Bit, in the news lately about the merits of caning children at school. I started Primary School in late 50’s, funnily enough when I moved on to Grammar School,, I can’t recall ever getting caned, but between the ages of 5 and 11, it was a regular occurrence. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t that naughty a kid, but teachers sure liked handing out a good thrashing.
You used to get the cane for anything, I got it for laughing once, the headmaster told me ‘there’s a time and place for laughter, and school isn’t that time or place” We also had a woodwork teacher who seemed to have as much fun hitting pupils with a length of wood, has he did making pencil cases. Child abuse was not only flourishing it was actively encouraged. If you were the type of teacher/policeman/priest etc. who enjoyed beating kids, no one was ever going to question your right to do it.
Of course now things have gone to the other extreme, I’d hate to be a teacher now. If I was a young kid, I could walk into class, punch the teacher in the face, and if he so much as raised his hands to protect himself, he’d probably never teach again. Whereas I’d get therapy/counselling for several months, then $50,000 off 60 Minutes for discussing my “shocking school experience”, followed by problems with the police, that my lawyer would blame on my “shocking school experience” , followed by an appearance on I’m a Celebrity Get me out of Here, followed by drink/drugs blamed on my “shocking school experience” followed by an article in Women’s Day detailing how my “shocking school experience “ruined my life. Followed by, Celebrity Strictly Come Dancing, which, even though I’m voted off on the first night, I describe has “the greatest experience of my life.” Followed by drink/drugs/depression caused by the realisation that the “greatest experience of my life’ was prancing around on the telly with a load of B Grade has-beens, and extremely minor celebrities. Followed by a few years between jobs, followed by my autobiography “My Shocking School Experience and How it Changed My Life” ghost written of course , has I never went to school long enough to actually learn how to write. Followed by more drink/drugs due to the lack of interest in the book, followed by rehab, followed by Celebrity Rehab. Followed by death, followed by a small mention on page 25 of the local paper where a “spokesman” says, “he was never the same after his “shocking school experience”
Some measure of discipline is essential. Maybe somewhere between the 1950’s and today, we had it just right.