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Corporal punishment

08 August 2012, 06:59
When some children cannot have their way or wants they break down the doors and burn down the school. Other children may just throw a stone through the window.    

When the fight is done then the same sequence but in reverse to gain demands made  We know who will pass matric and who will fail and thereby become a burden to the nation.    

It should be more illuminating if I were to relate my own experience with corporal punishment in schools. 1957, Sub A  (G1). I had been in school only about 3 months when I received my first hiding from the principal for climbing over a 600mm fence on my way to “stand in a line” after the end of a break. 3-of-the-best with a cane was enough to change my worldly outlook radically. There were o0ther children, too, using this shortcut and paid for their crimes in just methods.    

The beating convinced one not to trespass in that area again but at the same time created fear and uncertainty as to the motive of the principal and hence instilled a fear for the principal. The latter is a negative reaction while the former is positive. In those days tardiness was not tolerated and reliance on the cane was supreme. Returning via the gate would add a large distance to the line. So a 6year old boy has to decide the worst scenario: go over the fence or around via the gate. The longer route means late and more pain.    

A bunch of high school boys were playing in the school building during a long break. Some of the girls entered the class and remained there with the door locked from the inside. At the end of the break the boys could not open the door and it was given a yank which destroyed the lock. I arrived last in the class and followed by the teacher.  He demanded to know who broke the lock.  A deathly silence settled over the class.  He went for the easiest way out of his dilemma and beckoned me to go with him to the  principal. I fully denied breaking the lock but his answer was I was last into the classroom. 6 of the best for damage to school property did not leave me in pain but disgust for the justice system.     

What do we see today when we look at our children:  Booze, dagga,  drugs, tendencies to crime which escalates as the child enters adulthood.And finally ending up in jail and with a criminal record.    

Scholars have been caned for talking in a class where other more apt methods of control could have sufficed. In some of our communities there seems to be absolutely no parental control while the children are inhabiting the streets and liquor outlets.    

So what is the solution? There is a biblical verse stating:  “Spoil the rod and spare the child.”
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