Let’s debate corporal punishment
THE EDITOR, Sir:
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 surrounding 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 of '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 much disturbed in mind when our 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 policymakers to rethink the banning of corporal punishment in schools. Spanking of children is outlawed in some countries, while still being practised in other countries.
As an educator and administrator, 'restorative discipline' would be a good alternative to corporal punishment; but given the aggressive and in-the-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 administration and teachers have been stripped of their authority to reprimand students:
• Classroom behaviour has deteriorated rapidly.
• Bad behaviour has increased and is overwhelming the teachers on a daily basis.
• 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 even the United States, a country which, when it sneezes, Jamaica catches cold, carries out spanking of children in 21 states? Spanking, whether at home or at school, must be executed with discretion.
As the debate begins, let us ask ourselves the question: Are these children growing up in the way they should, a way in which they will never depart?