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Bring back corporal punishment campaign

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Captain Carwash, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. cobalt54

    cobalt54 New commenter

    I dont accept the terms 'beating' or the more commonly used term nowadays 'abuse' in relation to the belt. A beating to me is what you get from the Ronnie Kray types in society when you are pummelled around the head and body. And abuse to me implies some breach of legality which did not apply to the belt prior to its being banned. (o.k it was never actually banned as such, but it was effectively outlawed.)
    Within three years of my starting teaching the school staff voted about 90%-10% to stop using the belt before it was legally withdrawn from schools, so I can claim I suppose to be one of the few teachers around today who actually voted against it, even if too late in the day to satisfy everyone.
    Those who call for the return of the belt might as well call for the reintroduction of imperial measures, national service or capital punishment. I cant honestly believe the originator of this thread is entirely serious. The belt was of its time, and like any punishment could be classified as brutal. I recall a school manager insisting I drop a boy from the school football team because 'that is what will hurt him most.' To me that was as brutal as the belt, and all the worse for being done by proxy. Needless to say I did not drop the boy in question, who actually went on to play professional football.
    Once the belt began to lose the support of parents it was doomed, despite what Scotland's Urban Voltaire was voicing from his cups. Although I suspect Jack MacLean was more offended by the exaggerated language used by organisations like STOPP than by what they were proposing.
    Of course the belt was sore: that was the point. It stung like hell and made your eyes water. But I dont think many found it 'astonishingly agonising' and I have never heard of anyone permanently damaged physically as a result of receiving it.
    I think if teachers were not being regularly sniped at by politicians for 'failing pupils' (yes, that's the lot who let the financial system collpase) and undermined in disciplinary matters by SMTs sitting in La La land then there would be fewer reactionary calls to bring back the belt. It's part of the job to impose authority and lead the class, and if this is impaired then the class suffers more than anyone.

  2. What of the many, many successful teachers who think it's part of the job to build relationships and lead the class...
  3. Well, Cobalt, time to call a halt, I guess a guilty plea was never on the cards? [​IMG]
    I genuinely regret that the old-timers are fading away, still excusing and defending their use of the belt after, say, 1970, rather than accepting that it was, yes, every time, brutal abusive beating and they ought now to be ashamed. (Frankly, Cobalt, I don't mean to be personally offensive, but someone coming into teaching in the very late-70s and acquiring and using a Lochgelly must have had something wrong with them. And if after thirty years they can't admit to burning shame for that, there's still something wrong with them.)
    But I suppose they'll take their self-justification to the grave, and happily soon they'll all be gone from teaching. And not long afterwards the profession will be free even of those who might themselves have experienced or witnessed the barbarity of belting in their own days as a pupil.
    And the belt is in the dustbin where it belongs. Or rather, apparently, in the hands of the 'fetish' collectors and the 'spanking' brigade who value the inplements highly. They're welcome to them. I wonder where they got their interest?
  4. cobalt54

    cobalt54 New commenter

    n a 3aa OK JamesTES,.
    My last post as well. We agree to differ it is clear. Although I will soon be gone from teaching, I have been valued as a teacher who could control the most difficult of classes. When the French teacher (a la J.K Rowling) went to the toilets to cry her eyes out on a thursday afternoon it was muggins here who was expected to take over her class.
    They worked in silence (a new experience for many of them) and were actually appreciative that order had been restored. Not with the belt of course- that had been abandoned by me many hears previous. But the concept of pupils as you might put it 'deferring' to the teacher was a blessed relief to many.

    Raymagnol picked me up for quasi-fascist terminology and she was right for a change. The relationship is all. But when you are faced with a hostile group of 30 pupils in a cover class then there can be only be one winner. If it is not the teacher then hell mend the rest.

    Harold Wilson once claimed that politics was ther art of the possible. I think that stands up quite well. The belt taught me, as pupil and teacher, what is possible, even if it has now become an anachronism. Rest in peace.

