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Corporal Punishment Returning To British Schools

Corporal Punishment Returning To British Schools
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In response to the recent riots in England, Michael Gove, the education secretary, is bringing corporal punishment back to British schools. The use of force and other harsh penalties is now allowed by the British government.

Yes, you read that correctly — according to Gove, the use of physical force will teach those rioters a lesson. I wonder if he has even thought of asking any of the offenders why they were rioting and considered how that might relate to the classroom? Are we still living in Charles Dickens’ London?

British Education Secretary Will “Restore Adult Authority” In Schools By Bringing Back The Cane

According the The Guardian, in a speech delivered at Durand academy, in Stockwell, south London, Gove said the regulations on the use of force inhibited teachers’ judgment. He added that there had been a slow erosion of adult authority, subverted by a culture in which young people felt able to ignore civilized boundaries. “The only way to reverse this dissolution of legitimate authority is step-by-step to move the ratchet back in favour of teachers,” he stated.

(For the record, corporal punishment in British state schools, and also in private schools receiving any element of public funding, was banned by parliament in 1987. In the remaining private schools it was banned in 1999 in England and Wales, 2000 in Scotland, and 2003 in Northern Ireland.)

Wanted: More Male Teachers To Provide Authority Figures

Specifically, Education Secretary Gove is scrapping a requirement for teachers to record instances when they use physical force, as part of a wider move to “restore adult authority” in the wake of the riots in England.  Gove went on to say that he wanted greater numbers of men teaching, particularly in primary schools, so as to provide children with male authority figures who could display “both strength and sensitivity”.

From The Guardian:

He said: “So let me be crystal clear, if any parent now hears a school say, ‘sorry, we can’t physically touch the students’, then that school is wrong. Plain wrong. The rules of the game have changed.”

Gove said men considering teaching were deterred by a fear of rules that made contact between adults and children “a legal minefield”.

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Photo Credit: Steve Punter via Creative Commons

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1:37AM PDT on May 27, 2015

Stupid, brutal and sexist; Gove sounds like a real keeper. One of the reasons I never had kids is because I knew I'd kill anyone who touched my kid.

7:44AM PDT on Oct 9, 2014

I do not believe in corporal punishment but I do believe that respect must be given to teachers and there is so little of that with so many helicopter parents. Somehow children must face reasonable consequences for their actions without parents rushing to their defense.It is a necessary part of growing up.

8:24PM PDT on Apr 1, 2014

At age 6 to 12 in a UK Prep School I was regularly beaten by the headmaster. It had a big effect on me for many years - insecurity in my ability and a hatred of the headmaster. It retarded me academically such that I took 3 years to gain 3 'A' Levels.

But then at university I got back on track and gained an Hons in Nuclear Physics. But the hatred was still there. This resulted in me writing an appalling letter to the Headmaster when he was dying in hospital. I told him exactly how he had wrecked my self confidence and that I hoped he would reflect on that as he lay there in agony.

That's a dreadful thing to say to a dying man, but such was the hatred that he had produced in me. In our 60s, after a few beers, many of my school fried tell similar stories.

8:56AM PST on Dec 26, 2011

this is ridiculous! singing asap!!!!!!!!!

6:27AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

Corporal Punishment is Abuse and should be banned in all schools and homes.

4:30PM PDT on Oct 6, 2011

i miss the day when i was in school as i used to be humiliated and beaten by my female teachers,i used to be beaten and humiliated 4 free everyday now i have 2 pay a dominatrix 2 have it but it will never taste as it is used 2
i remember that day when my geography teacher slapped me on my face more than once and order me to put my hands behind my back and i did it and take and love it and now i miss it

11:14AM PDT on Oct 2, 2011

corporal punishment is unacceptable.

4:28PM PDT on Sep 30, 2011

Perhaps it would be a good idea to read what this is about before starting a petition. Anyway, a return to corporal punishment would be in contravention of European law.

8:31AM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

physical force is violence, it is always wrong.

7:32AM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

Corporal punishment amounts to assault & battery, child abuse & bullying. It teaches nothing of value & has no place in education, pure & simple.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
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