A voice from National’s heartland – Bring back corporal punishment in schools – National rep
A return to corporal punishment is the solution for youth crime in the Far North, says a local National Party representative.
The town of Kaikohe is demanding answers after mobs of youngsters took liquor from a bottle store and vandalised a petrol station during the weekend.
The chair of the National Party’s Kaikohe branch, Alan Price, said systems were not in place to deal with growing drug use and young people running riot in his town and others.
“Whilst we need more police, there’s a bigger underlying problem here,” he said.
Mr Price told Morning Report the solution was to put corporal punishment back into schools.
Though the do-gooders would not like it, something needed to be done, he said.
Yeah a systemic failure rooted in neoliberal neglect at many levels can be fixed by whacking kids in school. Or not, good work by RNZ to follow up with – Why corporal punishment doesn’t work
Since corporal punishment was banned in New Zealand in 1987, there have been periodic grumbles that it’s causing moral turpitude in the young.
The latest is from the National Party’s Kaikohe chair Alan Price, who made the claim following incidents of vandalism and theft by groups of young people in the town.
To be honest, there’s little chance of Mr Price’s suggestion going anywhere, with wide and multi-partisan agreement condemning violence against children, but it’s worth setting out, once again, why this idea is so wildly wrong.
Firstly, there’s no evidence that corporal punishment in schools leads to improvements in student behaviour. In fact there’s long-standing research from around the world showing the opposite: that generally behaviour gets worse.
Secondly, the notion that children are human beings with rights is one that’s fairly important and, as signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, is a principle New Zealand has signed up to (under a National government in 1993 even).
But perhaps the biggest barrier to Mr Price’s suggestion is the fact that, even if the law was changed and school supplies catalogues started stocking canes and straps again, there would be very few, if any, teachers who’d be willing to actually do the hitting.
Bill English should have spoken out to dissociate his party from Price’s archaic views. Why hasn’t he?