I was shocked when one of my students told me someone in his school was being publicly caned in the assembly today. I didn’t know that such thing still exist. I have the impression that the schools are no longer allowed to do this, especially caning in public.
I remember during my secondary school year, there was this girl who was being publicly reprimanded during assembly because of her repeated breaking of school rules. I can still remember she was wearing a shimmery sports shoe, when the school rule stated clearly that only white school shoes are allowed. This girl continued to have disciplinary issues even after that session. In my opinion, that session seemed to benefit the rest of us more than her, cause after that incident, I was so scared of breaking school rules for fear of being put in the same position. In my opinion, that girl seemed to be a scape-goat.
Likewise, while for some, public caning may deters them from getting into trouble, but others, I wonder if it will work. In my student’s school case, I do not have details of it, but, I just felt heartache on hearing it happened. I’m not against caning, but, I am sceptical, and probably against PUBLIC caning. Is it really necessary?
Coincidently, a few days back, I was browsing through a few schools’ website and chance upon one of the Principal’s monthly letter that mentioned something about discipling the pupils. And here’s the extract:
“The school does take a very stern view of infractions, especially in offences which cause hurt to another. However, do please bear in mind that the offenders are still very young in age, and will need a lot of time and patience to change. Whatever disciplinary actions we take, we do this with careful thought, ensuring that the actions are fair and appropriate for the age of the child. For example, we are very reluctant to cane publicly any child especially if they are from the lower primary level because of the trauma it can cause that child. This, and the fact that a naughty child often repeats an offence, can sometimes cause parents to have the perception that not enough is being done to stop the perpetrators.”
I like what I read, there are so much understanding demonstrated in this short paragraph. I just thought this principal really reminded me something about children, ie, child often repeats an offence. (Note: I have no idea if this school practised public caning. They probably do. But the letter gave me the impression that other measures will be used first.)
So so so many times, I get really impatient, frustrated and irritated with the repeated mistakes that my children make. But, a child is a child, he/she tend to repeat an offence. Not that they want to, but its just the way a child is, and my role is to remind them, and at times, even let go, and let them learn from their mistakes.
I really hope I will always remember: “A child is a child is a child.”