Letters to the Editor

Don’t ban corporal punishment in schools

Monday, April 24, 2017    

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Dear Editor,

In an implicit way the educators of Cumberland High School demanded ‘justice’. They did not have to bear placards, block roads or burn tyres, but they boycotted classes and calmly sought justice from the authorities or powers that be.

This strategy was effective enough for the battle-worn educators. This reignites the fire in me to call for a debate on the legality or illegality of corporal punishment in schools. I believe that any move to outlaw corporal punishment in schools should not be a top down decision but should involve those at the bottom. The cry for justice is going to get louder and louder from the classroom if something is not done to temper the intemperate behaviour of this generation of vipers.

I was most disturbed when our Most Honourable Prime Minister announced during his budget presentation that steps would be taken to fully ‘do away’ with the practice of corporal punishment in educational institutions. I am calling on the policy-makers to rethink the banning of corporal punishment in schools. Spanking of children is outlawed in some countries while still being practised in others.

As an educator and administrator I believe that ‘restorative discipline’ would be a good alternative to corporal punishment, but given the aggressive and ‘in-your-face’ nature of our people, including our children, that approach would be a grand waste of time.

My observation could be faulty but this is what I have noticed since school administrators and teachers have been stripped of their authority to reprimand students:

• Classroom behaviour has deteriorated rapidly, overwhelming the teachers.

• There has been an increase in serious school violence.

• Other sanctions have no effect.

• There is a noticeable presence of the ‘rights’ culture.

• The DNA syndrome (Daddy Not Available) is a contributing factor to school anarchy.

Did you know that in the United States, the spanking of children is allowed in 21 states? Generally speaking though, spanking, whether at home or at school, must be executed with discretion and presence of mind. Are we going to spare the rod and spoil the child? We all know that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child and only the rod of correction can drive it out. As the debate begins, let us ask ourselves the question, are these children growing up in the way they should?

Harvey Brown






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