  5. On a behaviour training day I was told we can't expect them to remember the rules just as we wouldn't (as non-maths specialists) be expected to remember how to solve quadratic equations!
  6. Just as a wee afterthought, Cobalt, you might like to have a look at this and give us your professional opinion. The comments are interesting. [​IMG]
  7. cobalt54

    cobalt54 New commenter

    The comments are quite a mixed bag as I might have expected; the nostalgic, the bitter and the merely curious.
    Because the belt seemed to be intertwined with the masculine, industrial world in which I grew up I suppose like many pupils I never ever questioned its right to exist. Being belted for something which was unwarranted brought out the barrack room lawyer in us, and I recall on one occasion refusing (successfully) to be belted, but I dont remember any of us actually questioning a sanction which was approved by wider society. It was dished out occasionally in primary, reached a crescendo in the first two years of secondary when boys especially have more energy than sense, and then withered away by the start of 4th year.
    But maybe as you suggested earlier I was fortunate in the schools I attended. I did however teach at a school where the depute (who still ran the place with a rod of iron even although the rod had been taken away) had belted one of my colleagues who, as a 6th year pupil, had had the temerity to stand in the dinner queue with the top button of his shirt undone.
    Legend had it that when once asked about the difference between teachers and pupils this depute had shaken his head ruefully and replied: 'You cant belt the teachers.'
  8. Just as a further afterthough, onre of cobalt's defences of belting was that "I have never heard of anyone permanently damaged physically as a result
    of receiving it." In that context, there is an interesting medical opinion here:
    There was an old Scottish macho culture that suppressed to some extent the level of physical abuse and the extent of the brutality involved. The things that those of us who were aware of the frequency of belting, the incidence of injuries such as weals and bleeding on wrists and the excessive severity of the type illustrated by the Jack Mclean story could have borne witness to. And there has also not yet been, as far as I am aware, any medical studies into, for example, the incidence of long-term osteoarthritic problems in hands and wrists amongst the Scottish population by comparison to countries where there was no such abuse, and the potential realtionship with the use of the belt in schools.
    I also think there is a tendency for painful childhood memories to emerge as people age, perhaps in their sixties and seventies, and the present day culture is likely to encourage rather than suppress this. We are seeing it to some extent with the more extreme cases of sexual and physical abuse in educational, care and religious institutions that have been coming to public attention in recent years, but it may well be that that the whole topic of school belting will come under focus as the next few years progress. Certainly the final generation of victims, at the receiving end from the late 1960s through into the 1980s, a period when it should have been obvious that it was no longer acceptable, who are now men (or mostly men) in their middle age or beyond, may have their say. And many of the perpetrators, who may still be working or at least healthy retirees, may yet find they are held to account in some way. Personally, I think that would be just.
  9. cobalt54

    cobalt54 New commenter


    I always knew you wanted to call the belting teachers to account in some sort of truth and reconciliation commitee!

    Call me as your first witness.

    There was nothing I did to any student that I could not justify, or even do now. I am 55 years old and still in fine fettle.

    Please call me!
  10. Well, Cobalt, it sounds like we’re talking about something
    like 1977? If so, a date when it seems
    to me almost beyond belief that someone coming into teaching for the first time
    (as a 23 year old?) would want to reach for a thick, heavy leather strap and make
    a practice of beating adolescent boys (perhaps only a few years younger than
    themself) with it. This was a date by
    which it must have been clear to any educated person that the belt had had its
    day, and any form of corporal punishment was on its (overdue) way out. The cases were already heading for the Human
    Rights Court, but more to the point there was no remaining moral argument to
    support retributional violence as an appropriate way for a teacher to treat a
    child. Society had changed, the attitude
    of parents had changed, all other forms of physical punishment in other
    contexts had been abandoned, most other civilised countries had long since
    abandoned such barbarities.
    So the questions you should address seem to me more ones for
    the psychologist to pose, but one wonders what on earth was going through your
    mind as you chose what strength of strap to order from Fife, knowing that these
    implements were of a weight and thickness to inflict extreme pain and damage to
    the recipients as you hit them in the absurd ritual that a ‘belting’
    involved. Let’s not underestimate this,
    Mr Dick had been allowed, and even encouraged, to produce 'tawse' that were so
    heavy and thick as to cause pain to the child that was beyond any definition of
    reasonable or moderate punishment, even by the standards of the period they
    were in use. I know that if you show
    one of these implements to any reasonable person in the present day, you pretty
    well invariably get the same response.
    An astonished “Did people really hit children with that thing??” And did you practice, Cobalt, when you had
    your new strap so that you could be ‘efficient’ with it? What a sad sick process for a professional educator to
    go through.

