Czech government set to ban corporal punishment in schools

Sir Frank Peters

The Czech government is preparing to become government No. 66 to ban corporal punishment to its children and recognize them for what they are ­­— the nation’s most valuable asset.

Czechia (formerly Czechoslovakia) is one of the last EU member states to adopt this regulation and child experts there hope it will change horrific age-old habits in all child settings that has cursed the nation without offering an iota of benefit to body, soul, or mind.

While it is generally agreed that corporal punishment achieves immediate compliance, it is not without serious side effects. Students express concerns about its detrimental effects on their confidence and overall wellbeing, highlighting significant worries regarding its lasting emotional and psychological impacts.

 There is not a single scrap of evidence – scientific or otherwise – favouring corporal punishment. In reality, it would be impossibility. How could hitting and perhaps damaging the child you love be right? It’s something parents did – parents before them did, and their parents before them did, without logic or reasoning, just misguided by stupidity and unadulterated ignorance.

Countless God-loving good adults have gone to their graves profoundly regretting the hurt, pain, and suffering they caused those whom they loved. And there’s no doubt many of the children were dearly ‘loved’ and parents thought they were sincerely acting in their best interest, but it was from a stance of sheer ignorance. They knew no better.

While on the surface corporal punishment achieves immediate compliance and that may be seen as a ‘good thing’, but it’s far from being that. Children express concerns about its detrimental effects on their confidence and overall wellbeing, highlighting significant worries regarding its lasting emotional and psychological impacts.

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DDT, too, was seen as a ‘good thing’ and on the surface it was. It killed all the bugs that damaged and ruined crops. Under the surface, however, it slowly poisoned the crops and those who ate them. Corporal punishment is also a slow poison, one of the most effective and deadliest poisons known to man.

Corporal punishment is totally bad
Corporal punishment produces bad outcomes in both the short and long run. In schools and madrasahs, instead of making students more attentive or motivated, corporal punishment leads to more delinquent behaviour. So instead of correcting the situation and making it better, it makes it a lot worse… a hell of a lot worse.

In most developing and developed countries, corporal punishment is banned in all settings. In an academic environment, like school or madrasah, it has a significantly negative impact on the academic performance of children. It’s a scientific fact that children learn much quicker when they are happy – the same, coincidentally, applies to adults.

All school and madrasahs, without exception, should be fun and learning places to be. Where children want to go daily and frown when they have to leave.

In 2011 Bangladesh Supreme Court Justice Md Imman Ali and Justice Md Sheikh Hasan Arif defined the despicable act of corporal punishment as ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and a clear violation of a child’s fundamental right to life, liberty, and freedom’.

Countries that have banned physical punishment and other degrading treatment of children in their legislation are celebrating their decline in violence across the board.

Violence promotes violence
Without ever needing to refer to the GOOD books or consult the sages and intellectuals among us, it stands to commonsense that violence has no role to play in the proper upbringing of our children.

Violence promotes violence… violence begets violence… violence is evil and wrong. While it’s possible to find the words ‘love’ and ‘evil’ intermingled in its spelling, they’re only anagrammatically right. Violence becomes worse when it is acted out in real time and normalized by ignorant ‘teachers’, complete with pitiful original sounds, in front of a classroom of impressionable young students who constantly seek examples of what’s right and wrong from their teachers, Imams, and people in trust.

Where corporal punishment isn’t outlawed, the majority of the children do not realize what is happening to them is wrong, they know no better… that and they have a right to be treated with dignity, respect, and to feel safe.

WHY_ Boys crying montage _SirFrankPeters@gmail.com_

Make no mistake any form of corporal punishment to a child is physical abuse. It’s telling the child they are a lesser person to the violator and that might is right. The Conventions on the Rights of the Child (CRC) banned corporal punishment in many countries, but where laws are not enforced it’s much the same as not having them at all.

When a child commits a mistake the intuitive and the loving thing to do would be to correct them. Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) had the right approach. He said: “To teach means to discipline, not to punish”. And by discipline he means to correct and show alternative ways of how it should be done. There is no aggression, physical or verbal abuse involved.

Corporal punishment seems like a “quick fix” when correcting a child, but there are literally thousands upon thousands of studies that entirely disagree.  So many in fact, that it’s become pathetic and an obvious waste of valuable university resources. One would have thought that 1,000 studies condemning the evil practice were more than ample.

To benefit the children and our nation on the whole, it is clear that corporal punishment must be banned in every country around the world. It is time for us to put an end to this ignorant and toxic practice once and for all; embrace the fact that all children are God’s children on loan, and give our children the joy and freedom of being children and impress upon them ‘it’s okay to make mistakes, we all do it’. To teach love, kindness and compassion by example and give them an education that is filled with love, respect, appreciation, and totally free from violence.

By Sir Frank Peters

(Sir Frank Peters is a former newspaper and magazine publisher and editor, an award-winning writer, humanitarian, anti corporal punishment crusader and a human rights activist.)

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