Having grown up in that era, I agree with Sizemik that corporal punishment was very much the norm, rather than the exception. It was often very severe, too - the expression that I remember often hearing at home was a "thrashing."
In the schools, beatings were often administered simply because the teacher had become frustrated with his students (or her students - some of the worst excesses I observed were carried out by female teachers). Nothing at all, of course, to do with the fact that their teaching methods might be badly wanting!
However, advocating corporal punishment in a religious work raises matters to an entirely new level. It tends to make parents think that they are violating Divine Law if they don't flog their children. It tends to become a "take what a 'worldly' parent would hand out by way of punishment, then add 50% on top of that again" type situation.
No wonder ther eare so many screwed up people amongst the JWs.