D on't you ever think of whipping or lashing a child in school today. You are liable to lose your job, or being taken to court where you might be reprimanded or fined or perhaps be lashed yourself. And if you think this is an all time low in handling "discipline," think again. I am told that in the United States a man was sent to jail for one year for killing a cat and burying it in his backyard.
25 years ago, discipline was handled quite differently. In school these were the typical forms of punishment for those who lacked discipline. They were lashed with a thick 1/4 inch rope, or beaten with a stick called a paddle. The teacher could twist your ear or pinch you with his fingernails. He could put you to kneel down on bottle stoppers or place two heavy books unto your hands which were extended all the way out. Some students were locked up in a dark room and missed entirely their lunch break. And finally, teachers could whip you on your hands, upper arms, calves and a popular place - your butt. To whip you on your butt, normally you would be placed in a bending position over a table. Whenever the teacher said, "Bend over," you knew you would get it, 10 to 15 cuts on your butt. To ease the pain, some children placed exercise books inside their pants. If the teacher did not hear the different sound, you could have your laugh. If he heard the sound of paper instead of flesh, you would get your cuts on your back.
A whipping in your hands meant 10 good cuts on your left hand - never the right hand as that was your writing hand. And no, you could not share the lashings between both hands.
Ask anyone in the 1940's about the teacher that they remember for her strict discipline and resulting punishments, and they will probably name Miss Signa Yorke (deceased). She forgave no one, made no enemies and some of her students received government scholarships at a time when such was extremely difficult and rare. Miss Yorke has the fame for being a tough disciplinarian but one who got good results from her students also. Other teachers to be remembered for strict discipline were Eloina Cardenez, Bernabe Bay, Leni Paz and our favorite Garifuna teacher Mr. Agustin, as everyone called him.
Some folks recall that if a teacher whipped you and you went home to complain your father or mother would send a chicken or some fish as a gift to the teacher. With this parents gave them.their authority to discipline by spanking. And if a parent would go to school to complain about a lashing, the principal would use the one and only rule he knew -"Send your children to another school where there is no lashing."
Disciplining by family members was pretty much standard also. Grandparents, uncles and aunts were encouraged to whip boys and girls on the street where the offense was being committed. Any boy caught cursing or fighting in the street was sure to get 2 or 3 cuts with a belt from his uncle. And when the matter was reported to one s father. there was a very good possibility of a second lashing.
The police officer also patrolled the streets with a whip after the eight o clock curfew bell had been rung. Any boy or girl caught on the street after 8 o clock and not in the company of his parents could be whipped by the police officer.
In days gone by there was nothing about child abuse, spouse abuse, animal rights, prisoner's rights, and 100 other types of rights. Though we all agree that wives need not be beaten, and children deserve love and respect and need not be brutalized, it seems that today's society lacks discipline because we have allowed it to deteriorate. The child can abuse the teacher - curse him, disrespect him or ignore him. But the teacher seems impotent with respect to disciplinary action. A dog can do all kind of harm on the streets, but don't touch a dog or you'll hear of some animal rights movement. When at church you see someone's dog parading the aisle, don't shoo him - bless him. I do believe we had better discipline in years gone by because something was done about poor discipline. Today a marijuana smoker is fined 200 dollars.A big time seller goes free, when he should be whipped publicly and put to rake our streets and beaches for a year or two. Ah, who cares about discipline.