Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index
Latin America & Caribbean
Middle East
South Asia
Last updated: 14 December, 2009 - Published 17:06 GMT
Email a friend   Printable version
Forum: Discipline in school
Teacher and students
How should schools discipline students?
Jamaican authorities are considering banning the use of corporal punishment in the country's schools.

Government ministers have indicated that they intend enacting legislation to enforce that position.

Local media reports say the authorities were responding to allegations that a five-year-old student had his arm broken after a teacher punished him last month.

How should students be disciplined?

Is there a place for corporal punishment?

Does 'spare the rod, spoil the child' still apply?

Where should the line be drawn between the authority of the teacher and the rights of the pupil?

Have your say

I'm Jamaican. I remember my parents telling me how they were beaten with 'cane' at school; not just on the bottocks, but in the 'hand middle'. They seemed to think it was justified in those times. These times I think it isn't necessary. I believe a 'detention' for older children and a 'time out' for younger children is quite fine. All parents should also be notified when their child misbehaves so that the child is dealt with in the way the parent sees fit. Physical discipline- in moderation of course- should be left to parents.

There are other ways to punish an unruly child. I remember being given a pair of scissors and taken out to the playing field where a good size patch was marked out. I just got on with it. I knew what the scissors was for.
Gilbert Donaldson
Birmingham, West Midlands

I never cease to be amazed at how Jamaicans complain about crime in their communities while being utterly oblivious to the violent behaviors perpetrated against children in schools and within families. Violence is not only ineffective as an educational method (as anyone who has read even the most basic literature on the topic will know); more importantly children who are inflicted with violence at the hands of their caretakers are far more likely to become violent themselves. Do you really want to cut crime? Stop beating your children at home and in school. Say a loud NO to violence against anyone (children and women included) and in any place and start teaching your children by EXAMPLE through reason, logic, love and compassion. Until you grow up as a society and stop being complicit in spreading violence, you will never rid your communities of crime no matter how much you abuse your children with corporal punishment.
Connecticut, US

I can speak for a Trinidadian youth that these corporal punishments are generally ineffective, and it leads to youth fearing adults and some may want revenge. The aim of this education system is for students to pass out having a RESPECTFUL fear for authority. I see a solution out of this is to militarise the schools, but not using the extremes used to train soldiers but somewhat like mild cadets. Respect for time, respect for self, respect for others are developed with selfless service and service to country.
So I say remove the corporal punishments, but we need organization in the judicial system so we youths see the real consequences of actions!
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

I personally think that this is a very bad idea to ban corporal punishment in schools in Jamaica. (The murder rate is high) and the only tool the teachers have will be taken away from them. How backward could this get? When they the government take that out of the schools what will happen to the security of the teachers and other students who are fearful of gangs? I am wondering if the government is premare to deal with the outcome of this, and can they hire security gaurds for every school like here in the United States of America? Look at what they have to do in their schools to prevent crime, and yet still it happens ever so often. So I am just hoping the government of Jamaica can face the outcome of this natural disaster waiting to take place.

* optional
Your opinion
Email a friend   Printable version
^^ Back to top
  BBC News >> | BBC Sport >> | BBC Weather >> | BBC World Service >> | BBC Languages >>