Brutlaity Against Children, Disguised as " Discipline"

Mar 2010
49
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I help run a high-school in a Third World country where beating with sticks, along with other forms of insidious child torture, are still permitted by law. Having been on the receiving end of such treatment by openly sadistic teachers in my youth, I arrived at the conclusion long ago that there are in fact ZERO benefits to brutality against children, and myriad levels of physical and psychological damage that arise from any regime of formalized brutality that targets victims of ANY age demographic.

The ownership and administrative powers of the school are split between myself, my sister, who happened to be a gleefully enthusiastic bully back when we were kids and she was twice my age, and our mother, now in her 80s, who wore the trousers in our home during the lifetime of our late father. My sister recently returned here from the West Coast of the United States, where she raised her own three children in a state school system that regards any form of physical contact with students as grounds for criminal prosecution of the aggressor.

I spent a good chunk of my life stateside where I received my college education, after completing my high school in the UK, where beating of students has rightly been illegal since the 1950s. Prior to the arrival of my sister to get her paws into the family business cash flow, I had unilaterally placed a BAN all forms of child torture by members of the teaching staff in our school, which resulted in NO adverse effects on general discipline, despite much muttering by staff AND parents to the contrary.

Responding to complaints by teachers who were of the opinion that kids in our school were not sufficiently cowed and terrorized by the authority of teachers, my sister and mom decided on their own to re-introduce the institutionalized beating of children with sticks and belt-buckles, in a doomed quest to establish “discipline” in a climate of primal fear. I was naturally livid when I heard of this regression to classroom savagery, and I decided to frame my continued opposition to that utterly stupid new policy in the context of the MEDICAL consequences resultant from corporal punishment.

Trolling the internet for studies on the subject, I learned that instances of “accidental” blinding of students by cane-wielding teachers are so widespread as to be of MAJOR statistical significance. I also became aware of the fact that the sciatic nerve, critical to walking mobility, can be IRREPERABLY destroyed by the impact of sticks and other weapons of “discipline”, rendering the victim lame or entirely immobilized for life. Beating human hands with solid objects apparently can cripple or deform hands for life, particularly when the impacts “accidentally” strike the delicate wrist area. Sickle cell sufferer’s can, according to further reports I have read, wind up simply dropping dead as a result of ANY physical assault, of which classroom beatings are a classic example.

I am writing here to seek out any internet links that could be offered by you forum regulars, such that clearly documented evidence on of the potential lasting damage to our students can be furnished to those parents who still think the caning of their children is a great idea. I intend to call a PTA meeting, and have a second, more meaningful, and better informed vote on the subject of child beating, AFTER a full and exhaustively detailed report on the inherent risks has been circulated to those parents, along with all the internet links they will need to verify the truth of my stand on this subject.

Any help in my quest to protect children from human rights abuse would be gratefully received. I need all the cold, hard medical facts that I can muster to support my stand, and to free these kids from the brutality of bullies masquerading as classroom teachers.
 
Sep 2010
456
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I feel for your cause and totally support you in your efforts.
Humanitarian cause aside for a mo and to focus on the psycholocal, What you have to do is change the beliefs of these people. Which at any level is no easy feat, infact think about changing a muslims belief into a christian one. You will have to package your 'non violent' proposition as ATRRACTIVE with BENEFITS.. you may have to operate covertly and infiltrate rather than invade.

For example I remember my primary school still imposed the cane, I was pursuaded to stay in class by a friend when it was raining, rather than go outside at playtime. We hid in cupboards then had the class to ourselves for a while, did nothing but got caught and was taken to be caned. The headmaster was a lovely man and just myself and him in his office, myself about aged 8, he said with the cane in his hand "There's no way I'm going to use this on anyone, but I have to been seen to, you understand?" and with that he wacked it down on the table and made a noise that echoed down the corridores.

What I'm saying is, you can sit in meetings and give out your opinion and your beliefs that it is wrong and damaging to physically cause pain to a child. But unless it benefits THEM they're unlikely to listen. Offen them incentive and their ears will prick up.
If you yourself took on a large proportion of the punishment, but like the headmaster above, secretely refused to carry it out, this may eventually filter through the students, so when they were given a beating by another memeber it's likely there would be a rebellion by the student which would kick start a movement against the violence. Hope you understand.

I wish you luck, apart from gathering your internet facts, I would also urge you to look at more creative ways to bringing about the change you want.

(In the past changing people's behavoiur was as simple as saying 'God says' and give out some biblical babble - which is psychologically damaging as opposed to physically damaging - FEAR changes behavours and beliefs - you could also try saying New International Legislations are being imposed and it will be a criminal offence to hit a child in educational care, make up a few documents - This will change their behavours by FEAR) I hope you see where I'm coming from, sadly people don't respond to what's right, they respond to greed, superstitions and fear).
 
Mar 2010
49
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Thank you very much for your response, PMother. I stand pretty much alone here against this practice, and just hearing an encouraging word from a complete stranger is oddly uplifting. I definitely agree that I won't change mindsets by expressing indignation, but rather by a slow process of chipping away at what passes for conventional wisdom, until the tide of general opinion gradually changes for the better.

Funny thing you should mention superstition as a motivating factor. Belief in hocus pocus still runs deep here even today, and sometimes I wish there were some way to capitalize on that mentality to make people think twice about lashing out at school kids with the misguided intention of instilling "discipline". One thing is for sure. Teacher inflicted violence does inspire copycat student bullying, often with the same weapons used - sticks and belts. Once again I do appreciate your thoughts on this subject very much.

Regards
 
Mar 2010
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Thank you very much for the links you have provided, Enigma. I have added those links to my arsenal of facts in support of common sense, which is in very short supply among advocates of such brutality. It should be a no-brainer really, that the infliction of random violence as a "corrective" measure is wrong and about as counter-prodcutive as one can get, yet there are still folks who would argue otherwise, and I'll have my work cut out trying to reason with them, fer sure.
 
Mar 2010
49
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Getting rid of teachers who beat children was the way it had been done in the school here for over a decade before my sister showed up as an equal partner, Joni. Initially she expressed dismay at the prevalence of beating in schools, but then literally overnight she decided, without seeking my consent, that wanton savagery against children would be just fine by her. Just as quickly, I learnt to despise her, but on a more practical level I am seeking to terminate her arbitrary regime of terror by presenting medical evidence documenting the often PERMANENT damage caused by attacking human beings with sticks and bullwhips, both to the PTA and to the Board of Directors, who ultimately have final say.

I would dearly love to buy my sister out so she can just go away, since she evidently learned nothing about human rights during her four decades in California, where all her children attended schools in which beating kids would fetch the offender a felony assault conviction. Sister Dearest obviously regards Third World children as being sub-human and deserving of the iron fist treatment by whip wielding overseers, unlike her own cultured and civilized offspring who were never assaulted by teachers or anyone else in their entire lives.