    The crucial point to my mind is that even now you admit to
    no sense of shame or remorse for having been a perpetrator of this barbaric
    cruelty in the late 1970s. One could
    perhaps excuse some of the old petty tyrants of that era who were still living
    in the past, but many entering the profession at that time had enough judgement
    to see that it was not something with which to join in. So one really does wonder again what was
    going through your mind as you selected your victims, as you carried out the
    ritual of belting, as you raised the implement over your shoulder to strike
    again for the second time, knowing that you had already caused that child unbelievable
    shocking pain. And what was going through your mind if you went on to a third
    or fourth stroke, as many of your colleagues did? Fifth? Sixth? As I say, questions for the
    psychologist/psychiatrist, but speaking as someone who was on the receiving end
    of this abuse in his day (I'm four years older than you), I feel if we could get frank answers from you and your fellow
    ‘belters’, we would go some way further in understanding “man’s inhumanity to

    And yes, I would have some sort of ‘truth and reconciliation’
    process. One for the belters to express
    some remorse and face up to the absurdity and stupidity of what they did. The whole sordid business was one aspect of
    the spectrum of child abuse that was going on back then, and only some of the
    more extreme cases of sexual and physical abuse have yet received much

    After all, apart from all the other moral and practical reasons why it
    should have been obviously unacceptable by the time you were choosing to beat
    children with a heavy leather strap, let's just notice that if you make an
    internet search on this topic, most of the links are connected with sexual
    fetish or sado/masochism. Now, those aspects have not just come into existence
    in the last few years. Many of the current participants in that area will have
    acquired the interest from the actions of their pedagogues thirty or forty
    years ago during their own adolescent years. Back then, there would have been a
    significant number of teachers with motives along those lines; we can't be sure
    of which ones, and therefore to my mind any of them who used a Lochgelly strap
    is at least a suspect.
    However, if your case is that you only took up a borrowed belt very reluctantly because you felt forced into a corner by what you assumed to be the 'norms' of the time, and you only ever gave a couple of gentle taps with it, then maybe you have little to confess to the reconciliation process. You still ought to be d*mn well ashamed all the same! And many of your former fellow belters have a great, great deal more to answer for. You can go the end of the queue if you like. [​IMG]

  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    "almost beyond belief" ???
    This was a time when many thought the belt a relatively effective means of reducing disruption in a classroom. I was one of a fair number of pupils on the receiving end. I'm pretty sure that there were some sadistic teaching staff but it was hardly a pre-requisite for using the belt. I don't remotely advocate belting or caning, but I can see that someone brought up in such a society where it was considered the norm cannot be validly condemned by another with a more present day accepted set of moral standards. It's relatively easy to look back now ... with our experience of modern thoughts and values ... and condemn ... just as we can be judged from sometime in the future in an equally unfair way.
    ... no remaining moral argument acceptable to the majority perhaps... but it's all subjective anyway.
    All throughout your post JamesTES you judge using present day acceptable standards and sometimes make ludicrous assumptions ...perhaps he was thinking of what belt/force applied would provide the minimum of pain etc. while still enabling an effective classroom environment conducive to learning. I don't know ... and neither do you.
    Up against the wall ... no excuses ... you're all guilty until you can d*mn well prove your innocence ... still ... I suppose that the smiley face makes all the potential allegations ok ... in your mind.
    Good grief ... I truly hope that some disturbed child doesn't make an accusation of improper conduct about you JamesTES ... I'm inferring from your post that by your own reasoning we should probably always harbour the suspicion that there's no smoke without fire ... you could always join the end of the queue [​IMG]

