Page 2, 3rd August 1956

3rd August 1956
Page 2
Page 2, 3rd August 1956 — PUNISHMENT IN IRISH SCHOOLS
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Locations: Dublin, London, Liverpool

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PUNISHMENT IN IRISH SCHOOLS

Sir,-It is regretable that your valuable space so generously accorded to the letter on above subject from the Secretary of the Schoolchildren's Protection Organisation was not availed of by Mrs. O'Connell to reveal some salient facts which would give a more complete-and consequently more harrowing-picture of the situation here. She might, for instance, have referred to the almost impenetrable barrier between a humble parent and the securing of justice for his schoolchild. The "hidden hand" operates almost always successfully in preventing cases of breaches of the Department of Education's Rules and Regulations from reaching the light of the courts. For the further enlightenment of your readers I shall quote from newspaper reports a few of the small fraction of cases in which the parents have had the courage, tenacity and sense of Christian parental duty to seek the protection of the law for their children in school. The findings of the courts are also illuminating I

(1) In Athenry (Galway) a girl of twelve years told the magistrate that her (male) teacher caught her by the throat, bent her backwards across the desk and nearly choked her. The magistrate decided that "a bit of extra force may have been used," and awarded nominal damages and costs to her father. (2) In Cavan court a boy aged 10 alleged that he was hit three times on the top of the head with a rollbook when his sums were wrong. His head struck the edge of the desk and he had an awful pain in his head and a sore throat afterwards. He had a cough for a long time. The judge said he had great sympathy with teachers and gave a decree for £1 and costs.

(3) In Lucan (Dublin) Court the local Garda gave evidence of finding black and blue marks three or four inches long on the buttocks of a boy who had complained of a beating in school. The Supt. of the Guard. intervened to object to his man giving evidence. The Justices decision was that an apology from the teacher would meet the case.

During the same period (the last two years) suitable penalties were imposed for crudity to animals. In one case a youth was fined £4 for beating a dog, and the Justice said that if the defendant had been older he would have imposed a prison sentence. It would seem that the greatest hope of Irish parents is the possibility that some day their schoolchildren may be elevated-in the eyes of Authority -to the status of animals.

Irish Catholic Parent [Newspaper cuttings of the cases were enclosed by our correspondent. -EDITOR C.H.

-and in English

Sir,-As a teacher of twenty-five years' standing, I consider that I have the right to judge the letter of Dr. C. Burns on the subject of corporal punishment with the wisdom born of experience.

In the school in which I teach, Juvenile Delinquency is unheard of, Corporal Punishment is notneither in school nor at •home! Dr. Burps appears to think that Juvenile Delinquency is a direct result of corporal punishmentthat, if the children were not made to suffer physical pain, then there would not be any Juvenile Delinquents. Surely the present-day rise in juvenile crime is entirely due to too much heed being paid to mealymouthed magistrates, cranks, psychologists and so-called social reformers?

A few years ago, I organised a debate in my class of healthyminded 14-year-old boys and girls on the subject of corporal punishment in schools. All-girls as well as boys-had been punished with a cane or strap on at least one occasion during the term. Thirty-eight were in favour of corporal punishment for school offences, two against. I have seen most of them since, and they have grown into respectable, God-fearing citizens without inhibitions!

..H. G. Baker Much Woolton R.C. School, Liverpool.

Broadcast Lead

Sir,-I have just listened to Mr. Alec Robertson's broadcast of a " New way to sing Psalms " in which he gave some delightful examples, by congregations. boys and men's choirs, and male soloists, of how joyful, praising God in the vernacular, can be.

As an ex-Anglican I have been frustrated by the indigestible Latin, the sense of detachment at the

Mass, the ghastly. female dominated choirs. and the lack of good music. At last I have been given a glimpse of what could be, and am further frustrated by the knowledge that it is unlikely to be widely used in this country during my lifetime.

F.. J. Huntley

26, London Road.

Cheltenham.

C.O.s and the Cure d'Ars

Sir. Your correspondent Charles S. Thompson's amazement at the reported statement by Bishop Charrire about the Catholic attitude towards conscientious objectors is nothing to my amazement at reading his own declaration that the Curs d'Ars-St. John Vianney -was a "conchie"!

He only received his "calling up" papers through a clerical error, because Ordinands were automatically exempted by Napoleon. Futhermore, none of the biographies of this saint lead me to suppose that he was ever against military service.

M. Lucie Westminster.

The Press Council

Sir,-I trust that you will forgive my impertinence, but might I suggest that in some future edition of THE CATHOLIC HERALD you publish the name and address of the Secretary of the 'Press Council?

Many Catholics would welcome the chance of making some representations against the vile natule of much of our daily and Sunday journalism, but lack the knowledge of any body to whom effective protest may he made.

Richard Cooper. 126 Orford Lane, Warrington.

The secretary of the Press Councll's address is: 1 Bell Yard, Fleet Street, W .C.2.-ED110a. "C.H."




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