Tue | Jan 26, 2021

Ministry to crack whip on teachers for beatings

Published:Tuesday | January 22, 2019 | 12:00 AM

School administrators who continue to punish students with beatings have been warned by the Ministry of Education to desist, as they run the risk of disciplinary action being taken against them.

“In light of renewed concerns expressed in the media about corporal punishment in schools, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information is again directing that school boards, principals and school officials ensure that all appropriate measures are taken to comply with this directive,” the ministry stated in a press release yesterday.

Students report abuse

Several students reported in this week’s Sunday Gleaner lead story that they continue to witness or experience corporal punishment at school. Students reported cases of being pinched until they bled and being whipped with a strap for infractions such as speaking while in class.

The ministry said its position is guided by Article 19(1) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which requires all state parties to take appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect children from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation.

The ministry also pointed to Article 37 of the convention, which speaks to ensuring that children are protected from “torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

“All matters relating to school discipline are to be administered in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformance with the relevant acts and conventions,” the ministry stated.

It warned that “school personnel who continue to use any form of physical punishment, which may result in injury or abuse of a student, run the risk of disciplinary action being taken against them”.