Corpun file 21712
Weekend Nation, St Michael, 16 October 2009
Getting licks for lateness
A TOUGH ENFORCEMENT of the rules.
Click to enlarge
That is what was instituted at St Leonard's Boys' School
yesterday as several students were flogged for late arrival.
Senior teacher Dr Victor Agard had the responsibility of
administering the punishment, much to the displeasure of the
Just after 10 a.m., a WEEKEND NATION team witnessed the boys
being flogged one by one before being allowed to enter the
school's compound. School there begins at 7:50 a.m.
One onlooker disagreed with the action, as did some of the guilty students who refused to line up for the punishment.
Principal Joseph King came on the scene and allowed the other
students to enter.
When contacted via telephone, King declined to comment on the
situation. A WEEKEND NATION team subsequently revisited the
school in an effort to speak with him but was unable to do so.
The security guard returned with a message that he still would
not comment before Monday.
The WEEKEND NATION made a third attempt after the school's
1:40 p.m. closure and King again declined comment after a staff
Corpun file 21714
The Daily Nation, Barbados, 19 October 2009
Massiah all for flogging
Click to enlarge
THERE IS NOTHING WRONG with flogging students.
This was the assertion Reverend Errington Massiah gave the DAILY
NATION after the church service at the St Joseph Anglican Church
yesterday morning to celebrate 162 years of Public Library
service on the island.
"Lashes in school are nothing new. But I don't feel it
should have appeared in the paper," the outspoken preacher
Massiah was referring to the incident last week where the
flogging of a student of the St Leonard's Boys' School by a
teacher was caught by one of our photographers and ran on the
front page of the WEEKEND NATION.
Known for his candour and fiery sermons, Massiah recalled his own
schools days at the Federal High School where discipline was
guided by the rod.
"When I went to school there were three L's we lived by;
learn, licks or leave. I was afraid of [my teacher] Mr Edwards.
He would cut you down with a tamarind rod and he did the right
thing," he said.
Asked if that kind of discipline was still appropriate for this
era when the society and children have changed, he held
steadfastly to his take on the subject.
"We've allowed it to get as it is. I see nothing wrong with
corporal punishment," he said, adding he never had to flog
either of his daughters when they were growing up.
When queried on the view held by contemporary educators and child
psychologists against flogging, Massiah disagreed.
"I don't agree with it. When you drive around this country
at 10 o'clock you're still seeing children on the street. And,
these children are eventually going to go into the workforce. So,
if you're late now for school you're going to carry it into the
workforce," he said. (MS)
Corpun file 21791
The Barbados Advocate, St Michael, 25 October 2009
A Guy's View
Corporal punishment has served us well
By R.E. Guyson Mayers
Click to enlarge
I believe most Barbadians would regard it as an accepted fact
that the standard of discipline among our people is not exactly
what it used to be a few years ago. The word discipline usually
conjures up images of rules designed to control children, but
this narrow view conceals the reality that indiscipline is also a
feature of the behaviour of our adult population.
It is not children who drive through red traffic lights; it is
not children who turn up for their 8:15 am job at 9:00 am and see
nothing wrong with doing so; I am not sure, but as far as I know,
children do not drive the public service vehicles we observe
causing confusion on our streets.
However, I am sure none of our undisciplined adults was born big,
so to speak, and few of them, if any, would have developed their
attitudes as adults. We often say that children live what they
see. If this is true, then it must also be true that what they
see and live as children, they practice as adults.
There was a time when the good old adage of "spare the rod
and spoil the child" held sway, but that is no longer
accepted as a universal truth. In fact, there is a growing school
of thought that you do not necessarily spoil the child by sparing
the rod. The latter view is not the dominant one in Barbados, but
there is a growing sense that it will prevail by imposition in
the not too distant future, regardless of its soundness. The
legislation governing education in Barbados provides for the
administration of corporal punishment, but there are parents who
would object most strenuously to their children being flogged.
Once taken for granted and viewed as a natural part of a child's
upbringing, corporal punishment has now become one of those
issues that is sure to generate lively debate whenever it is
raised in a public forum. This is due to the fierceness with
which it is opposed by those who stand against it, and the almost
total disbelief of those who see, what is for them, its obvious
The Education Act and Regulations, give Principals of schools the
authority to administer corporal punishment, and allows them to
delegate that authority to senior teachers. Written into this
permissive provision is a clear limitation, for it deliberately
restricts the exercise of this power to an identified, restricted
class of teachers. The days in which I grew up when any teacher
could share lashes are gone, and I make bold to say, never to
There are very few occasions when corporal punishment is
administered irresponsibly these days, and it is hardly the
punishment of first choice for teachers. This being the case, one
would think that parents and Ministry of Education officials
would trust the usually good judgment of teachers when they feel
a need to punish in this way, but, unfortunately, this has not
proven to be the recent experience in Barbados.
Until it is outlawed, corporal punishment remains a legitimate
instrument of discipline in our schools. Once it is administered
professionally, we should stop trying to create sensational
opportunities to agitate the public to bring unnecessary pressure
to bear on those who have charge of our children. Is there any
pillar on which our society was built that we will not try to
Contrary to the deeply flawed view I frequently hear expressed,
corporal punishment is not bad or wrong simply because it is old.
Further, by looking at those countries that have gone before us
in the direction we are now travelling, we can see what lies
ahead of us. And yet we proceed. The bath water has been thrown
out; where is the baby?
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