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Video clips: Taiwan 2

With comments by C. Farrell

Nine video clips of classroom punishment in Taiwan.

Clip 1 of 9 - Classroom canings for poor work

This is an English class in a secondary school in 2007 or earlier. Only male students are in evidence. The teacher is reviewing their assignments. Punishment is administered for unsatisfactory work. For instance, the teacher can be heard reading out students' English spelling mistakes. This concept seems quite common in parts of the oriental world, unlike Western countries (and also incidentally Singapore), where for a very long time it has been the conventional wisdom that school students should be punished only for misbehaviour and never for inadequate academic performance.

Three canings are seen. The position adopted is "hands on the wall". The cane used appears rather on the short side for boys of this age, who look to be about 15/16. The first student receives four swift strokes on the seat, though their effectiveness must be greatly reduced by being given through his padded coat, or so it appears. Nevertheless, he walks away with his hands clasped to his buttocks. The second student receives only one stroke, but is rubbing his backside as he returns to his place. By contrast, the third student seems nonchalantly unaffected by his one stroke.

The proceedings are very matter-of-fact and this is plainly a minor, routine event. The atmosphere is serious and the class orderly: there is none of the jocularity and rowdiness that is seen in some classroom video clips.


Clip 2 of 9 - Middle-school student paddled on hand

Not all classroom corporal punishment in Taiwan is applied to the buttocks. It is also quite commonly administered to the hands, especially perhaps in the case of younger students. This 8-second clip, from a middle school in Taipei in 2007 or earlier, shows a student of indeterminate sex being punished in front of the class. The teacher administers four strokes on the student's hands with a paddle or wide ruler.


Clip 3 of 9 - Boys caned by lady teacher

In this 2-minute clip, taken at a Vocational High School in 2007 or earlier, two boys get 2 moderate strokes of the cane each from their female teacher at the front of the class. The teacher looks to be something of a battleaxe, but the atmosphere seems fairly jocular. The boys being punished have to adopt a Korean-style "all fours" posture. Both rub their buttocks after the caning.


Clip 4 of 9 - Boy paddled in class

This very brief clip shows a secondary boy receiving five brisk whacks across his bottom with a paddle or ruler. The punishment takes place at the teacher's desk.


Clip 5 of 9 - Boy bends over for broomstick punishment

In this 7-second clip from 2008, a schoolboy is bending over "hands on desk" for 7 brisk strokes with a broomstick, then stands up and walks back to his place rubbing his buttocks. A jocular atmosphere can be heard in the background, but it does not appear to be related to this event. A broomstick is much less effective than a proper flexible cane, so a seven-stroke punishment is not as severe as it may sound.


Clip 6 of 9 - Two boys formally caned

In this 20-second clip from Taipei we see more "hands on the desk" discipline, this time with (I think) a proper cane in a brisk, matter-of-fact, non-jocular atmosphere. Two boys take turns to receive one sharp, well-delivered stroke across the seat of the trousers. The second boy is clutching his stinging buttocks as he walks back to his place. At the end of the clip, a third boy is glimpsed taking up the position for punishment, but his caning is not seen.


Clip 7 of 9 - A hard paddling for a secondary boy

A 20-second film showing a student, aged perhaps 16, being asked to get ready for a paddling at the front of the class, an order he obeys so swiftly and readily as to suggest that he had been told beforehand he was going to be spanked at this time. He bends over low, either grasping his ankles or touching his toes. The teacher moves behind him and delivers five brisk, forceful swats. These make a resounding crack at each contact with the young man's posterior. He then immediately stands up straight, managing to look nonchalant. The atmosphere is workmanlike and matter-of-fact. Class chatter continues in the background throughout, suggesting that this is not an exceptional event. This appears to be a good example of firm discipline deployed properly and accepted correctly without fuss.


Clip 8 of 9 - Three young boys caned in front of class

This one-minute scene was filmed in Taoyuan, a satellite of the capital, Taipei, early in 2008. Three young miscreants are being harangued at the front of the class by their teacher. Then one by one they are asked to face the blackboard for one stroke of the cane each across the seat. The view of the first boy's punishment is somewhat obscured by another student, but the other two are clearly seen. The classroom atmosphere is entirely quiet and serious.


Clip 9 of 9 - Five strokes for young student

In this 30-second video from 2008, we see a youngish schoolboy submitting (slightly reluctantly, perhaps) to a brisk, 5-swat light paddling across the seat of his shorts from the female teacher. He is required to adopt a Korean-style all-fours position at the front of the class. The action is partly obscured from the camera. The atmosphere is calm although there is a little sniggering from the class when the teacher asks the offender to assume the position. This is said to be a private high school in Taoyuan.


blob For more video clips of corporal punishment in Taiwan schools, see here and here.

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