Corporal punishment is a form of bullying by a ‘teacher’ and it should be remembered that all bullies lose power and back down when confronted. – Sir Frank Peters
Corporal punishment is repugnant to all civilized societies. It’s the putrid bile that stems from every parent, ‘teacher’, school and madrasah that uses corporal punishment as a disciplinary tool.
Corporal punishment is (take a deep breath): awful, appalling, atrocious, alarming, abhorrent, abominable, beastly, cruel, compassionless, callous, criminal, cold-hearted, deplorable, damaging, detrimental, distressing, destructive, disgusting, disgraceful, dreadful, detestable, disagreeable, dishonourable, disturbing, evil, frightening, foul, fearsome, flawed, forbidden, ghastly, gruesome, ghastly, grim, grisly, heartless, hideous, horrible, hurtful, heinous, horrendous, horrid, harrowing, hostile, immoral, iniquitous, inexcusable, indecent, inhumane, injurious, insensitive, indefensible, insufferable, improper, irksome, incorrect, illegal, loathsome, mean, merciless, monstrous, nasty, nauseating, offensive, objectionable, obnoxious, outrageous, odious, pitiless, reprehensible, repulsive, revolting, remorseless, ruthless, repugnant, rotten, shameful, sickening, sinful, shocking, scandalous, spiteful, stomach-turning, stressful, terrible, traumatic, unacceptable, unpardonable, upsetting, unforgivable, uncaring, unloving, unkind, unwarranted, unendurable, unjustifiable, untenable, violent, vexing, wicked and wrong.
It’s all of those and that’s only using some of the appropriate words.
The only good that can be said about corporal punishment is that it lends itself admirably to the construction of long sentence writing and the strong possibility of that particular sentence gaining a Guinness Book record!
It also allows you to choose a word or group of words from an enormous selection to list an incalculable number of known negatives about it in the one sentence.
Other than that, corporal punishment is appalling… atrocious, etcetera, (refer to the above).
When corporal punishment was banned in Bangladesh in 2011, superheroes Justice Md Imman Ali and Justice Md Sheikh Hasan Arif described it as ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and a clear violation of a child’s fundamental right to life, liberty and freedom’.
It belies beggars belief that in these modern days of enriched enlightenment with so much information freely available that the horrific practice still continues. As a result, children are suffering in many different ways every day at the hands of ignorant ‘teachers’ who should know better or just don’t care.
Understandably, the majority of incidents never get a mention in the papers – the columns would be chock-a-block full and choking from their overpowering strangulation.
It’s not until a child is maimed, severely injured, killed or is driven to suicide as a result of corporal punishment that it receives a mention in the media.
On a scale of 1-10, let’s regard the severities mentioned as a 10; but what about all the sixes, sevens, eights and nines that may not leave timeless scars on the outside, but has wreaked havoc and possibly wrecked the child’s mind on the inside?
There is so much evidence against the practice of corporal punishment in all settings, one can’t help but wonder how it continues or how it’s allowed to continue. We know there are many outstanding and upstanding lay and religious teachers about, the unsung heroes of the nation.
The enlightening anti-corporal punishment information available to them, however, is also available to everyone else. But perhaps the offenders are not good people anyway and choose to vent their bile and extricate their frustrations through beating up children who cannot or won’t respond in kind.
Corporal punishment in schools and madrasahs could end in days if parents/guardians were to confront the Headmaster and ‘teachers’ face-to-face and make it clear they did not want their children to be given corporal punishment. It’s as simple as that.
Corporal punishment is a form of bullying by a ‘teacher’ or religious instructor and it should be remembered that all bullies lose power and back down when confronted.
If parents really love their children, the very least they can do is visit their child’s school or madrasah and make it known that they do not want their child to be given corporal punishment, under any circumstances. That sends a clear signal to the ‘teachers’, headmaster, and administration.
I know of many fathers who took this approach and spoke to the ‘teachers’ and their children were never hit again.
Virtuous Headmasters and teachers, who are aware of the shortcomings of their colleagues, carry a responsibility to the children, the teaching profession, society at large and to the nation, to strongly object and make their feelings known, to bring about positive change. Looking the other way is not an option.
Irish statesman Edmund Burke (1729-1797) once said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Sometimes being an honourable and decent person is not enough. It’s time for good teachers to act, speak out, and help correct the faults of their wayward colleagues.
Sir Frank Peters is a former newspaper and magazine publisher and editor, a royal goodwill ambassador, a humanitarian and a respected foreign non-political friend of Bangladesh who has been honoured by Bangladesh Freedom Fighters. Three Bangladeshi babies have been named ‘Frank Peters’ in his honour.