Coalition: ‘Corporal Punishment Is Not Effective’

December 13, 2012

“There is ample research to prove corporal punishment is not an effective method for discipline and has both short and long term detrimental effects on children,” the Coalition for the Protection of Children said.

The Coalition was speaking after following news that the police are investigating what they termed “the alleged assault of a 13 year old female student by a school employee.” The female employee who was arrested is understood to be a senior staff member of the Bermuda Institute, with unofficial sources saying the parents filed the complaint after the girl received corporal punishment.

The Coalition said: “This recent case involving the need for medical care following the administration of corporal punishment in one of Bermuda’s schools is a stark reminder of the fact that Bermuda is the only democratic country left that allows corporal punishment as a part of the disciplinary code of conduct for children in government schools and although this is not a government school, it is one of 2 other private schools and countless other nursery schools that still allow this practice.

“There is ample research to prove corporal punishment is not an effective method for discipline and has both short and long term detrimental effects on children. Research indicates that physical punishment does not promote long-term, internalized compliance in children and is actually associated with less internalization of norms for appropriate behavior and compliance.

“We must reexamine the actual right of schools to implement corporal punishment based on the research regarding its negative effects on the child and ineffectiveness as a disciplinary method., the mental health impact of corporal punishment results in children feeling distress, anger, fear, shame and disgust.

“It is associated with higher levels of child aggression and antisocial behavior including fighting, bullying and general behavioral problems as well as decreased capacity for children to internalize socially acceptable behavior. Physical punishment is also proven to put children at increased risk for mental health problems including anxiety, depression, addiction and general psychological maladjustment.

“This is also proven to persist into adulthood. Research proves that children who are subject to corporal punishment are more likely to be adult abusers and engage in criminal and violent behavior as a way to handle conflict.

“Finally, Bermuda must question the right of schools to implement corporal punishment when the United Nation’s governing committee on the rights of children repeatedly calls for states to ban corporal punishment.

“In 2006, the U.N.’s Committee on the Rights of the Child reaffirmed ‘the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment’ based on a combination of other human rights granted in both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“The committee further stated the obligation of all States to ‘move quickly to prohibit and eliminate all corporal punishment’ and ‘to outline the legislative and other awareness-raising and educational measures that States must take’ in order to address the widespread acceptance and tolerance of corporal punishment.

“It claims that any form of corporal punishment (defined as punishment using any physical force) is degrading to children, representing an infringement on their right to ‘respect for human dignity and physical integrity’ as well as their right to protection from ‘cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.’

The Coalition concluded: “As a defacto signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child , Bermuda has not only a moral obligation but legal duty to reassess its cultural acceptance of physically harming our children in order to punish them, given these human rights issues in addition to the negative impacts that corporal punishment can have on children.”

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  1. john says:

    I turned out fine – never been arrested!!

    • Back to Life, Back to Reality says:

      Never meat a killer that made it to the electric chair that was a repeat offender.

      • Back to Life, Back to Reality says:

        Oops , corporalpunishment not capital punishment – sorry for the screw up.

  2. Hmm says:

    The only thing a lack of corporal punishment is PROVEN to do is destroy a nation! Look at todays generation of citizens and compare them to just 3 generations ago. Enough of the so called ‘educated’ mumbo jumbo nonsense by people who spend so much time buried in books, real life steps right past them.

    Should you think it is only effective on children like it was for me and my entire family, I dare you find someone who was flogged at casemates and see if they ever wanted to return to the place. At the moment if the idiot thug wanna-be hasn’t passed through Westgate, he hasn’t earned his respect yet! How sick is that mentality for a generation that subscribes to the above trash thought! Enough of the propoganda that is only demoralizing Bermuda. Everyone knows it, even if everyone doesn’t agree with it.

    When your child walks in and curses you to your face and spits on your floor, I would love to see you send that rebel to the corner for their time out… just like we are sending our current disrespectors of our laws to Westgate Motel for their time out! Westgate Motel 6, they’ll leave the light on!

  3. @ john….same here!! And I bought up my kids the same way! They are 18 and 20 – not perfect but never have been in trouble with the law!!

  4. Delaey W Robinson says:

    I strongly agree with the coalitions stand on corporal punishment of children. I find it difficult to reconcile unconditional love for a child with spanking that child. It is an insidious generational family addiction which is hard to break. If your parents beat you, you are vulnerable to the sick practice of beating your children. BUT it is up to you to break this cycle and stop the practice in your family in your generation to avoid your grandchildren potentially falling victim.

