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End smacking but Bring Back the Cane?

7 October 2008 17,444 views 15 Comments

caneMore than 20 years after corporal punishment was banned in state schools, many teachers said it was acceptable to hit children “in extreme cases”. The Times Educational Supplement surveyed 6,162 teachers. Support for a return to corporal punishment was strongest among secondary teachers, with 22 per cent backing the idea compared with 16 per cent of those in primary schools. The cane was abolished in state schools in 1987 and 1998 in the fee-paying sector.

So how do you feel?

What message does this send to children, there is so argument for a deterrent but first perhaps we should look at adults. If you commit murder, armed robbery or any vicious crime do you get beaten? No you may go to prison or be fined. Step out of line at school and you may be caned, I know better than many parents there are parts of the country where society is in free fall, children live in home where violence and bad language are part of everyday survival do we want to extend that to school or should school be an oasis of calm and kindness as many schools are. Pupils do not always respond in the way we wish and life can be hell for some teachers but they are great people and by being constant in their approach and with the support ideally of other agencies we will make a brighter future for children to raise their own off spring in. A new attempt to ban smacking will be launched tomorrow by a cross-party group of MPs, as more than 100 Labour backbenchers demand a free vote on the issue.
They are attempting to stop parents from smacking their children as a “reasonable punishment”.

They will table amendments to the Children and Young Persons Bill, due to be debated by the Commons tomorrow, to give children the same protection against assault as adults. Kevin Barron, the Labour chairman of the all-party Commons Health Committee said: “We must act now to end the legal approval of hitting children. It’s the responsibility of Parliament to ensure that the physical integrity and human dignity of every person is respected. The current law allowing so-called ‘reasonable punishment’ of children is unjust, unsafe and unclear, and must be abolished once and for all.” So how does this square with the TES survey. I went to school in the days caning was in place. I was never caned but I was hit over the knuckles with a ruler. Did it make me a behave, even though my crime was to run in a corridor , no it made me hate school.

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15 Comments »

  • votetheday.com said:

    You can express your opinion on this controversial topic right here – http://www.votetheday.com/society-18/caning-is-returned-to-schools-313

  • maic said:

    I am a retired New Zealand primary teacher. In New Zealand also there are many parents who are grossly unhappy with the state of our schools, with poor discipline, mushy curriculum, poor parental choice and the overwhelming power of unelected bureaucrats.

    I suggest that you do not allow your politicians to interfere with the rights of parents to set and enforce standards of behaviour. Most parents (if not most politicians) can distinguish between a correctional smack and child abuse.

    In New Zealand the Labour government passed a law making it illegal for parents to smack their children. They had no mandate to do so and they therefore aroused the fury of thousands of parents who strongly resented such interference in the way they raise their children. What followed could surely have been predicted.
    Children defied their parents and said they would phone the police if a finger was laid on them. Children at school were told to report their parents if their parents smacked them. Parents were promptly hauled off to the police station on suspicion of having smacked their child.(Trying to get the police to follow up a burglary takes somewhat longer!)

    There has been a consequence – the Labour government has jist been thrown out of office – deservedly so!
    The anti-smacking law still remains on the books, however. So far the new government has not shown any better willingness to listen to the people – although with the prevailing economic situation they have other things on their mind.

    However, I am not in favour of bringing back the cane. A good parent smacking their child can grade the amount of force used given the age of the child and the situation. However, if you apply a cane to the body of a pupil you can’t (I believe) control the amount of pain you are inflicting.
    If you bring back the cane will it be for girls as well as boys, for the younger pupils as well as the older?

    I congratulate the organizers of this website. I’m sure many New Zealand parents would like one where they could view their opinions and concerns.

  • Hollie Dean. said:

    When was the cane banned in the UK? x

  • Jenny said:

    I think that parents should be responsible for their children, not the state.
    It does state in Proverbs, ‘provoke not your child to anger.’ That essentially means to over discipline. I don’t think the cane is needed, however a smack should be up to the parents.It is not for the state to intefere and think they are the parent.

  • John Peacehaven said:

    Corporal punishment was banned in state schools in the UK in 1987 and in independent schools in 1998.

  • lydia said:

    my personal opinion is that children shoudl not get smacked/cane as there are other ways to resolve conflict between pupils and teachers other than these punishments. i suppose in a way ti si different if yopur own parents choose to smack you but your teachers smacking you sia completely different thing.

