‘This is a recipe for crim­i­nals’

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - MANYANE MANYANE

AL­THOUGH cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment has long been banned in schools, teach­ers fear the re­cent court rul­ing for­bid­ding par­ents from spank­ing their chil­dren will fur­ther add to vi­o­lent be­hav­iour and dis­mal per­for­mance in schools.

The High Court in Pre­to­ria re­cently ruled that the com­mon law de­fence of rea­son­able cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment was not in sync with our con­sti­tu­tion and would no longer ap­ply in “our law”.

The rul­ing was made in the case of a fa­ther who was found guilty of as­sault af­ter beat­ing his 13-year-old son in a man­ner the court found ex­ceeded the bounds of rea­son­able cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment.

A Se­bo­keng teacher speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity said class­rooms had be­come vi­o­lent and the teach­ers help­less as they are not al­lowed to use cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment.

“We are still go­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence more of th­ese in­ci­dents and the worst part is teach­ers can’t even hit back,” the teacher said.

“Now that even par­ents will not have power over their chil­dren… this is a recipe for crim­i­nals.”

A teacher in Orlando West, Soweto, said the rul­ing would cor­rupt pupils be­cause par­ents were in­creas­ingly los­ing con­trol of their chil­dren.

“If par­ents can also not dis­ci­pline their chil­dren, then ex­pect more cor­rup­tion in schools. Now chil­dren will fight in school yards and at home. Many will even in­sult teach­ers and par­ents, know­ing they are pro­tected by the law. We don’t have any con­trol over this mess.”

Who are chil­dren an­swer­able to now? Many peo­ple are ask­ing of teach­ers and par­ents.

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