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School CP - October 2019

Corpun file 26827 at

St Lucia Times, 1 October 2019

Antigua's Corporal Punishment Policy Under Fire


A policy to administer corporal punishment in schools in Antigua and Barbuda is under fire.

Educator and former Director of Youth Dr Cleon Athill was quoted by the Antigua Observer as describing the policy as "guiding how to bang people pickney."

"I just think it is so wrong," Athill told Observer Radio's Big Issues programme.

Also contributing to the discussion was counsellor and former principal of the Boys Training School, Patrick Byrne.

Byrne said that there are better alternatives and described corporal punishment as a "short cut to discipline -- a quick fix; give two lashes and you figure that's it", according to Antigua Observer.

The publication said that Dr Peter St Jean, a criminologist and sociologist said, in his opinion, corporal punishment is a way to teach students that it is okay to hit someone else as long as you believe the person who's being hit is wrong.

According to reports the corporal punishment guidelines state that a principal/his or her designate shall use (a) a leather strap no longer than thirty (30) inches, one and a-half (1½) inches wide and not more than a quarter (¼) inch thick in the case of secondary schools, and (b) in the case of a primary school, a leather strap no longer than 24 inches, one and a quarter (1¼) inches wide and no more than a quarter (¼) inch thick.

"The student should be informed of the reason he/she is being punished and how many strokes they will receive on their buttocks; there must be a third person in the room (not a student) when punishment is being administered; there will be a maximum of six strokes (6) for secondary school students and no more than four (4) strokes for primary school students," Antigua Observer quoted the document as saying.


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