Corporal punishment in schools

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Ray the DJ | 02:36 Sat 09th Oct 2004 | Parenting
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When I was at school in the 50's and 60's, I had the cane 14 times. I keep hearing that we should revert back administering corporal punishment in schools, but did it really work. The fact that I was caned more than once suggests that no lesson was learned. A number of canings were for smoking behind the gym, but they never stopped me smoking and I still smoke now, unfortunately. Most kids used to brag about the number of times they'd been caned. Does anyone agree with my thoughts?


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Personally , I would be horrified at the thought of anyone showing such brutality towards any of my children because in my mind , that is what corporal punishment is. I think that teachers now recognise though that this method teaches nothing and we have learned that children who are exposed to aggression , display aggression towards others. A typical psychological experiment was the Bandura experiment with the bobo doll , where in a controlled experiment , the kids were split into three rooms where they watched adults either cuddling the doll , hitting it or simply doing nothing with it. The kids who witnessed the adults hitting the doll imitated those actions and became aggressive , whilst the other kids in other rooms remained passive. My point is that I firmly believe that showing aggression to kids teaches aggression and no good can come from this.
In my eldest daughter's primary school , the methods which they employ for discipline include the use of red and yellow cards which result in the loss of treats and primary seven children being playground monitors and 'buddies' to the new intake of primary one kids. I fully support this method of discipline because rather than the heavy handed approach which I don't believe kids learn from anyway , the use of positive and negative reinforcements for their behaviour is a recognised proven psychological technique which rewards the good behaviour whilst punishing the bad , thus teaching them that they will lose priviliges if they can't behave. It also gives the primary seven kids a chance to develop leadership skills , show that trust has been placed in them and allows them the chance to develop mediatory skills by being playground monitors. They sit down two squabbling kids for example and get them to think about their actions and how it impacted on the other injured party , which eventually results in them taking on board the other person's point of view and they have to apologise to each other. They are made to think about the consequences of their actions - what good could possibly come from thumping the living daylights out of them ?
all i know is that as in every profession where someone is respected and considered a prominent member of society, there is always flaws in the system. a small few teachers have already hurt our children through actions that can be detrimental to their mental and physical well being. though most are outstanding professionals, some take advantage of their postion over our kids. to give them the power to chose what they believe is an action to be disciplined on an individual basis, would be opening a whole new can of worms over the fine line of punishment and abuse. if parents aren't legally allowed to punish their kids with a spanking what gives a total stranger the right to do it to someone elses kid? and what of the ones who go too far? no way would i want some stressed out person having the power to lay their hands on my kids.
All I know is that school kids are currently running wild. They have no discipline and no sense of respect for elders. They have no boundaries and no fear. I teach in several schools and I really can't believe how kids are behaving now. I'm not saying that the cane is the answer. My school had a cane, and it was very rarely used- but the fact that it was there acted as a deterrant. The kids knew where they stood and knew what was expected of them. In fact I only remember it being used once, on a girl (!) who set a fire extinguisher off. Everyone in the school was SO shocked that the cane was finally being used, we didn't dare BREATHE next to a fire extinguisher after that! It set an example to the rest of the school, and I have to say, it worked.
Bringing the cane back wouldn't work at all, especially in the society we now live in, where you could go to jail for shaking your own child... Never having been given the cane myself (I was at school in the eighties/nineties), I wouldn't really know how effective it was though. All I do know is that it'll never happen.
Before winnning custody of my 12-year-old stepson Alex, he attended a school in Texas where students could be
paddled along witht the rest of they're classmates.

He was paddled twice for the bad behaviour of a fellow
student. These practices are abuse.

I admit that before moving to the United Kingdom, I slippered Alex but it was always because he had commited an offence such as lying and fighting at school.

Corporal punishment has its place. Severe CP has it's place ie. serious crimes and bullying.

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