Good evening honourable members of the School governing body. We the student elective have developed a proposal on correcting the pandemic of corporal punishment affecting this school. We will be addressing the following topics: corporal punishment before and after 1994, the student uprising of 1976, corporal punishment and independent schools, arguments for and against corporal punishment and our recommendation. Our aim is to gain your support in our stand against corporal punishment in our school but also in our community. Thank you for allowing us this opportunity and we hope this speech will be enlightening. What is Corporal punishment?
Corporal punishment can be described as any deliberate act against a child that inflicts pain or physical discomfort to punish or contain him/her . Corporal or physical punishment can take many forms, including hitting with a hand or an object, slapping, kicking, shaking, pinching or pulling hair; forcing someone to stand in an uncomfortable and undignified position; denying or restricting someone’s use of the toilet; denying meals and shelter as a form of punishment; forcing someone to do excessive exercise .
Furthermore humiliating, degrading and emotional Punishment can be described as corporal punishment . Some educators have replaced physical punishment with methods of degrading or humiliating punishment . This often takes different forms such as verbal abuse, ridicule, isolation, or ignoring learners .
Situation in the 1970’s with regards to Corporal Punishment The effects of corporal punishment in this case, were hotly debated by many at the time, in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Racial battles and many apartheid events occurred in this period of time (Newell, 1972). Psychologists argued that it did serious emotional damage, affected the self-esteem of learners and impacted adversely on academic performance (Cherian, 1990; Holdstock, 1990; Murray, 1985). Respectful relations between teachers and students were not possible, they argued, in a context where corporal punishment was used. Social commentators pointed out that corporal punishment was part of a wider web of violence that fuelled antagonisms and hatred (Kenway & Fitzclarence, 1997). It was used excessively in white, single-sex boys schools and liberally in all other schools except in single-sex girls schools where its use was limited (Morell, 1994). The introduction of Bantu Education in 1955 exposed black dominant people. Unlike white girls, African girls were not exempted from beatings. The Soweto uprising was one of the main events that occurred before 1994. In the years 1970 – 1976 thousands of African students gathered at prearranged assembly points for demonstration. According to the journal of southern African studies in 1976, June 16th a movement that began in opposition to Corporal Punishment as well as the use of Afrikaans as medium of instruction in African schools (Hlongwane, 1992). This African dominant movement cost the lives of more than a 1,000 youths. Since February of 1976, anger had been mounting over the Corporal Punishment and the Instructional regime. Corporal Punishment before 1994
Corporal punishment forms part of South African history of slavery, colonialism and Apartheid. This form of punishment has since became a social construct within our culture, and played a significant role in maintaining discipline not only in school, but also within society as whole (Kellaway, 2002). During Apartheid, which marks the years between 1948 and 1994, corporal punishment was practiced all over in South African schools. The laws of this era encouraged teachers to use the cane as a means to control and deal with learners who stepped out of line. The most widely used form of corporal punishment was whipping (Vally, 1998). However, in 1970 resistance were amplified as student organizations began to demand an end to abuse in the classroom and; in the 1980s learners, educators and parents formed...
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