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School CP - October 2005

Corpun file 16774

Jamaica Gleaner, Kingston, 6 October 2005

KC parents create stink over caning

By Barbara Gayle
Staff Reporter

THE PARENTS of some students at Kingston College who were punished with caning on Tuesday because they failed to inform a teacher which one of them had passed flatus (wind from the stomach or bowel) are threatening to take legal action.

One parent said she had to take her 12-year-old son to the doctor after he came home in severe pain. She said her son reported the incident to her and she is upset with the behaviour of the teachers who caned the students.

According to the parent, her son told her that after the teacher enquired about the flatus no one responded. She said it was then that about six boys were caned.

A meeting was held yesterday morning with the vice-principal, Keith Bryan, who has responsibility for the lower school, and the parents.

The parent said the vice-principal assured them that the matter would be taken to the school board. She said they were told that on Friday they would be advised further on the situation.


One of the parents told The Gleaner that the two teachers who were involved in the caning apologised but she found it very hard to accept the apology.

"I cannot understand why a child should be punished for such an act of nature," the parent said.

Some of the parents are calling for disciplinary action to be taken against the teachers because the flogging was unfair. Others are threatening to take legal action.

Vice-principal Helen Douglas was contacted yesterday for a comment but she said she was not aware of the incident. She said the principal was out of town.

Dorrette Campbell, director of communications in the Ministry of Education, said yesterday that corporal punishment was abolished from early childhood institutions but was still allowed in secondary institutions under certain conditions. She said under the regulations, it was only the principal who had the authority to administer corporal punishment.


Corpun file 16799

Jamaica Gleaner, Kingston, 7 October 2005

An ill wind at KC


IN THE context of national concern about violence in schools, it is amazing that an unusual species of violent behaviour should have embroiled Kingston College (KC), one of our prominent secondary institutions.


It seems to us that a teacher must exercise the utmost discretion to restore normality rather than seek to detect and punish what is natural to bodily function. To go one step further by way of caning a number of the boys seems to us a gross violation of their human rights, not to mention the physical harm that may have resulted.


This unfortunate episode has lacked sensitive handling and the possible legal consequences hold no credit for Kingston College.

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