While reading an article by Sir Frank Peters (The HOLIDAY, “Corporal punishment must stop”, dated 05 June 2011) I felt his fervent affection and ardent concern for Bangladeshi school children who were and still are brutally and cruelly treated by their teachers. I ask those teachers to carefully read the following lines of the late lamented Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa : —
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
I quote Sir Frank, “Any teacher or headmaster who engages in corporal punishment is an enemy of student, family and state, now that corporal punishment has been outlawed. “Corporal punishment is torture, not discipline, that’s imparted by terrorists who strike fear into fragile, vulnerable, impressionable and defenceless young children that’s physically and mentally damaging and speaks no praise of the perpetrator or society that permits it.
“The ultimate rebellion by a student against corporal punishment in schools is suicide: it’s horrific to contemplate, we prefer not to give it much thought, but it happens.
It is the final message of grief and a declaration from the pupil to the parent, teacher, headmaster, police, education authorities, government and society telling them he has had all he can take and cannot take any more.
“That life (as they know it) just isn’t worth the sleepless nights, the distress, the anguish, the pain, the sadness and tears, the acne, hair, skin and bowel disorders, and the feeling of sheer hopelessness. Their previous cries for help fell on deaf ears and they continued to suffer, sometimes mercilessly, under the hands of cruel, sadistic torturers, with no one to understand their living hell, or jump to their defence.”
Sir Frank added, “Such cruelty, sadly, often has the approval of their ignorant parents who live by the ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ rule and know no better. They can’t be blamed, their parents were equally ignorant, uneducated and had perpetrated harsh corporal punishment upon them which they survived and it didn’t do them any harm, they argue… as they reach for pick-me-ups, anti-depressants, headache pills, and miscellaneous other medications to help them through the day. There are many wisdom-packed adages handed down from generation to generation that have stood the test of time and are as valid as much today as what they were hundreds of years ago: ‘Spare the stick and spoil the child’ is NOT one of them.
“How is it possible to beat love and respect into anyone? Any parent who sends his child into a corporal punishment environment needs to have his head examined by a psychiatrist and if the psychiatrist declares him sane, then the psychiatrist needs to have his head examined”.
Indeed, I cannot agree more. Thank you Sir Frank. May Almighty Allah bless you and give you a long healthy life. Amen.
A M K Chowdhury