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Avoid corporal punishment Children's Advocate encourages teachers

Published:Wednesday | December 16, 2015 | 12:21 PMJerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter
Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison says when corporal punishment is used, persons may end up using too much force on a child which may cross the line into abuse.

Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison is encouraging teachers to avoid using corporal punishment as a means to disciplining students.

Gordon Harrison says the habit of beating children needs to stop.

Her comments come in light of a case where a teacher was charged with assault on Monday after a parent filed a complaint relating to the disciplining of her child by the educator. 

The case has renewed public debate about the use of corporal punishment in schools.

The Children’s Advocate says the country needs to move away from the cultural acceptance of beating children and begin to embrace non-violence alternatives to disciplining.

Under common law, Jamaican parents are allowed to inflict reasonable and moderate punishment in child rearing.

This is commonly called corporal punishment.

However, Gordon Harrison says when corporal punishment is used, persons may end up using too much force on a child which may cross the line into abuse.

She says educators may find themselves in trouble with the law if they go overboard noting that assaulting and injuring a child during the course of using corporal punishment is a criminal offence under the Child Care and Protection Act.

 

Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison

Gordon Harrison says teachers and schools can use alternatives such as denying privileges, suspension from school activities, voluntary work and making restitution as means of correcting misbehaving students.

She says the society needs to encourage more use of non-violent means of correcting children and she emphasises that violence is never the answer.