Thin line between enforcing discipline and cruelty

| February 5, 2015

Social commentary. Many of us second generation Caribbean nationals are well aware of the measures used by our parents and teachers when we were growing up to ensure we did ‘the right thing at the right time and for the right reason,’ words the writer was told was the definition of discipline. Having to stand on benches at the back of the class with heavy books above our heads; being ‘caned’ with a tamarind whip on the buttocks and hands; and the odd thump on our backs for recalcitrant behaviour were the norm.

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

Our parents seldom, if ever, interfered with the school’s policy on discipline and in many cases endorsed it. If we were lucky, on our parents learning of us being flogged at school for an infraction, we would be spared a second beating. Now middle aged, this writer can’t think of a single case of a classmate or schoolmate from that era being mentally unstable or otherwise disabled as a direct consequence of corporal punishment.

That said, the attached video demonstrates corporal punishment being meted out in Africa and though some aspects of how it is administered are in the writer’s view acceptable others seem malicious and excessive. We would appreciate your thoughts…

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Category: African Caribbean, Culture & Society, How Caribbean R U?

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