SPARE THE ROD!
by James Galway
During Parliament’s next session the Government intends introducing legislation to abolish the cat and the birching of juvenile delinquents. In particular contrast to this will be the continuance of corporal punishment in our schools. The home Secretary would do well to make provision in his Bill for the abolition of this practice.
Although many teachers abhor the use of the cane, regarding it as a medieval relic, others believe it to be the only means of maintaining discipline.
Does the cane secure obedience from schoolchildren? Maybe, but teachers must constantly use it to display authority. In consequence he gains a reputation as a martinet and is unable to get the best from his pupils.
Moreover, its use suggests a convenient method of ensuring order by force, and not by explanation of right and wrong. Exclusive use of the cane lends to encourage anti-social behaviour. The most caned boy in my school was regarded as a hero and many of us sought to emulate him.
Psychologists claim great harm is done to the sensitive child’s mind by corporal punishment. They contend it retards development and fosters emotions of hate and hostility.
* Why, then, must we allow corporal punishment to continue in our schools? The Soviet Union China, Czechoslovakia, Holland, and, oddly enough, Bavaria, have dispensed with it. Why don’t we? (Daily Worker, 1947)