When searching for a resource related to corporal punishment in child rearing I decided to search YouTube for an interesting video. I came across this clip from a Little House on the Prairie episode about spanking.
In the beginning of the episode, the teacher is shown and implied to be spanking the little boy. This sort of corporal punishment by (in my mind) an insider, I do not find appropriate. Especially in this case the man is punishing the boy for silly reasons or in some views no reason at all.
After the little boy locks the teacher in the outhouse, the father of the boy comes to the school. The father makes it clear that he is disappointed in the boy's behavior and that it was wrong. He then allows the teacher to spank the boy with his belt to a limited extent. My favorite quote from the clip was, "punishment will follow wrongdoing." In my mind, this summarizes my view of corporal punishment in child rearing.
I believe that physical punishment has its time and place. I was spanked as a child and after one time I never needed it again. I think that it is a very effective way to teach children right and wrong. In the clip, the boy realized that his last spanking he deserved and that he had acted inappropriately. I don't believe that the father's actions were any sort of child abuse, simply good parenting. The teacher's action during the first two spankings were uncalled for and I would consider child abuse.
Overall, I am pro corporal punishment in child rearing when done right. There is a fine line, but I believe walking that line has its benefits. Spanking in particular to this case, was associated in the deep respect the boy showed for his father and I don't think that either of them would trade that.