Hard on the heels of writing about misbehaving brats, Alf’s belief in the disciplinary powers of the cane has been buttressed by news from abroad.
Teachers in Britain are blaming the abolition of caning for a deterioration in children’s behaviour at school (as you will learn from the Daily Mail here).
It stands to reason that if the little buggers won’t behave at school, they won’t behave anywhere else.
Ipso facto, the cane should be brought back (yep, Alf dutifully paid attention during Latin classes),
Alf now brings the British teachers’ experience to bear on the burning issue of school ill-discipline in this county.
What happened there is lamentably and predictably echoed here.
Laws forbidding state schools in the UK from using the cane or slipper to discipline pupils were introduced in 1987 and a decade later in independent schools.
But subsequent governments have failed to give teachers sufficient sanctions.
Sad to say, where Britain went we went and corporal punishment in all schools and all early childhood education providers was banned in this country effective 23 July 1990.
Having followed the bloody Brits down the path of ill-discipline, we should pay heed when members of the UK Association of Teachers and Lecturers find fault with existing sanctions such as detention and suspension. They
…condemned existing sanctions such as detention and suspension.
‘Novel’ punishments are needed to allow teachers to reassert their authority in the classroom, they said.
Likewise, we should pay attention to British research by the teachers’ association which points to a decline in pupil behaviour.
Responding to one of its surveys, a teacher said: ‘The children know that our hands are tied and play up frequently.
‘In the past two years, we have only successfully permanently excluded one pupil. It is the good students whose education is being wrecked that I feel for.’
Another said: ‘Persistent low-level rudeness and disruption seems to have become a fact of life in education today and no longer raises eyebrows or seems to merit special attention.’
A third reported: ‘I had a female student threaten to kick the smile off my face, in front of a whole class.’
London teacher Julian Perfect had plenty to say to the conference on all this.
“When corporal punishment was abolished nothing was put in its place that had equivalent deterrent powers.”
Does that ring a bell in Eketahuna North, school bell or otherwise?
Perfect went on to say that while teachers have statutory authority to discipline pupils whose behaviour is unacceptable, governments have failed to suggest methods for making authority ‘meaningful’.
The conference was told suspensions and expulsions were now handed out all too rarely amid pressure on schools to reduce the number of pupils who are excluded from school.
Alf was heartened by this observation from the association’s general secretary, Dr Mary Bousted:
‘Sanctions do have to be something students don’t want to have to endure.
‘We’re not saying at all that children should fear teachers but they should respect them.
‘If they go beyond the bounds of respecting a teacher there should be sanctions.
‘And those sanctions should be something children would rather not face.’
So are we hearing a call for the return of the cane?
The shocking answer is – nope.
Proposing a motion aimed at tackling poor behaviour in the classroom, Perfect said:
‘This does not seek the reinstatement of corporal punishment but rather the identification of additional forms of sanction.’
Another teacher agreed the teachers needed more research into behaviour management.
This teacher particularly wanted sanctions that work, that are equitable and that can be used widely in schools supported by governments and parents.
‘We have to ensure more of our classes are not disrupted but are places of real learning for all.’
Delegates at the association’s annual conference voted unanimously for research into ‘effective’ disciplinary methods.
Alf is gobsmacked by this carry-on about research.
We don’t need to look too hard for the solution.
Having said sanctions available to schools since corporal punishment was abolished are ‘totally inadequate’ at reasserting authority in the classroom and lack the same deterrent effect, the namby-pamby buggers in Britain have failed to draw the obvious conclusion: bring back the cane.
This is the pathetic result, obviously, of not being allowed to give brats a good thrashing for so many years.
If they can’t add two and two and come close to the answer “four”, they’ve got to be unfit to teach.