‘This is a recipe for criminals’
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.