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Thursday November 29, 2007
I COULD not agree more with the report “Education seminar passes resolution to cane female students” (The Star, Nov 28).
I recall the infamous Miri video clip, where other female students bullied a female student.
And I recall as well the incident at SMK Bawang Assan where female students were forced to squat in a pond, and also similar incidents at SK Infant Jesus Convent last year.
For the former, it was an issue of discipline of girls getting worse and worse by the day. For the latter, it was an issue where teachers felt powerless to discipline students that forced them to resort to inappropriate punishment methods, leading to even worse humiliation and harm to the female students.
I believe caning of female students is justified and appropriate when used correctly.
However, caning should only be used as a last resort, especially in secondary schools. While many think that female students will not be able to withstand the punishment, those who commit grave offences like bullying their counterparts must certainly be tough enough to withstand a few strokes of the cane.
As former students of a Chinese primary school, my friends and I, both boys and girls, have been caned in front of our classes for forgetting to bring books, not doing our homework, etc.
While I do not condone caning for such petty matters, I feel that it is a big exaggeration to claim that female students who are caned will be scarred psychologically for life.
Most of my friends and I, in as much as we do not like being caned, feel grateful that our teachers corrected us over problems like laziness and misbehaviour.
I agree that caning should be implemented in schools for female students. It should be carried out by female teachers, on either the palm, buttocks or legs, and if it is carried out by a male teacher, a female witness, be it a teacher or a student, should be present, and the caning properly documented.
LAU LEE SZE,
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