  • agent 1 said:

    I believe that in order to control children who are disruptive they should be smacked but not caned, at primary school I remember one supply teacher would smack children for misbehaving.

    People should not be allowed to do what else the supply teacher did, they would smack a child when they felt like it. I remember I answered a question wrong and had to stand behind the door,I didnt want to and so was smacked and then made to go behind the door.

    It happened in yr 3 (1998)

    If smacking was introduced again then it would control the children who misbehave and should only be carried out on those in years 3 to 6 in primary school and any year in secondary school.

    The cane should not be reintroduced.

  • Anon said:

    Doing nothing about these badly behaved students is making things worse. I don’t feel the cane is the answer but what the government is currently causing negative education to those students who want to learn and achieve.

    I know that schools must show that they are removing and excluding less children from their classrooms. Has anyone in government realised what this means? It means that students who are abusive, disruptive, and making a huge negative impact on the learning of the rest of the class are being sent back to class for the sake of a statistic. So the other children who wish to learn can’t – their teacher is busy. They don’t learn, they don’t grow, and they are less able to contribute to society in their adult lives.

    I know of students swearing at their teachers at the top of their voice, refusing to do what they are told, damaging property/classrooms, bullying other students, and causing mayhem only to be allowed to stay in the classroom. Why? The collection of this statistic is abusive to well behaved students. The keeping of these students in the class is prohibiting others from their own human right to learn and grow – I just wish all the other parents of the well behaved children would write and express their desire for their children to learn in a safe and nurturing learning environment… and write to the press at large to express how statistics are more important than educating our youth.

    Politics – making statistics make them look good by creating fake statistics.

    It is such a disappointment. Complete lack of concern for the well being of all students.

    These poorly behaved students learn better when they are in a unit designed to offer them the best learning environment that works for them (and keeps the classrooms safe for the well behaved students). If they are too abusive they should be sent out to a school that is designed to offer the best learning environment for them.

    Call or write you MP or the DCSF and complain – be heard – let the government know that what they are doing is wrong and that you don’t approve.

  • John said:

    Caning (by a head teacher) is unlikely to be abused in the way that physical response by a teacher might be in the heat of the moment.
    It was, and would be, a major deterrent to disruptive pupils.
    At the moment, a few student bullies dictate life in most schools. They intimidate and physically abuse other pupils, abuse and intimidate teachers, and undermine the education of thousands.
    Effective education will not be achieved unless disruptive behaviour is firmly controlled. So far, all the politically correct educationalists and politicians have failed to find an effective substitute for caning. It seems unlikely that they are about to now, after 20 years of trying. Isn’t it about time that we admit that we got it wrong?

  • Jorie said:

    I am from America and had issues with my son’s school. I believe in a strong hand and loving heart when raising kids. I do not want the school to discipline my child as I feel I know what is right and effective for him. But my main concern is that many many parents don’t discipline their kids. When his teacher asked who the kids would want to be contacted when they misbehaved, the principal (head master) or their parents, my son was the only one who wanted the principal…LOL.

    To me that meant I was doing my job right. School is for education and the job of discipline was for the home. I should say that I never beat my son… I had a firm rule of no spanking when I was angry (was very difficult rule to follow), and it was only 3 swats on a bare bottom. The last time I swatted him he was 5 or 6 and I gave him the swats and he looked at me in all seriousness and confusion and said “Mom that didn’t hurt”. I explained that I was not trying to hurt him but get his attention… aka if you are not going to listen you are going to feel. He is now a 20 year old young man and I am very proud of him. He is respectful, honest and someone I am proud to call my son and friend.

    Maybe we should start to look at making parents more responsible for the discipline and behavior of their children. Many a time when in a store and I see a child out of control, and a parent ignoring them I want to go and smack the parent. I am not saying that good parents can’t have difficult children…. but a parent who does not give firm discipline to a young child, makes the child’s life even harder, by making it so the child has to learn life’s hard lessons from society.

