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Corporal Punishment


Max Power
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Just watched a documentary on corporal punishment in Britain on BBC4. It was good to see the island getting a good slice of the action. I was quite surprised how much support it had here amongst young and old. I thought those interviewed at the time gave quite a good case for retaining it. When four Glasgow thugs were given it here for beating up two lads sunbathing during the 60s, it reignited calls for the birch to be reintroduced in Britain The programme finished up with the titles rolling past old Henry Corlett thrashing the living daylights out of a chair in his pub. I didn't realise that the cane was only abolished in private schools as late as 1999.

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I went to a private school in the 1980s that had the cane. This seemed to be the default punishment for anything from running in the corridor, to being caught smoking or fighting. Obviously this was meant as a deterrent, but failed to take into account playground politics: How often you got caned, was a badge of how 'hard' you were.

What seemed utterly unjust to me was the policy of mass caning, i.e. if a teacher could smell smoke, and couldn't identify the culprit, the entire class got caned. No individual evidence needed. When you joined, your parents had signed a release allowing them to do this. So even if you were a complete goody two-shoes, you could still get caned for literally no reason (and possibly develop permanent nerve damage, tough shit)

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1 hour ago, Max Power said:

The programme finished up with the titles rolling past old Henry Corlett thrashing the living daylights out of a chair in his pub. I didn't realise that the cane was only abolished in private schools as late as 1999

And now there are people who will pay £200 an hour for such.

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It may have put a stop to the antics of some of the little vandals running riot on the island, setting fire to vehicles, smashing toilets etc. CP might have been a deterrent to some of the idiots which habitual show up week after week for varieties of offences in court, are sentenced to prison, released and back to the same cycle of offending. 

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4 hours ago, 2112 said:

It may have put a stop to the antics of some of the little vandals running riot on the island, setting fire to vehicles, smashing toilets etc. CP might have been a deterrent to some of the idiots which habitual show up week after week for varieties of offences in court, are sentenced to prison, released and back to the same cycle of offending. 

iirc Cyril Smith was a firm advocate for the same reason.

What would we do to the adult 'vandals' then ? 

Humiliation with pain does not work except to satisfy the punisher in very many complex ways.

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16 minutes ago, doc.fixit said:

So what currently works as a deterrent to low grade, repeat offending by youngsters? If anything.

Growing up. Most of the people who go through the criminal justice system at a younger age stop offending when they get a job, marry, have kids.

Its really difficult to do direct comparisons.

Fines have the lowest reoffending rates. But that’s because fines, like all other sentences, are targeted by seriousness of offence, previous, ability to pay. Most people fined are first offenders, are never going to offend again, whatever the sentence.

My view, after, 40+ years of appearing in courts, is that better support intervention by school and social services, before the first offence gets to court would be even better. And much improved mental health support.

But options that keep offenders out of court and unconvicted, but which educate and deliver restorative justice, are also worthwhile. Drug and Alcohol referral schemes, speeding and other motoring referral schemes.

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8 hours ago, Bombay Bad Boy said:

I went to a private school in the 1980s that had the cane. This seemed to be the default punishment for anything from running in the corridor, to being caught smoking or fighting. Obviously this was meant as a deterrent, but failed to take into account playground politics: How often you got caned, was a badge of how 'hard' you were.

What seemed utterly unjust to me was the policy of mass caning, i.e. if a teacher could smell smoke, and couldn't identify the culprit, the entire class got caned. No individual evidence needed. When you joined, your parents had signed a release allowing them to do this. So even if you were a complete goody two-shoes, you could still get caned for literally no reason (and possibly develop permanent nerve damage, tough shit)

Hand or backside? I went to a Grammar School in the 80s and the cane was still used, but not as often as you seemed to get it.  They abolished it while I was there as they knew legislation was coming. 
 

I remember one lad getting ‘six of the best’ on his hands, which swelled up like balloons afterwards. Seemed utterly barbaric at the time for what was little more than messing about. 

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Try being a teacher these days though - tough gig. All you need is one or two disruptive kids and the whole class can, and often does, go to hell in a handcart.

No real power or even facilities to deal with it - and the disruptive kids know it. Like they say, it is easier to negotiate with terrorists than some kids. Worse still are some of the parents who don't even care, which is a major problem not to be underestimated. 

All damaging to teachers' mental health and the education of the bulk of kids.

An innovative replacement punishment system is well overdue to protect the wellbeing of the bulk of teachers and kids that are getting on with it. Maybe this could be in the form of 3 strikes and you have to go to a separate, centre of island school, run by the Demon Headmaster where the emphasis is on exercise, gardening and a more practical education syllabus...with the option of getting back to your old school only once you have demonstrated you have realised the consequences and upped your game.

There is little point in fining some of the scummy parents we have on this island as most of the monies would be unrecoverable for a wide variety of reasons.

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Corporal punishment is well gone and good riddance to it. Should only be for consenting adults. What's needed though is a return to authority but I don't see that happening. All I see now is the authority of the individual. I don't think most people even understand the need for authority, what it is, or what it's based on. 

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