
In order for PRO to win, PRO must argue that "on balance" reasonable corporal punishment should be permitted in American public schools; and prevent CON from establishing that, by the same standard, corporal punishment should NOT be permitted in American public schools.
In order for CON to win, CON must argue that "on balance" reasonable corporal punishment should NOT be permitted in American public schools; and prevent PRO from establishing that, by the same standard, corporal punishment SHOULD be permitted in American public schools.
For the avoidance of doubt, the burdens of persuasion apply equally to both sides. No side has any greater or lesser burden than the other. All starting points are equal.
Please ask questions if any of the above is unclear. If you do not agree to these terms, it would be better that you select another debate.
Accepting this debate implies that you agree with all terms stated herein.