    • Sheelah Cooper/ Ann Cartwright Destroyed our black children says:

      I see you and Sheelah Cooper and Ann Cartwright share the same brain. Abusing your child, sick practice? blogger please. Its only white ppl that say that crap and yet white kids disrespect their parents on a daily basis. The difference is white ppl can AFFORD to send their kids to military school or boarding school to correct their behavior. Black ppl don’t. Corporal punishment teaches children consequences for their actions so when they grow up they know when you do something you get in trouble for it. It also makes sure the children fear their parents, making the child think twice about disrespecting their parent or anyone else for that matter. I got lots of cut tails from my mother, father, uncles, etc. and they all love me like life and I have never been incarcerated. They never took any joy at administering corporal punishment but it had to be done. Sending your kids to time out or grounding them is no where near effective then whopping their behinds. I feel sending your kids to time out prepares them for jail. I.E. time out in solitary confinement. So what am I going to listen to, A study that is being presented by a woman who couldn’t control her own kids and she had the resources to send them to boarding school (i.e. Sheelah Cooper) or look at the countless examples of ppl who did receive corporal punishment when growing up that are successful versus the ones who didn’t and are now sitting in WestGate.

      • The Truthsayer says:

        It ain’t about a black and white issue, stop making it into one. I’m white, definitely got a CUT ASS when I was younger, sometimes still did dumb $hit even after, but it DEFINITELY helped me out! I will be spanking my kids or whatever you want to call it, tough love, because it does help. It’s not about putting fear into a child, it’s about discipline. I can remember the day like yesterday when I had to go cut down my own oleander switch. Never did anything bad after that!!

      • Let me get this str8 says:

        So all West gate prisoners never received an form of corporal punishment in their youth?

      • Will says:

        you speak bullsh$% sir. im white, i was smacked ass a kid when i misbehaved and i’ve turned out fine. dont disrespect anyone and never in trouble with the law..and i never went to military family didnt have the money for it anyway.

        • Unjust Realities!!!! says:

          And that’s exactly why your parents spanked you . . . they didn’t have the resources to send you off to military school or boarding school. I think that the people the blogger are affluent whites who for example can afford to live on an island, like Ms Cooper!!!!

      • Listen Up! says:

        @Sheelah Cooper/ Ann Cartwright Destroyed our black children:

        Those two ladies did not destroy a thing and I’m sick of listening to people like you! Do you think those guys in Westgate didn’t get licks??? Of course they did! Giving licks doesn’t mean your child will turn out o.k.!

        People who beat there children do it because they are TOO LAZY to actually communicate with their kids and teach them right from wrong-o.k.? I am a BLACK WOMAN and I never laid a finger on my children who grew up to be educated, LAW-ABIDING citizens!

        There are people who beat their kids but don’t bother to open their mouths an at least explain to the kid what they did wrong-I’ve seen it plenty of times! They just expect the child to know! So how is that effective discipline? At least when I got lick back in the day, my mom told me what I did wrong when I got them but many of these parents don’t even bother now to do that!

        There are parents who beat their kids yet don’t take an interest in their kids schooling or where their kids are or who they’re with! THAT is what is ruining our young black people! We have mothers in total denial that their little angels are running in gangs or up to no good! So how is that Ms. Cooper’s fault?

        Like I said, I never hot my kids and I gave plenty of time-outs but my most effective tool was taking things away from them that they liked and making them earn them back. If they didn’t behave and their birthdays or Christmas was coming up, I warned them that they wouldn’t get anything nice if they were naughty and I STUCK TO IT! After the first time, I didn’t have any problems. With my son in particular, I know it killed him to stay good but he knew what would happen if he wasn’t! Trust me, taking away his beloved action figures was WAY more devastating to him than any licks would EVER be!

        The most important thing I did as a parent was keep track of where my kids were and who they were with, and keeping them away from any kids I deemed undesireable. I was accused of being a snob by some of my own relatives but guess where their kids are-either dead, in prison, unwed single parents, unemployed or uneducated while my kids are none of those things.

        I am so sick of black people in particular supporting whipping children! We as a race were whipped by our masters and thought it was wrong, yet we see nothing with doing it to our children??? There’s something wrong with that picture!

        Stop with the cop-outs and excuses! We as a race beat our kids and where do they end up? Whites as a race usually do not beat their kids and where do THEY end up? So how can it be said that we, who collectively beat our children, are doing something right? clearly we are not!!!

