07 October, 2009
Corporal punishment is purely pragmatic. It is intended to make the cost of law-breaking exceed the benefits. Modern punishments for children and for adults reinforce the notion that there is no punishment that will deter a determined offender. In today’s
Anguilla following the rules is a matter of choice, and is the norm only for very well brought up persons. Hooligans have the option to ignore the rules. There are no consequences of any significance.
When I was a school boy, caning day involved the entire school body assembling to witness the canings that were to be delivered in public. Our school children were mischievous as ever. But, we were safer than today. Violent boys met a violent punishment. Violent adults were the exception, not the norm.
By contrast today, when the sissifyication of education is almost complete, disorder in school has become the norm. There are no consequences for the use by children of obscene or disrespectful language. Teaching is often impossible. Teachers hide in the common room, afraid to confront violent and uncontrollable kids. Some even side with a disorderly child, particularly if he has a belligerent parent. A teacher using force to stop an assault is likely to be interviewed by the police, and punished for having employed unauthorized corporal punishment.
I don’t think either he or any of the other students were likely to treat breaking rules lightly. For a few weeks at least, until the memory wore off.
I shudder to think what the punishment could be for a second offence. I suppose that is the point. There is never any second offence. And, the cost to the tax payer of such a penal system is little or nothing.
The pros and cons of corporal punishment for adults have been debated for years.
All in all, I think the pros win. Imprisonment is the barbaric, dehumanising and counterproductive punishment.
I advocate corporal punishment in school and in the court system as an alternative.