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The Nation, Bangkok, 16 January 2011
Many Thais favour use of cane for unruly youths: poll
Most people favour the re-introduction of caning - allowing teachers to be able to cane students again as a punishment. But they feel it should only be used in limited circumstances and with clear conditions including size of the cane, a Suan Dusit Poll revealed yesterday.
Caning is now banned under the Ministry of Education's regulations on student punishment amended in 2005.
Some 1,476 teachers, students and parents around the country were interviewed from January 13-15 after a website published a video clip of a teacher caning students and the Students' Council called for the Education Ministry to change its rules to allow pupils to be caned.
Some 54 per cent of respondents agreed with the council's call on the grounds that youngsters would be chastened for doing wrong. But they urged that use of the cane be rational, restricted for certain offences and in supervised conditions, with a limit on the size of the cane.
But 19 per cent of respondents disagreed on grounds that it would affect kids mentally, make them scared of school or expressing opinions, and that it was violent and should not replace rational talking and other punishments.
Some 34 per cent said offences that warranted caning included drinking alcohol, smoking, gambling, and illicit romantic liaisons, while 28 per cent who said students should be caned for getting into a fist fight and 21 per cent said pupils who skipped classes should be caned.
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