Our Readers' Opinions
April 21, 2006

Who really should administer punishment?

Editor: “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with a rod and shalt deliver his soul from hell” Proverbs 23:13, 14.

Our nation boasts of how blessed it is. Why then now do we not listen to the counsel of God? Sometimes I can’t help but marvel at how our forefathers disciplined their children in the name of the Lord and how they grew to be honorable and decent men and women. {{more}} With much concern for the young people of this generation, I write with guidance from the Holy Spirit of truth. The Education Bill of 2005 has the potential to destroy the future of our country (our youth). Under section 53, subsection 1.8 is a list of rules which I have personally examined. It is clear to me that the persons who wrote these laws have only one objective and it is to abolish corporal punishment.

Under subsection 6, the bill states: “A person other than a female who administers corporal punishment to a girl commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of two thousand dollars”. The Bible is God’s revelation to man and it does not oppose a particular gender. He does not say whether a man or woman should administer punishment. The fact is that if the child is wrong and needs disciplining he should be. I wonder how the Government plans to deal with the single fathers out there with their daughters. Do they plan to assign a woman to these homes to administer punishment? In a scenario where a female student’s teacher is her father and she commits a wrong that requires an open rebuke (by beating), should this father call someone else to punish his own child? What if the principal, deputy principal and the teacher permitted to punish are all males? For example, all the persons permitted to administer punishment at the Georgetown Secondary School (principal, deputy and councilor) are all males (I checked it myself). This aspect of this bill is useless!!

Subsection 7 says “The parent or guardian of a student at a school may in writing to the principal of the school state that he objects to corporal punishment being administered to the student by the school…” This could breed injustice. Let’s suppose two students do a wrong. Last month a male student from my school hit another in his face with a chair leg. The wounded student had to undergo face surgery as a result. Think about this. Now if the guilty child’s parents had in writing objected to corporal punishment but the other child’s parents didn’t, wouldn’t it be unjust or unfair that only the victim student gets a flogging (they were both fighting after all)? And wouldn’t it lead the victim’s parents to also object to corporal punishment? So before we know it, every parent would object to corporal punishment whether they support it or not since they want justice to be given to their child.

Furthermore, rules like these reduce teachers’ authority in governing a class. When a student can tell a teacher “Yo cyah lash me”, it should be enough for the Ministry to realize the negative effects of such a bill. The teachers can be fined a sum of 2000 dollars and the students know this so, it’s like “Back off or you gotta pay”. You have smashed the minds of students with these new rules. I dare the Ministry of Education and the Government to read, examine and seriously consider this article. I leave you with this stunning scripture and my prayers. “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child: but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” Proverbs 22:15

Kisha Sutherland

Form 4 Student