        Black parents, stop being so damn lazy and actually raise your kids properly. Get your carcass off the sofa or out the clubs and to a PTA meeting and keep track of what your kids are doing! Oh-and how about getting a wedding ring on yoru finger before popping out babies, ladies? Clearly beating our kids is not enough! Take an interest in their lives and learn that beating does not equal discipline-they are two totally different things! Unfortunately, many black parents lack discipline themselves so how the hell are they going to discipline their children? TRUTH!!!

        • Listen Up! says:

          Whoops, sorry about the typos/grammatical errors…was rushing!!!

    • smdh says:

      its people like you that take things out of context! to beat a child is one thing. i feel noone would condone BEATING anyone! however they is NOTHING wrong when a parent or the like spank, or smack a child when they are rude, or out of line.

      • Bermudian Man says:


        No, you took things out of context. This woman from B.I was arrested for hitting a child, not beating. So we are not here debating a beating situation, we are talking about (most likely) deserved licks.

        A study can say many things, but real life experience will always trump studies. There is nothing wrong with a good cut@ss every now and then, and there is nothing wrong with a healthy dose of fear. You parents out there think you are helping your children by not licking them are kidding yourselves, and you know it. All you are doing is letting the child know they have power over their teachers, family members, and pretty much any adult who tries correct them. It’s parents like them who have kids or young adults running around causing all this madness, because they have no fear, and obviously were not taught respect. People sitting up and blaming the government for our social problems, but let’s be real, you all know where the blame lies. These are the parents whose child can do no wrong in their eyes, even when they are being led out of court in handcuffs.

        Trust and believe the parent who does not correct their children are doing them a real injustice. Sadly, when you do not take the steps to teach them how to be productive citizens, you leave the hand of the law to teach them, and most times it’s probably too late by them. And for the parents who say they “DIDNT KNOW” what your child is into is not good enough. Truthfully, you are the ones who have failed. Failed yourself, and your child!

        • RA says:

          I believe that parents should be able to spank their children (I hope it is out of love and not out of anger). I used to agree with the idea of corporal punishment as long as a parent was present. I am now against the idea of corporal punishment in schools. I disagree with the parents’ decisions to have it administered by a school official. Each child is different. The school official’s background and acceptance of physical pain will affect the spanking (his/her pain threshold might be totally different than what is acceptable in my family). To address this specific case, if the parents agreed to the punishment, and later realized that a cut or big bruise came as a result of the corporal punishment, I fully agree that the actions of the teacher should be investigated.
          To the broader point: Unless corporal punishment in schools has been definitely proven to assist individuals in abiding to the schools’ principles, it should be banned. We should ask ourselves: If fear is the primary reason for accepting a rule, how effective is that rule? As God loving/fearing people, do we primarily follow his rules out of fear or out of love and respect?

          • Bermudian Man says:


            Firstly, I believe that people who do not give their children licks need to understand love can come in many forms. Frankly, I don’t care what a child’s threshold is, if you are being rude, you need to be sorted out. If the parent was doing their job in the home, maybe the school wouldn’t have too.

            So the child got a bruise, who cares, it’s far from their heart. I know things are wrong in the world, because this isn’t even a severe abuse case, and we are debating about if it was right to give a child licks (after they had a choice to choose, my people make me smile sometimes).

            I bet you in a few years time, many of these so called parents will get tired, and then want to look to family and friends for answers as to why their child it rude, and where did they go wrong.

            • RA says:

              @Bermudian man,

              I think that many people would agree that a conversation about spanking would show plenty of support for and against it. I agree with you that a rude child needs to be sorted out. I guess we disagree on how to address the issue. I agree with spankings in love. I will no go so far as to say that spankings are a necessity in discipline. To me, corporal punishment should be a last resort for parents. If the parents are not doing their job at home (leading, nurturing, guiding…Loving), the school should step in. Speaking of thresholds for pain, I know of some adults who were beaten as kids (not spanks). The beatings did not stop their negative behaviors. They have a lot of anger and distrust towards the very people who were supposed to protect them.
              Basically, you show me ten incarcerated people who did not get spanks, I will show you ten other incarcerated people who got spanks or were beaten (many of the most harden criminals were physically abused as children).

          • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

            if u fear something…you will respect it…when you respect it, there’s nothing to fear…then grows the LOVE.

