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School CP - November 2006

Corpun file 18632

Barbados Advocate, Bridgetown, 25 November 2006

Farley: Corporal punishment should remain

By Petal Barclay-Smith

Educator and Principal of Garrison Secondary School, Matthew Farley maintains that it is critical corporal punishment remains as a part of the disciplinary strategy in schools.

Speaking against the backdrop that UNICEF is working with school children in the region to examine alternative approaches to corporal punishment, Farley stated, "I would not ever want to see the day when we remove it from our Statute Books.

"I am not saying that I support violence against children, because UNICEF treats corporal punishment in schools as an example of violence against children, which I think is wrong," he added.

Farley told the Barbados Advocate yesterday, "UNICEF is asking that we listen to children more. I have always argued that we have to be careful of adopting other countries methodologies which have not worked for them. The school system in Britain has seen children going to school with guns and knives, and teachers are under serious physical threats".

In support of his point, the educator said that the alternative approaches have not worked in other countries, "and we are about [sic] adopting other people's methods that have not worked for them, with the hope that it will work for us, I feel very strongly about that".

Farley said that in Barbados, corporal punishment is not used in every case when dealing with a disciplinary problem. The other range of strategies that are used include detentions, suspensions, having a parent conference, and taking the children before the Board.

"So it is not true to say that we only use corporal punishment... Expulsion is the ultimate last resort, because every child between age five and sixteen is entitled to an education. And the only person who can expel is the Minister of Education,"; Farley indicated.

However, Garrison's Principal also noted that UNICEF "is trying to tell us that because we are signatories to the United Nations Charter on the Rights of the Child, that we are in breach of that Charter by virtue of having corporal punishment still on our Statute Books".

Barbados Advocate 2000

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