  12. Uncertainty, like most people who indulge in the habit of requoting a series of small extracts and following each with what you presume to be a rebuttal, you make the errors not only of losing meaning by lifting snippets out of context but also of misconstruing or misrepresenting what has been said.
    So your view that in the late 1970s "many thought the belt a relatively effective means of reducing disruption" does not answer my point. Yes, there were still some of the petty tyrants who had started their careers in the 1940s and the 1950s and had not been able to adjust. But my question was about someone in their early twenties, straight out of teacher training, who had themselves grown up in the 1960s and 1970s. The late 1970s were not the dark ages, all the changes in society that should already have made corporal punishment a thing of the past had already happened. When I left school in 1969, ten years earlier, I knew already that, morally, all belting was a brutal anachronistic abuse that must stop. The morality of the matter has not changed one bit in the 40 years since, only a better general understanding of it amongst society at large.
    But new entrants to the profession at that time have no excuse really. They had been told by the more clear-headed amongst us that striking children with these ridiculously thick leather straps (more like planks of wood or iron bars than anything you might normally think of as a leather belt) was wrong and they shouldn't do it. But some of them went ahead and got hold of one of these implements and started beating children with it. Why? Pig-headed traditionalists of limited brain who hadn't seen the light? Yes, some. (And from what he's said, though it's a bit confused, it sounds as if Cobalt probably sat in this category.) Sad inadequates who couldn't cope with the job very well and in desperation lashed out with a belt against their better judgement? Yes, some. (Possibly Cobalt had a foot in this camp too?) Dark souls who at least in part derived some sort of sadistic or sexual pleasure from it, and were taking their last chance to get off on it? Yes, some. We know that for sure from some of the worst cases that have come to light, but my guess (and observation at the time) was there were sadly quite a significant number, attracted like moths to the light. These I would certainly still like to see held to account, no matter how elderly now.
    There are few of the last-gasp belters of the 70s/early 80s who are brave enough (or foolish enough?), like Cobalt, to put their head above the parapet and admit to being a perpetrator in that period. I think that is because the vast majority who fall in the first two categories are genuinely embarrassed and feel some remorse for having been so stupid at the time, and would have desisted if they could have had the opportunity again. And also they know they will get the full blast of disapprobation, and an unavoidable element of "I told you so", from people like me. The third category, of course, will want to keep their heads very low indeed in any case, for obvious reasons.
    You may recall that there was no control over the whole sordid business. Young men (or women) of 22 or 23, straight out of training, could get hold for themselves of the thickest heaviest tawse available and start dishing out the severest beatings to boys of 17 or 18, barely three or four years younger than themselves. Or, if that's what turned them on (and some of them, it did), to quaking little twelve-year-olds. All, unlike the English system, with no supervision, no reference to more senior staff, no prescribed limits, no recording or logging. They could literally take a child into a room on their own and do what they liked to them with no control whatsoever, no comeback. And that's exactly what some of them did. The whole thing stank to high heaven.
    Finally, Uncertainty, I did not make assumpions, ludicrous or otherwise, about Cobalt's motivation, I merely identified the questions that I think should be posed to him if he volunteers his evidence, as he seems keen to do. And your comparison with a present-day allegation of abuse is invalid. Of course any such allegation should be investigated, but the purpose would be to establish what event, if any, took place. In the case of corporal punishment, we already have the confession that the event took place, the only question I pose is why the perpetrators acted as they did at a time when they should have known (and had been told) that it was wrong. I make no prior assumption of 'guilt', except in so far as the admitted action already identifies the offence to have occurred, my question is whether there is mitigation in regard to motivation. To my mind it is highly unlikely that any such mitigation is valid, but others may take a different view.

