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School CP - February 1974

Corpun file 21616

The Age, Melbourne, 20 February 1974

Caning can be enjoyable: teacher

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SYDNEY. -- A high school teacher confessed yesterday there were occasions when he thoroughly enjoyed belting pupils.

Mr. Peter Harrison-Mattley said he strongly supported use of the cane in defending weak, puny or not-so-bright children from bullies, thieves and ratbags.

Mr. Harrison-Mattley, a teacher at Liverpool Boys' High School, made the comments in the NSE Teachers' Federation journal, Education.

He said the cane was necessary because principals were afraid to expel pupils "because they believe everything reflects upon them."

He said: "At the risk of being immediately damned by emotional and inexperienced teachers, I must enter the debate on corporal punishment and vigorously defend its use under our present circumstances".

He said he had reached for the cane when he found:

-- Migrant pupils being beaten up because they couldn't speak "gutter Australian" or preferred soccer to league;

-- Pupils had defecated in the classroom rubbish bins;

-- A pupil "smashed" a master in the mouth;

-- A school janitor was kicked in the genitals.


Mr. Harrison-Mattley said he had also used the cane when he caught a fourth-form pupil jumping with both feet on the chest of a first-former.

The fourth-former was trying to get the younger child to "give" him his money.

"I hope, if the same occasions arise, I shall have the opportunity of belting many more," said Mr. Harrison-Mattley.

Mr. Harrison-Mattley said he did not use the cane for so much [sic] disobedience, home work "failures" or badly done work.

He had deliberately cultivated a young image so he no longer squirmed when he saw pupils at the top of a flight of stairs spitting on the heads of children.

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