            • RA says:

              To me, it starts with respect. That respect grows into love as the relationship matures. That love allows discipline, spanking, guidance. That love does not allow spanking out of anger or simply to inflict pain. The proper fear is simply a function and result of the authority figure. It is not fear for the sake of fear.

            • status! says:

              @keepin it real——-Black people were taught to fear white people and learned to respect or be killed! these beatings turned to Blacks abusing each other, which was the intention to divide and conquer!I never nown a European man once slave master to show any Love eepecially when Black women were raped, beaten then handed a white baby to breastfeed! what does love have to do with it? When we always have to resort to corporal punishment there is something lacking in the pysche of ones own mind and it is known as a lack of proper communication..I too received licks and quite frankly I didn’t like it but now understand why my mother did it because she too was brought up to believe that was the only way! We need to break the cycle of people who oppress period! No one is born to expect to be brutalized or abused in any way!!

        • Pastor Syl Hayward says:

          There is a very great difference between a spanking on the bottom and a beating that breaks the skin.

          It is also important to understand that ‘time-out’ and ‘grounding’ are but two of the alternative consequences to “licks.” Parents who have learned PET, which does not advocate corporal punishment, have found it to be quite effective.

          Several people have expressed the opinion that the men in Westgate are there at least partially because they never received a beating in childhood. I truly wish someone would do a study on that. IMHO, it is much more likely that they received blows and verbal abuse on a regular basis.

        • Listen Up! says:

          @Bermudian Man: ‘Correction’ does not need to mean beating! I just don’t get how some of you all think! I can’t imagine grabbing a belt and going to town on my kid, but that’s just me and NO, I’m not kidding myself. My children are grown, responsible young adults and I never had to lay a finger on them!

          How about black parents setting a good example for our young. That means, being married to the father of your children and giving them two parents. It means no cussing in front of or to them. It means actually talking to them and letting them know you enjoy spending time with them. It means giving them good, nutritious meals and a secure home life. It means staying your butt out of the clubs and bars and at home with your kids. It means doing homework with them and attending PTA meetings. It means knowing where they are at all times and who they are with.

          Is any of that hard? You would think so with the way many of our black parents don’t do any of those things!

          Any idiot can grab a belt and whip a kid. It takes someone with intelligence and patience to talk to their child on a child’s level and know that a child does not think like an adult does. Many parents are too lazy to talk…talking takes time-it’s SO much easier to grab that belt, whip the kid and then move on without explaining a thing to that kid about what they did wrong and what you expect from them.

          Again-blacks whip their kids but 99.9% of people in prison are black. Whites usually do not whip their kids and 99.9% of the people in law firms, accounting firms, managerial positions, doctor’s coats, CEO offices, etc. etc. are WHITE…so clearly they are doing something right and we are doing something wrong-only we’re too stubborn to admit it!!!

    • smdh says:


      maybe the cut got infected because the parents dont know how to properly take care of a wound!!!!

      and what fool is going to say yes give my child licks, and then kick sh$% after the fact.

      dumb parents.

      • Pastor Syl Hayward says:

        The child was a 13 year old.
        How many parents watch their teenagers undress?
        If the wound was under her clothing, since generally, corporal punishment is given on the backside (at least I hope so), the parents would not have seen it until it became a problem.

        Being beaten until the skin breaks and bleeds sounds too much like stories from the slave trade for me. In fact, it is my personal belief that this conviction that beatings are the preferred, desired and appropriate punishment dates back to those days, and is yet another “generational curse” we need to heal from.

        • cathy says:

          Pastor Syl, I have had that thought for some time now. Could it be a form of internalized racism that some black people view their children as objects to be whipped and beaten and that it is NECESSARY to treat them this way in order to control them? It sounds so much like the views of the slave master in controlling his slaves. I wonder if all this beating of black children is a legacy of slavery? Not that some white people don’t hit their kids – of course some do. But there are also many white families who don’t believe beating children is the right thing to do. And these are NOT just white families who send their kids to boarding schools – people who can afford that are hugely in the minority. I know there are balck families also who don’t believe in beating children but these families are few and far between. I don’t know, I just think its and interesting question to reflect upon…

      • Seriously??? says:

        The focus should be on when, how and the injury occurred – not whether of not the child was deserving of a beating. The type of punishment administered is a matter between the child, parents and the school as corporal punishment is a school policy and the beating was agreed to by the parents.

        However, when the police are called by the hospital to investigate an injury to a child which was allegedly received as a result of corporal punishment being administered, we should as a community be able to allow this investigation to occur without becoming defensive of our beliefs. Routinely administered corporal punishment should not require any follow up medical or hospital treatment.