  13. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    This post is in answer to the JamesTES post preceding it ... as was my previous post on this thread. Where portions of the JamesTES post have been quoted, please refer to the original in order to satisfy yourself that the quote does not misrepresent the intent of JamesTES. Reading the original will limit the potential for misrepresentation outwith the original context. I would quote the original posts in their entirety in order to minimise such possible misrepresentations, however as they proceed my posts ... and the earlier one was even on the same page ... and my intent was not to misrepresent ... I haven't done so. [​IMG]
    Do you really believe that the quotes misrepresent your point of view ? I have no axe to grind here. I don't advocate bringing back the belt although I do accept that it was an effective deterrent to many that may otherwise have misbehaved. All of the above quote from post 170 is based upon an assumption. I wasn't looking to rebut any of your points ... I objected to the assumptions and sweeping generalisations I perceived from post 167 ... and I smiled when I read the introduction to your recent post as you labelled me and told me what I presumed.
    As for, "So your view that in the late 1970s "many thought the belt a relatively
    effective means of reducing disruption" does not answer my point.
    " ... if you say so. Since I wasn't trying to answer your point but merely highlight your use of the phrase, "almost beyond belief" ... (please see post 167 for context) ... what relevance does your comment have ? Your comments in that post stated your subjective opinion in a manner that didn't reflect my experience.
    ... more labelling. Undoubtably there were some petty tyrants ... or were all who used the belt petty tyrants. You come across as very self-righteous.
    Ah well ... didn't realise that ... if they'd been told by the more clear headed amongst you no wonder they had no excuse. Were you wearing hats ? Or perhaps insignia identifying you as more clear headed ? I would quote all of your third paragraph but I'll save it as a template for my incite a mob speech for the witch drowning sessions ... if they float ... they must be witches.
    I didn't realise that you knew cobalt personally ... and presumably knowing these things rather than assuming them I'm beginning to think that you too are part of the problem. If you didn't make assumptions and knew his motivations without acting upon the information to prevent his sadistic and criminal actions ... why that's tacitly condoning them ! Where are my stones ? I've got all the evidence I need.
    I think that I need some extra help with reading comprehension ... I'd quote some of your comments but I wouldn't want to take them out of context.
    Of course it is ... I was using your criteria. The child has made an allegation and in the absence of proof we should regard the accused as suspect. The belter has used the belt and in the absence of proof as to the sadistic intent involved you assume that it is present. You don't know why those that used the belt used it. You condemn them for using it and your post is strewn with what is going on in their minds as they belt ... assumption.
    ... and in such a pursuit you appear to quite readily risk tarring many others with the same brush.
    I'm completely with you regarding the use of the belt. I'm completely against you with your assumptions regarding why it was used and how often it was used that way.
  14. Well, Uncertainty, I was tempted to keep on arguing with you in the hope of persuading you and others that you're wrong, but it would be pointless, I fear. Partly because we don't even make the same interpretation of the English language, for example you seem to assume an equivalence between "suspicion" and "assumption of guilt", whereas I see them as quite different. My dictionary seems to agree with me. Also, you seem to have read into my words that I accused Cobalt of having a motivation of sadistic self-gratification, whereas I made it clear I had reached quite the contrary conclusion on the basis of what he had said. (I still posed the questions I felt he needed to answer since he appears to feel no shame or remorse for what he did. The answers, if properly teased out with constructive psychoanalytical support, would, as I implied earlier, be interesting to review.)
    But I'm not going to argue with you, I'm going to accept your criticism. Yes, in the terms you express it, I am content to "risk tarring many others with the same brush." I'll tell you why. I am a recovering victim of this form of child abuse. (You never really recover fully. Even at 59, you can still wake sweating in the night with vivid memories.) In my case, the abuse happened in the 1960s. The argument I tried to make above is that by the mid-1970s it should have been clear, for a new entrant to teaching, that corporal punishment was immoral and unacceptable. I believe that to be true, you appear to disagree, on the basis of what evidence I don't know. But, not surprisingly, I think I am correct.
    And let me be clear, I think all belting at that time was plain and simple child abuse. Cruelty, anachronistic brutal beating of children in a world which had moved on. Abolition was stupidly delayed by a 'profession' with too many inadequates and bad apples, unions that failed to bite the bullet, and craven politicians who knew what was right but failed to deliver until far too late.
    So yes, I think anyone who took up belting at that time is suspect. If that's tarring them with a brush, so be it. I can accept and respect anyone who says, "I belted children in the last few years before abolition, I thought it was OK then, but I can see now it was wrong and I feel some shame and remorse for having done so." I know from direct contact that that is the view some take, I believe it is fairly widespread, and as I said in an earlier post the great majority of such people keep very quiet on the subject.
    What I find unacceptable is someone who says, "I did so and I'm proud of it." That anyone could have taken one of those quarter-to-half-inch-thick leather bars, and repeatedly strike a child with it in a bizarre ritual with the intention of causing severe pain, and not now regret having done so, I find despicable. Such people I do consider "suspect", no matter how much you dislike that. And if they are prepared to publish those views, here or elsewhere, then I am content to challenge them. And to challenge their apologists, such as yourself. As often and as repeatedly as necessary. I am happy to hound them to their dying day, if necessary. They deserve no less.

  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I don't think that our contrasting points of view have been generated from differing definitions JamesTES, but rather from context and inference. I suspect that many others ... not all ... that read your posts on this matter will see as I have. I was about to point out what I perceive to be contradictions in your last post but again ... without ill will... we'd probably disagree.
    Having re-read your above post, I regret my earlier flippancy. You clearly have background that elicits such a passionately expressed opinion. My opinion is based upon my experiences as a pupil and anecdotal evidence from older colleagues. In none of these many discussions, concerning effective measures to reduce poor behaviour and disruption, has anyone expressed such a strong blanket approach to all those staff that used the belt and don't regret it, regardless of their age when they did so.
    You seem to dissociate the application of the belt with what I consider to be the primary reason many applied it. I do not believe that sadism or indeed sexual connotations were so frequently applicable to those that used the belt as can be inferred from your posts ... and I'm not sure how you could determine such a subjective matter with any certainty.
    Nonetheless, I respect your point of view and your challenging of those you deem it appropriate to challenge, as well as those you regard to be apologists for them.
  16. cobalt54

