#929 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 20 Jul 2014.
In a radio interview this week, Kevin Donnelly, who is running the Government’s review of the national curriculum, said he was not opposed to corporal punishment where it was supported by the school community and was “done properly.”
A spokesman for Education Minister Christopher Pyne was quick to point that “The minister does not support a return to corporal punishment in any form.”
NSW Premier Mike Baird also ruled out a return to the use of the cane to reform bad behaviour among students.
I’m happy to accept that corporal punishment has no place in state schools. But there is a world of difference between a parent’s loving smack and child abuse.
Evidence from Sweden, which banned smacking in 1979, suggests the ban not only failed to reduce child abuse, but made the situation dramatically worse. By 2010, records of assaults by relatives against children under seven were over 21 times the 1981 figures.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.