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School CP - July 1930

Corpun file 23803 at

The Mercury, Hobart, Australia, 3 July 1930

Punishment of Girls

Use of the Strap

N.Z. Board Removes Ban

Click to enlarge

The ban on corporal punishment of girls under 12 years of age imposed by the Auckland Education Board at a recent meeting has been removed (says the New Zealand "Herald"). The Board has reversed, by seven votes to six, its decision to abolish corporal punishment of these girls.

The original by-law was as follows: --

"Corporal punishment may be inflicted by the head teacher or by an assistant with his approval, but it should be used as sparingly as possible. Its frequent infliction in a school is to be accounted an indication of defective discipline. Corporal punishment should not be inflicted for trivial breaches of discipline, for failure or inability to learn, or for neglect to prepare home lessons, but should be reserved for deliberate breaches of discipline and for wilful faults. The corporal punishment of girls of 12 years of age and over is prohibited, while it is expected that in infant departments, and as far as all the girls of the school are concerned, corporal punishment should be rendered unnecessary by the teacher's methods of government.

Deputation of Teachers.

"Girls are not to be subjected to corporal punishment unless in exceptional circumstances, and then, if possible, at the hands of a woman teacher. When corporal punishment has been administered, particulars as to date, name, nature of the offence, and the amount of punishment shall be entered in a book kept for the purpose."

Thus, under this by-law, teachers were definitely restricted to corporal punishment of girls under 12. At a recent meeting, the Board agreed to go even further, and it decided that the corporal punishment of all girls should be abolished. At the time the decision was opposed by some members, and one prophesied that the Board would change its view.

At the next meeting of the Board, a deputation from the Auckland branch of the New Zealand Educational Institute voiced strong objection to the decision to abolish corporal punishment of girls. The speakers, all teachers of experience, said they did not advocate such punishment, but they felt that teachers were being deprived of a very desirable means of securing discipline Even the mere knowledge that it could be strapped influenced a child. It was stated that the Board's decision had had an immediate effect in that one girl had addressed to its teacher the remark "Yah, you cannot punish me."

Close Voting on Motion.

At the last meeting, consideration was given to a notice of motion by Mrs. V. Donaldson that the original by-laws should be reinstated, with a further provision that "a copy of the entries in the punishment book shall be forwarded with the term returns by the head or sole teacher to the Education Board at the end of each term."

The discussion was taken in committee, and the motion was carried by seven votes to six.

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