Switch (corporal punishment)
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Switches are most efficient (i.e., painful and durable) if made of a strong but flexible type of wood, such as hazel (also used for a very severe birch) or hickory; as the use of their names for disciplinary implements. It is indicated that birch and willow branches are time-honored favorites, but branches from most strong trees and large shrubs can be used also. Often found simply nearby from a garden, an orchard or from the wild. In the Southeastern United States, fresh-cut, flexible cane (Arundinaria) is commonly used. The usage of switches has been hotly contested in North America and Europe.
Making a switch involves cutting it from the stem and removing twigs or directly attached leaves. For optimal flexibility, it is cut fresh shortly before use, rather than keeping it for re-use over time. Some parents decide to make the cutting of a switch an additional form of punishment for a child, by requiring the disobedient child to cut his/her own switch.
The practice of switching is banned in the United States School System in 29 states and no longer occurs in public settings. In 21 states, including Mississippi and Texas, corporal punishment is still practiced in schools. Many adults from rural areas still vividly recall being switched as children.
In the United States the actual practice of this is rare to the vanishing point, and most modern educators consider such severe physical discipline cruel and it is often banned by law as child abuse.
- The tamarind switch (in Creole English tambran switch) is a judicial birch-like instrument for corporal punishment made from three tamarind rods, braided and oiled, used long after independence in the Caribbean Commonwealth island states of Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.
- The Gilbertese tribal community at Wagina in Choiseul province (Solomon Islands) reintroduced by referendum in 2005 traditional "whipping" with coconut tree branches for various offences - the national justice system opposes this.
- In the The Dukes of Hazzard episode "The Ghost of General Lee", when Jesse Duke thinks his nephews Bo and Luke faked their deaths, he yells at them "after all you've put me through, I oughtta take the switch to both of you".
- In the The Simpsons episode "Natural Born Kissers" Grandpa Simpson says, " There you go with that smart mouth! Lisa, run outside and cut me a switch."
- In the film The Harder They Come, the lead character, after assaulting another character, is punished with "eight strokes of the tamarind switch".
- In the Community episode "Basic Genealogy", Troy's grandmother asks for a switch with which to beat Troy and Britta.
- In Spring Awakening, Wendla asks Melchior to hit her with a switch as a way to sympathize for Martha, who is abused by her father.
- In the Don Bluth short film Banjo the Woodpile Cat, Banjo is asked by his father to retrieve a switch.
- In Richard Pryor: Live in Concert, Pryor describes how his grandmother would discipline him by making him retrieve a switch with which she would then beat him.
- In an episode of 'Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, guest star Paula Deen and Kathy jokingly whack Griffin's tour manager in the back of the legs with a switch. Griffin then quickly turns to hit guest star Michael McDonald in the chest, but accidentally hits Deen in the face.
- In 2014, Minnesota Vikings player Adrian Peterson was indicted for child abuse after hitting his four-year-old son with a switch as a punishment. This left cuts and bruises on the child's back, leg, buttocks, and scrotum.
- Corporal punishment in the home
- Judicial corporal punishment
- School corporal punishment
- Gould, Mark (January 9, 2007). "Sparing the Rod". The Guardian (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved February 5, 2009.
- Celis, William (August 16, 1990). "More States Are Laying School Paddle to Rest". The New York Times (The New York Times). Retrieved February 5, 2009.
- JEGATHEESAN, RAMYA (August 20, 2008). "Rights groups want corporal punishment banned in U.S. schools". Globe and Mail. CTV Globe Media Production. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
- "School Spanking Issue Heats Up". New York Times Service. St. Petersburg Times. May 10, 1972. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
- Parker, Quincy (March 7, 2007). "Human Rights Abuse Concerns". The Bahama Journal. Jones Communications Nassau Bahamas. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
- "Floggings cut crime: village leader". AAP. The Sydney Morning Herald. March 9, 2006. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
- McFarlane, Keeble. (April 15, 2006). "Violence is an intrinsic part of the culture". The Jamaica Observer. Jamaica Observer. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
- Moore, Tina (13 September 2014). "Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces two years in prison if found guilty of child abuse". New York Daily News. Retrieved 14 September 2014.