Advocates of corporal punishment are promoting a culture of violence
Stabroek News
January 5, 2002

Dear Editor,

I read the letter captioned 'Fear of flogging helped a legion of young scholars' [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ], (3.l.2002). It does not take an expert to know that flogging is a form of violence that perpetuate other forms of violence. When students/children are flogged, the message that is being sent is that the infliction of physical harm is an acceptable way to solve problems. This is further from the truth. Physical harm inflicted through flogging is punitive and does not correct unwanted behaviour.

How are we to teach students that hitting is an unacceptable and violent way to resolve conflict when members of our society advocate hitting them? No wonder advocates of the 'spare the rod, spoil the child' myth take this fallacy a step further through domestic violence in the home as encapsulated in songs with offensive lyrics such as 'every now and then just knock them down, every now and then just throw them down, bruk up de eye, bruise up de knee, then they love you eternally'.

Those who use physical violence or the threat of it as a mantra to control students/children are promoting a culture of violence which breeds other forms of violence.

While visiting Guyana in August 2001, I spent part of a day with a street kid who told me that he ran away from home to escape the physical abuse of his parents. I watched news coverage on a television station of a teenager in Georgetown being violently assaulted on the street for looking at a female and saying something to her. At that time, there were no arrests although the assault was shown on television. I also watched a

television documentary of the beating death of Father Bernard Darke on Brickdam.

All I am saying is that I believe that the culture of violence inherent in flogging is more of a problem than a solution to a problem.

Yours faithfully,

Gary Pieters, B.A. [Hons.], B.Ed.

Teacher, Toronto Canada