BVI News

Absence of corporal punishment not to be blamed for disrespectful students

Chief education Officer, Connie George.

The absence of corporal punishment in local schools is not to be blamed for the increased occurrences of students being disrespectful towards teachers and/or other authority figures.

This is according to Chief Education Officer, Connie George, who said there are no studies to indicate whether there is a correlation between corporal punishment and mannerly behaviour from students.

Notwithstanding the absence of any study, George said she believes a number of other factors can be blamed for what has been described as the stark difference in the behaviour of present-day students and those from ‘the days of old’.

“I was never disrespectful to my teachers but not because I got flogged or not because I feared flogging. On the other hand, there could have so many things competing for the parents time that they haven’t taken the time to do the right type of training and groundwork with their children as they should. So there are other things I would put way above the fact that people are fearful of flogging and it being removed while the discipline may have deteriorated,” George argued.

Bad upbringing from home

She noted that ill-mannered behaviour might be something that was learnt outside of the school environment.

“It comes with the absence of a home structure for some people where you have that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ mentality and that everybody could have corrected a child and those kinds of things,” the chief educator reasoned.

She added: “Lack of respect could be the youthfulness of teachers. It could be a lot of things. In some ways, some teachers are very young and don’t carry the command they should. But my number-one thing would be the lack of respect comes from the home.”

Alternative measures of discipline

In the meantime, Georges said there have been no official reports of corporal punishment in schools since the introduction of Article 55 to the Education Act of 2004, which prohibits corporal punishment in schools.

George said that policy resulted in the Education Ministry finding alternative ways to discipline students.

“In my mind, that is a good thing because you’ll have a number of children who would react to different forms of punishment better than they would have to flogging,” said Georges who is a former classroom teacher.

“One of the things in the system right now that I am trying to push is positive behavioural management that you train children to do the right thing and not so much wait to reward (punish) the negative. We want to reward them for being good.”

Corporal punishment illegal but might still be unofficially practiced

While reiterating that corporal punishment should never be practised in local schools, the Chief Education Officer told BVI News: “I can’t say to you that flogging doesn’t happen in school where somebody may hit a child or something. But, it is not official.”

She continued: “It would not have been officially reported to me because they know the constitution and they know what it says. But I am sure there might have been one or two but no official reports of any kind of those incidents.”

The law’s ‘special exemption’ to flog student

Though corporal punishment in schools is unlawful, there are provisions in the law that permits the flogging of students under ‘special circumstances’.

This is found under subsection two of the aforementioned law which says: “Corporal punishment may be administered where no other punishment is considered suitable or effective, and only by the principal or deputy principal and one senior teacher appointed in writing by the principal for that purpose, in a manner that is in conformity with guidelines issued in writing by the Chief Education Officer.”

But, according to George, that has never been used.

During a meeting held by Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley on June 20, some educators had raised concerns about the lack of respect shown by students to teachers and adults. Stakeholders inclusive of parents and teachers responded by applauding in agreement.

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15 Comments

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  1. hit the nail on the head says:

    Also the conditioning of children through the TV sitcoms where children are being disrespectful to parents and parents being children’s friend. Another culprit is reality TV displaying bad and rowdy behavior.

    • smh says:

      And it is the parents who should be controling what children watch and do…Anyway, you say it, cut or do it…. It all is on the parents. Parents should use whatever means necessary to mold their children into responsible, respectful, caring humans. If it takes a cut ass, so be it.

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  2. smh says:

    And it is the parents who should be controling what children watch and do…Anyway, you say it, cut or do it…. It all is on the parents. Parents should use whatever means necessary to mold their children into responsible, respectful, caring humans. If it takes a cut ass, so be it.

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  3. granny says:

    “spare the rod and spoil the child”

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  4. Hmm says:

    No the absence of corporal punishment, capital punishment and a corrupt legal system that allows every case to go to the appeals court and get over turn for any nonsense is a the biggest part of reason why the youths are so willful and wayward.

    Not to mention our Law makers around the world for the last twenty years allegedly have intentionally written our laws to be so vague and ambiguous thus tying up the legal system..

  5. Weir D. Playne says:

    TV watching is down in the last few years. The number one negative influence on students is social media and negligent parents. Back in the days children had toys that they could actually play with now they get phones and Ipads with access to the internet with little restriction. Some people get most of their information, news, entertainment from Facebook and Instagram. All kind of videos and pictures are shared on WhatsApp. If the parents dont have time to raise their children the internet will.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Bring back the cane for girls and boys aged 6 to 17

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  7. Richard says:

    Bring back caning for girls and boys aged 6 to 17 I got it and it did me good

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  8. Richard stopford says:

    Bring back caning bare bottoms included for evil children who mug and steal

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the teachers should stop sending yhe grd one with lots of homeworks that also wrong because as the parents we end up spending less time with our kids while we busy doing the homeworks

  10. Selina says:

    All you idiots that think abuse is ok should go to h**l

  11. GWEN says:

    Children live what they learn. A Child’s first role model are his parents.

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