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Should caning be made illegal?

2016.10.21
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Patrick: I really can’t stand adults smacking, or using physical means to punish, children. Beating, spanking, punching and slapping are barbaric. They also cause psychological damage.

Andrew: What psychological damage? What exactly do you mean? I tell you I’m glad that I was constantly beaten when I was a child because I actually learned something after my dad smacked me. Your mind and soul grew stronger after a beating. It’s not that bad after all!

Patrick: Your reasoning is illogical! How can a child learn from violence? And if you justify caning, if you think it is actually good for children, then why not allow schoolteachers to beat students? But what kind of a culture are we promoting here?

Andrew: Did you know that teachers used to cane students in the old days? Smacking is a very effective teaching tool. Endurance and tolerance are two important qualities that all great leaders possess. One can only learn these things the hard way by smacking. In my opinion, one reason why people today are arrogant and soft is that they were not given a good spanking when they misbehaved!

Patrick: Well, times have changed. We don’t live in the past. Beating only creates more hatred and society already has enough of that.

Andrew: You have your points, I must admit. But criminalising corporal punishment is certainly a bad idea. Parents reserve the right to use appropriate force to teach their children a good lesson. Do you remember the proverb, ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’?

Key arguments (Andrew)

1. Appropriate use of force is a good teaching tool.
2. Children who have been caned are usually less psychologically fragile.

Key argument (Patrick)

1. Beating causes psychological damage and creates more hatred.
2. We are not living in the past when caning was common in schools.

Glossary

Smacking 掌摑
Corporal punishment 體罰
Beating 痛打
Endurance 忍耐力
Force 武力
Slapping 摑

Did you know?

AGAINST Child Abuse (ACA) is a nongovernmental organisation which focuses on protecting children from violence and abuse. The group was founded in 1979 as a project funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club to identify and investigate child abuse cases.

Last year, ACA looked into almost 50,000 complaints and conducted 144 investigations. The group helps troubled households by referring them to counsellors. Families are also offered housing and financial assistance, residential and day-care services and even psychiatric help.

Questions

1. Whose side are you on after reading the fictional conversation? Patrick’s or Andrew’s?

2. Have you ever been beaten by your parents? How did it feel?

3. Do you think that children who are caned grow up to hate others?

4. Those who were caned when young are said to have more endurance and tolerance. Do you agree?

 

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