Critical Childhood Studies group discusses corporal punishment
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 02:09
The use of corporal punishment on children is a topic that has historically sparked numerous debates, studies and social-activist groups across the nation, and is still capable of the doing the same thing today.
The Melbern G. Glasscock Center Critical Childhood Studies met Wednesday in the Memorial Student Center to discuss the specificity of corporal punishment use on children at state, federal and international levels. Both Critical Childhood Studies and Amnesty International led the discussion.
Critical Childhood Studies is a group interested in prompting the question: “What is childhood studies?” The first topic of the group’s discussion series focused on corporal punishment.
Critical Childhood Studies is composed of members from different backgrounds and have an interest in discussing children and how to raise awareness on issues involving children. They meet once a month and each meeting has a different discussion topic with an overlying topic relating to children.
Lucia Hodgeson, chair of Critical Childhood Studies and assistant professor in the Department of English, is responsible for sparking interest in this topic and established the group.
“I found interest in discussing children from everything in details of their rights and privileges to how they are viewed legally and socially,” Hodgeson said. “I found students, professors and volunteers interested in the same thing to start this group.”
The meeting began with a presentation that gave background information on corporal punishment and quickly moved to a heated discussion with the small group. The questions discussed brought up the legality and ethics behind corporal punishment and how the U.S. uses it, in comparison to other countries. Members brought different resources to the table — from personal experiences to scientific studies — in order to have a more credible debate, with a chance to ask questions and become more informed on specific issues.
Marissa Madsen, senior English major, is involved with the group and helped start it with Hodgeson.
“Basically the goal of Critical Childhood Studies is to raise awareness rights of children and also what it means to be a child,” Madsen said. “The program is mostly geared toward undergraduates to participate, but there are seminars that are directed more toward the faculty.”
In order to reach out to more people and have a more in-depth discussion, Mark McMonigle, sophomore philosophy major and president of Amnesty International, came as a partner to the meeting with several hot topics and key points to discuss.
“Amnesty International is interested in all human rights, including those of children and dealing with corporal punishment,” McMonigle said. “We were obviously interested in the Critical Childhood Studies for what they have to offer to people and the message they promote.”
BOX: Interested students can visit their Facebook page, Critical Children Studies, or go to there website criticalchildhoodstudie.tamu.edu. The next meeting will be held on Oct. 24 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the MSC room 2504. The next discussion topic will be announced through their Facebook group.