Abuse Disguised as Discipline: It is ludicrous that in 2017, Jamaica is finally getting around to banishing corporal punishment in schools. Some have said that the ban should be extended to the homes, while others object to this all around. Of course, knees grow weak to even contemplate this one for the nation….
Lateness aside, we ought to be thankful that we are making some strides towards being a civilized nation where children can be protected from abuse disguised as discipline.
Many will take me on at the implication that we are not quite civilized, but before they do, consider that developing a civilized society is a process, and despite the gains, we are not there yet. There are 16 ounces of civilization to make the required pound, and we are just hovering above 8 ounces. If a cat manages to roar like a lion, it is still a pussycat despite the protestations it and its coterie of the misguided make.
Removing corporal punishment from the schools should immediately see the lessening of conflicts between parents and teachers, and even some students who refuse to accept beatings from a stranger, by all intents and purposes. It is wrong to beat a child, period, but even more so when you are not the caregiver. There will hardly be any opportunity for you to make amends for the violence doled out to that child, and it is important to show love and care than it is to be ‘disciplining’ children. The African Proverb says: You beat a child with the right hand, and hug them with the left. Meaning, that even in the storm of the objections that most of us would raise against this form of punishment or discipline, it is important to show that child that you love them. The challenge is there, but if we put our minds to it, we can find better ways to discipline our children, because there is a thin line between disciplining and abusing.
The arguments in favour of corporal punishment is guided by a lot of personal experiences that taint the picture of what the true outcome of these abuses are. Testimonials after testimonials from parents of the then will come in about how they were beaten, usually concluding with the boast: ‘And look how I turned out’. Not for once do they consider that they could have been a lot more if they were not stymied during their formative years with the roadblocks of beatings and no you can’t do this and no you can’t do that….
If the ‘Village’ that once use to raise a child was any good, it has long changed; and it is time for us to get a better model. We no longer use donkey carts for transportation or to carry goods. Upgrade the village to a town or a city, and know that you can do more with loving, caring guidance and firm discipline that comes in so many forms than you can with beating up your children, or worse, someone else’s children.
Until next time, keeps doing what is noble and just. Go ahead and have a discussion right here.
I am Warren Johnson
Email: [email protected]
Editor at Large, Mckoy’s News: the views expressed on this post are that of the writer and not that of Mckoy’s News.