Only bullies beat children
Stabroek News
January 14, 2002

Dear Editor,

Ms Bonita Harris asked for the views of those who were affected by corporal punishment and for those who are against the brutalising of children in the name of discipline.

During 2001, the public education team of Help & Shelter were involved in several discussions on the beating of children, and there were many voices and comments raised. On the 24 November, the Youth Ministry of the Newtown Assemblies of God held a public forum on child abuse. At that forum, there was a lot of discussion on what the gospel said and what the Education Act said. The representative from the Ministry of Education said that as a Christian and a law abiding citizen she had no problems with beating children; whilst one lay pastor agreed. However, there was hope in that one popular TV newscaster reminded the forum that laws can be changed; and another father, said that he too was Christian and did not believe in beating children.

In his closing prayers, Pastor John Forde said that if only, instead of using weapons, adults would use the palm of the hands when hitting children, then they too would feel the pain they are inflicting and would perhaps think of other non violent ways of disciplining children.

In another session with students from the Mercy Wings Vocational School in Sophia one 17 year old male carpentry/masonry student (who also looked after his younger brothers) got up in frustration and said to his other

colleagues.. "y'all big an' stupid bully, fuh beat lil children whuh cyan do y'all nuttin, is only bully does do duh..."\\

Yours faithfully,

Vidyaratha Kissoon