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Video clips: UK (Scotland) -- The Tawse

Demonstration of tawse

With comments by C. Farrell

United Kingdom: Scotland - August 2007 -- 25 years since the school tawse disappeared

TV news report (2 minutes) from BBC Reporting Scotland, 20 August 2007.

The BBC calls this "Scotland belt ban marked -- Twenty five years after it was banned in Scottish schools, pupils find out what it was like to be belted". Actually the law was not changed until 1987 (same as England) but most or all Scottish local education authorities, certainly all the big ones, had abolished CP of their own volition by 1982.

Some senior pupils at Perth Academy are shown how the belt was administered, and briefly give their opinions. The camera also visits Scotland Street School Museum in Glasgow, where a professor goes unchallenged when he makes wild and unprovable assertions about sadism on the part of some teachers of the past.

I find this is a tendentious, unhistorical and unbalanced report. The reporter baldly describes CP as "violence" and says that by the late 1970s it was generally seen as "barbaric and ineffectual". Certainly the small minority represented by STOPP always said that, but there was no such consensus at that time. This is rewriting history, in my view, and not a very creditable effort on the part of the BBC.


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IMPORTANT: Copyright in this video material rests with the BBC. This brief excerpt is reproduced under the "fair use" doctrine EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window for private, non-profit, historical research and education purposes only. It must not be redistributed or republished in any commercial context.

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