Club Soda and Salt

No more stains

Help! I Need To Injure A Child!

Posted by clubsodaandsalt on July 11, 2003

You know, I usually defend teachers (though not teachers unions) vigourously when they come up for criticism. My pro-teacher sympathies have only gotten stronger in the last 2 years, which a close friend has spent working for Teach For America here in NYC (I’ll give you a tip: Washington Heights is not the easiest place ever to teach). Anyway, point being that my pro-teacher credentials are well intact. So when I point out that the suggested restoration of corporal punishment in Trinidadian schools is a sign that Trinidad’s teaching profession is clearly devoid of competent individuals, I don’t say that out of any dislike of the profession more generally.

Honestly, is there any other group of people that basically says (and this is precisely what they’re saying): “I can’t do my job well unless I can assault others”? How is this acceptable? Teachers should have many tools at their disposal for discipling children, but I’m sorry, violating their rights to be treated like human beings should NOT be one of them. If the child is unresponsive, use more parental interaction, change teachers, change schools, put the kid in special classes, whatever. Corporal punishment has been shown to increase violence in schools (bear in mind that the kids who are destroying the National Library were likely beaten before the practice was banned under the UNC), and produce more violent adults. I think we can all agree that Trinidad already has a surplus of those, thankyouverymuch. A little creativity and innovation is what is needed in our schools, not even MORE violence than is there already.

And before you ask, yes, I also think that parents should be punished for striking their children. It’s a similar abdication fo responsibility to figure out how to raise a child in a reasonable manner, a responsibility they accepted by having the child.


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