  • debs said:

    In my experience both as a parent & a pupil of a school with corporal punishment.
    It is important that parents raise their children well. Providing you maintain good routines & an interest in your children any physical punishment is usually not needed & only a last resort. However as a mum i’ve had to visit many places where other parents are there with their kids. They are often more interested in talking to each other than their kids. They rarely have anything for the kids to do while they’re waiting anywhere & get annoyed with the kids if they moan or act up.
    Equally teachers often don’t have time or inclination to hear all sides of a story, who started it/said what etc so why should children get physically punished/abused for the teachers possible neglect or lack of insight or resources?
    When i was at school i don’t feel corporal punishment was a deterrent as such.Particularly for the hard core few who quite frankly should have been expelled.
    I have realised this more particularly recently on review of the secondary schools.I have had a fantastic opportunity to visit not only state schools but some private schools too. The bottom line is that the private schools don’t have to put up with the oiks that are in the state schools. that’s why they are so popular. So we need to take the oiks out of state schools & deal with them separately.

  • John Lam said:

    Hi,I’m a 11 year old student in malaysia…..
    my teacher keep caning me in class cause my spelling got an B
    my teacher caned me 10 times for 1 spelling mistake….
    it was so hard that i cant even hold my pencil….
    i know i should read my spelling…but……nobody can memorize 20 words in 3 minutes right??for my age of course..

    At home..my mother caned me 50 times cause i got an B..
    i was punished by preventing me for eating in 2 days,for the last 2 days i cant even walk straight….
    i think that parents should stop caning as it made me more madder and wanting revenge on what they(teacher,parents,principals)did to me..

    and sry for the mistakes and i know all of u would think it is very annoying but i fell leass stress if i say all my feelings to public

    THANKS for watching all the way!

  • lorraine said:

    I am on this site to research what would happen if they bought cane back into schools, I am sorry to hear of the abuse you are suffering john lam I think for an 11 year old the way you write is more than fantastic and you do not have to put up with these beatings you need to tell someone what is going on it is illegal now and I know violence shouldn’t attract violence but I hope you do get your revenge, it is not humane to beat a child which you are to the point that you cannot stand up. Your mother should know if you have tried your best that should be good enough. I hope you get this message TAKE CARE please tell someone what they are doing to you x

  • Caroline said:

    Do you smack your child in a controlled and fair manner? Channel 4 is looking for parents who have well-brought up children as a result of strict parental discipline.

    In the aftermath of the summer riots, MP David Lammy suggested that overturning the ban on smacking children would prevent a repeat of the widespread violence. Research has found that smacked children grow up to be happier and more successful later in life whilst a recent poll showed that the majority of people agree that it is OK to smack your child.

    Please e-mail caroline.menzies@rdftelevision.com or call 0207 0134456 to find out more.

  • nikita Teo said:

    I know this is a old post, But i was reading through and thought i would add my thoughts on this matter.
    I am a 26 year old. I had 3 other siblings, and we were Never hit not even once, we all respected our parents, and i have still to this day never once sworn in front of them, nor been disrespectful. When i hit my teenage years I began pushing the boundaries and all it took was a stern look from my dad and i knew i was in the wrong, or worse my mum telling me she was ‘upset and dissapointed’.

    But i know things have changed with kids today, like in schools, and behaviour. In school it was a shock if one of the pupils were sent out the class, or answered back, or had a fight. Where as now from what i have read it appears this is the norm?

    I have 4 children now my self. And they are 1 girl aged 2. and 3 boys, aged 2, 4, and 7.
    I have NEVER hot my children for being naughty, and although at time my eldest due too his age winds me up something chronic… I have never hit him. I dont see how being violent to a child makes them behave… or teaches them right from wrong… Like saying its ok for me to smack you one, but dont do it to me or your brother etc.

    I have though on occasion smacked there hands when they were very young, not to hurt them, but to shock them, on 3 occasions all together on 3 of my children, for 1) putting there fingers near a plug socket in the hospital once 2) trying to grab a hot cup of the table 3) same as last one.
    I did this to shock them and stop them in there act, that could cause them harm.
    But i will never and have never smaked them for any other reason.

    Mainly as i was never and i turned out just fine, but also i hate the thought of me causing harm to my child, Hurting them, and them sat crying from what i did too them. I would never want my children frightened of me in any way, Respect and fear are completly diffrent in my opinion. And i strongly belive there are other, better ways of teaching children.
    Unless in a extreme case, like they are about to come to harm, and you have to smack there hand lightly, or a child is choking!! other than that or in defense, if a child has mental heatlh issues and may be being violent, and causing you harm, and you use force to restrain or stop them.

    But again thats just my thoughts and i kno0w they vary from person to person… But never ever ever would i send my children to a school that smack or use a weapon. ( cane!)

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