    cobalt54 New commenter


    Sorry I have been away for some time.
    Failing to make a distinction between reprimanding a child and child abuse is one of the weak lines of argument which has brought us to the sorry pass we are in now. If this weak line of argument was applied to the police force then every arrest would be a case of police brutality and society would collapse fairly rapidly. If that dark day came then I suspect that I would be better able to cope than your good self.
    For a start lets remove the sexual canard. No doubt it plays well with younger TES readers but both you and I are able to remeber a society which was not sex saturated by some bastardised form of Freudianism, and where children as a consequence had much more freedom in their ungoverned time. The paedophlile mania which is a feature of the UK and I believe US society does not exist in the same form in mainland Europe, nor in China or the former Soviet Union. To link belting pupils on the hand with sado masochism is idiotic in the extreme, and is seen so in most countries I have lived. For all the deep seated anger you apparently still harbou against your ex teachers can you really put your hand on your heart and state that they were achieving some form of sexual arousal? I'll bet I was belted more than you were and I cant think of one instance where this was remotely the case.

    Regarding the moral argument I have never denied that you are on stronger ground. Hitting children cold bloodedly is not a progressive way to deal with bad behaviour. Fact. But there are few moral absolutes in this world, and all actions have to be judged in context. For me preventing a greater wrong: e.g. bullying of a pupil or preventing the disruption of learning- validated the sanction of corporal punishment. If that makes me some sort of crypto fascist in youe eyes then it's time you broadened your outlook. Any endeavour worth undertaking requires an element of force otherwise it can be undermined by the recalcitrant and the weak who will wrap themselves in the cloak of victimhood and appeal to the liberal conscience which exists in wider society.

    That liberal conscience is very important and should not be wasted upon those who use it as a convenient flag of convenience every time they are called to account for their actions. You were called to account as a pupil and clearly have never come to terms with the punishment which was dished out. If you were so inadequate in handling the status quo back in the 1960s what makes you think you are better able to handle it now? To me you come across as someone who thinks the tide has turned in his favour, and without any real recourse to argument other than emotional victimhood merely wish to demonise those who worked under a previous set of arrangements.

    That these arrangements were harsh and often arbitrary I dont deny. But when I read ( I dont live in the UK now) of the disturbing levels of violence meted out by pupil on fellow pupil, and by teenagers in general to society at large, then I am not convinced that any sanctuions since implemented in the wake of corporal punishment are anything more than a well intentioned wish list. They make an assumption that all pupils are capable of seeing what is right. This is the easy part. Actually getting them to act upon this knowledge is the real test, and when faced with a class of 30 pupils justice must swift and effective. Anything less is a crime against young people: a failure to make them distinguish between liberty and licence.

    In my eyes those who take the easy option and negotiate behaviour with pupils are far more guilty than I ever was of child abuse. They surrender the very attribute which gives them the right to stand in front of a class: adult authority. Our secondary schools are being 'run' by such types which is why I no longer teach in the UK. It is not unlikely that in the years ahead those who are indulging crass behaviour in our schools will be held up to ridicule, and yet another truth and reconciliation committee will be required.

    Make no mistake. The belt is dead. Forever. But those who wielded it in good faith will be vindicated when the present educational arrangements run their course. We are already in the midst of the greatest depression since the 1930s and the worst is still to come. Once China, Russia and India surpass us in terms of economic efficiency then questions will have to be asked about how we deal with our young people in schools.
    By the way there was never any corporal punishment in either Communist China or the Soviet Union. In a purportedly classless society there is no excuse for bad behaviour. To celebrate the demise of the belt without tackling the class system in the UK is putting the cart before the horse. Within the present UK cabinet there are I believe 13 millionaires. That is a form of violence far in excess of anything which was ever laid upon your palm 50 years ago.
  17. Well, Cobalt, we continue to agree to differ.

    I will stick with my considered opinions. All beating of pupils by teachers with a
    heavy leather strap with the intent of causing severe pain was child
    abuse. It would be now, it was in the
    1970s. It is a well-documented fact that some were motivated by sadistic and/or
    sexual gratification. (I never claimed, despite Uncertainty’s
    misinterpretation, that this was most or all.
    But 1% would have been 1% far too many - and it was far more than
    that.) You accuse me of failing to
    distinguish between “reprimanding a child and child abuse.” Not guilty, your honour. I do make a distinction, however, between
    reprimanding a child and beating him or her with a leather implement. A very big distinction indeed.

