Page 4, 29th December 1978

29th December 1978
Page 4
Page 4, 29th December 1978 — To beat or not to beat

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To beat or not to beat

I read with interest and some apprehension your article of December 8 on the pros and cons of corporal punishment in schools. I have been a teacher for over 25 years, and most of this time has been spent in the field of special education.

It is a mistake to believe that special schools contain only sick and disabled children for whom corporal punishment would be completely unjustifiable. I have taught in two special schools where there was a preponderance of physically able children who were deemed to have IQs not far below the norm, but whose behaviour left much to be desired at times.

I have used the cane both as a punishment and a deterrent with good effect for the recalcitrant boys in my group. That it was effective is demonstrated by the success of these boys in their employment on leaving school.

That I had earned their love and respect was apparent when they visited me, sometimes with their wives and children, and we yarned happily of old times. In many schools today, alas, there is no respect at all for staff, who are often sworn at, and sometimes physically assaulted. Surely there is something to be said in favour of a firm discipline, which includes cOrporal punishment.

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