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School CP - July 1886

Corpun file 22892 at

The Graphic, London, 31 July 1886, p.98

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The regulation of the London School Board which forbids the infliction of corporal punishment by any but the head teachers in each school, is being seriously attacked. A memorial has been presented by the teachers to the Board, asking that the rule may be rescinded, and that the use of the cane may be allowed to all certified teachers alike.

There is much to be said on both sides. Strangely enough, both the head teachers and the assistants are unanimously against the regulation as it stands. The latter dislike it because it prevents them from keeping order in their classes. If they send a boy up for punishment to the head master, it is not at all improbable that he will escape after all; if they take the law into their own hands, and box his ears, or pull his hair -- for these modes of punishment are occasionally resorted to -- the boy knows quite as much about the law as his master, and hales him into a police court to answer a charge of assault.

The head teachers, on the other hand, dislike a system which lays on their shoulders all the onus of administering corporal punishment, and they have a great objection to getting their punishment-rolls too full.

It must be remembered, however, that if the use of the cane were allowed to all teachers indiscriminately it would probably lead to considerable abuses. Masters are sometimes -- and no wonder -- hot-tempered. A fault which seems heinous for a moment often loses its blackness after a little further consideration. Yet a hasty blow cannot be recalled.

Some people will say, moreover, that it is bad enough to have to send one's children to school by Act of Parliament, without having them flogged by Act of Parliament also.

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