    You stick with your excuses. I’m guessing you need them to be able to live with yourself,
    along with your political, economic and apocalyptic social fantasies. Good luck in exile. I can see from your comments why you
    couldn’t cope with a 21st century education system. Your views are somewhere stuck in a
    never-never land from 1970s Fife that sounds like 1950s everywhere else. Wake up and smell the coffee.

    If you are not persuaded by my views, there is plenty more
    independent evidence such as the Jack McLean story. There is other published material, but I choose not to draw it to
    your attention because I suspect you would produce the same flawed
    apologia. (To Uncertainty, I suggest he
    does some research and finds that his colleagues' ‘anecdotes’ may be rather
    self-serving. I could provide him with
    some references if he cares to contact me.)
    I cannot say how pleased I am that soon every former belter, such as
    yourself, will be gone from the classroom.
    And in twenty years or so, the last of those who experienced or
    witnessed corporal punishment as a pupil, and may have been influenced or
    corrupted to some extent by so doing, such as Uncertainty, will be gone
    too. There will be no living memory of
    it within the school walls. I look
    forward to that day happily, and hope that I am around as an octogenarian to
    celebrate it!
  18. cobalt54

    cobalt54 New commenter

    Disagree it seems we must. There are no excuses being offered by me, merely explanations. I am well rid of UK education and would welcome a return to the values of the 1970s, a decade which still terrifies the Tory commentators in our midst since it was the only time, since the 1920s, that the working people of this country sniffed a sense of controlling their lives.
    I notice you did not comment on the political violence being exerted on our populace by the millionaires in the present administration. This is violence in the raw and much less fashionable to protest against than corporal punishment. You are attacking yesterday's strawman, but are you prepared to stick your head above the parrpet and attack the latest economic attack on those who are on modest incomes in the UK? You must be on a decent pension.
    To quote Jack McLean who taught art for a couple of years in Pollokshaws if memory serves hardly bolsters your case. I was in his company once and he impressed me as a self promoting drunken bore. Scotland's self styled Urban Volatire? You couldn't make it up. Did you ever meet him?
    Anyhow dont wish me away yet. I am not yet an octogenarian but there is still a demand for Scottish education 70s style, the one which was a remnant of that which served John Logie Baird and Lewis Grassic Gibbon rather well. Part of that is preventing emotional incontinence and discouraging Americanisms like wake up and smell the coffee.
    So I am still a marketable asset, to use the current globalist language. I wanted the Scottish working people to resist the real violence perpetrated against them in their lives, not the superficial elements that are obvious to even the most casual of commentators.
    If you want to protect children from violence then there are better starting points than a sanction which was effectively outlawed 30 years ago. It's not me who is living in the past: it's you. I am still working as a teacher. I have notdrawn a belt since 1981. You are still banging on about some trauma from the mid 60s. Either get some therapy, or get the address of the domine who lashed you and get even. He is probably about 85 years old now so given your own apparent limitations it should be a fair fight.
  19. Oh, don’t worry. Cobalt, I may at one time have been a puny
    and vulnerable child (weren’t we all, in some way or another?) but I grew into
    a strong adult, both physically and mentally, despite the odd bad dream. My abusers have long since had the
    opportunity to confront their past and give it careful consideration. Both of them (they worked as a team) are
    sadly no longer with us, but I genuinely believe they accepted and regretted
    the error of their ways before they died.
    This is still in some ways a painful subject for me, and one that I
    would, to be honest, prefer to avoid.
    But when, well into the 21st century, people are prepared on
    a forum such as this to suggest that this form of child abuse should be
    resumed, or are prepared to admit to having participated in the abuse (in 1981;
    it gets worse!) without now regretting it, or to support such a view, I feel a
    sense of duty to present the facts.It may be that you can still manage to come out of denial and see the
    mistake you made. The boys you
    assaulted will now be men in their 40s, I guess, possibly with teenage children
    of their own; it would be interesting to get you all together in the truth and
    reconciliation room and see how the discussion went. If you are a reflective practitioner at all, despite the time
    lag, it may still be possible that you can see the light. Dum spiro, spero, as my old
    Latin teacher used to say. [​IMG]

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