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Gov't intensifying zero-tolerance approach to corporal punishment in schools —Terrelonge

Friday, April 19, 2019

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ST JAMES, Jamaica — Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Alando Terrelonge, says come September when the 2019/20 academic year begins, all reports of corporal punishment being administered in schools “will be treated very seriously”.

Terrelonge, who reiterated the Government's prohibition policy on corporal punishment, emphasised that this method of discipline “is not the solution for a society that is already steeped in violence”.

“Corporal punishment must end. We have indicated that we do not wish for our children to receive corporal punishment in schools… yet there are some teachers and some administrators who are still beating our children. I am asking every single one of you to stop,” the state minister stressed.

He was addressing social workers at the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) Field Services Conference at the Iberostar Rose Hall Hotel in Montego Bay, St James, on Tuesday.

Terrelonge argued that administering discipline, such as corporal punishment, which demoralises and dehumanises, will not improve the behavioural challenges identified but, rather, will make it more difficult for the children to function in society.

He suggested that intense counselling and discipline, tailored to correct, guide, and alter youngsters' mindset, are alternatives that can and should be explored.

“We want to ensure that our children are disciplined… but that their very human rights are also respected. So you have that task, as well, to look out for all these incidents and report them, so that they can be dealt with,” he added.

Terrelonge assured that Government will continue strengthening the law to ensure that the persons abusing children are decisively dealt with.

—JIS


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