    • Joey-Bag-O'doughnuts says:

      Look around you. See all these kids? They were all spared the rod. Now the whole society has to deal with the problems. If you spank a child to teach the child right from wrong you are not harming the child or his/her psyche. I am not saying beat the child with a bat or a belt.

  5. 1minute says:

    The first story on this said that the student/parent were given options and they choose corporal punishment…

  6. Eyeraised says:

    Coalition should refrain from speaking on alleged incidents. This is a very touchy situation and they are adding uncessary fire, especially since this is a potential legal matter. Bermuda is a small place with an even smaller jury pool. Leave it be.

  7. no trees says:

    Licks never hurt anyone…lol! i agree with hmmm, look at the generations before compared to the generation that are coming of age now who didn’t have “corporal punishment” or LICKS…there is a vast difference. If the parents gave permission for the punishment then whats the problem. The kid got a scratch and it got infected, kid you’ll learn never to do it again. So now this kid (and others) is going to think its okay to act the fool, cause the law is on their side. For the parents who say kids need to show their kid uncondtional love, parents who spank are angry blah blah…your probably the same parents I see in the grocery store and your kid is acting a royal mess…to the point I want to pull you aside and tell you control your kid. The bible says spare the rod spoil the child, we have spared the rod and now we have spoiled kids. Not in my house, goodbye

  8. Not My Money says:

    Coalition are you serious! Are there children sitting on your Board and providing the content for this nonesense? You can not make such ludacris blanket statements! Only in the recent history of humans has this thought come about and it is purely silly for you to say eradicate spanking after it has been conducted for thousands of years. I will NOT be donating any more money to a group that is so far into the sand that they will advocate for laws that will take away the right of parents to discipline their children with spanks if necessary. You are supporting views that will remove the already unraveling moral fiber of the island. Let’s dare to be different Bermuda. Educate on the comprehensive disciplining techniques so that parents understand the proper administration of spanks. Let’s not give our kids the upper hand.

  9. Real Talk (original) says:

    Wow. Speechless.
    I am the product of a number of cut tails.
    I have never experienced a higher level of aggression, been a bully, suffered from anxiety, depression or maladaption.
    I have never beat my children or been in any sort of physical altercation.
    What I can say is that I grew up with a firm sense of knowing right from wrong and a fear of bringing shame or embarrassment to my family name.
    I think the same could be said for most of those in my peer group.

    I grew up with in a village where the elders were not afraid to put me in line and who I knew could administer punishment if the circumstances warranted it. And I still respect them for caring enough to take an interest in my wellbeing.

    Anybody who has ever administered licks knows that it is a difficult thing to do.

    I would never permit my children to be abused by anybody. But they know, and the people in their village know, that should there be a need to discipline them through corporal punishment cuz of some wrongdoing then by all means do so.

    Part of the problem today is the lack of respect that the youth coming up have for their elders. Never in my day (born in ’80) would you have been allowed to get away with some of the behaviour we see today.

    • Joey-Bag-O'doughnuts says:

      I remember actually walking by my neighbor’s house and he will give you a betting if you cussed in front of him or his wife and you would beg him not to tell your mother or father because you would get twice the beating.

    • status! says:

      @realtalk(original)—-unfortunately our elders kept us in line because they were beaten and wanted us to behave so the white master wouldn’t get upset, our preoccupation with pleasing others before ourselves was the first disrespect and has permeated throughout history because there is no reason why Black people would want to hurt each other unless they were threatened and this system continues to threaten with locking our youth up, taking away privileges,ect, this penal system was not designed by any Black person we are a caring nurturing nation of Blacks who have been divided by the white man who continue to view us as merchandise and we were ignorant enough to believe it! the truth may hurt but it needs to be addressed to heal! these beatings are serious and should be stopped, if Mrs Cooper did real research she would point out the slave beatings as the gateway to corporal punishment!It makes no sense for us to despise one another unless we are under some threat of punishment! Wake up Black people!

  10. Joey-Bag-O'doughnuts says:

    Most in my generation actually turned out beautifully and Erskine “Buck” Burrows and his partner in crime never committed another crime.

  11. Joey-Bag-O'doughnuts says:

    Coalition is a fraud. This is all the new “social engineering” stuff that has all to do with theory and not practice. In “theory” it sounds wonderful and humane but in practice it does not work. Anybody notice how many “new” mental disorders are out because all these psychologists, psychoanalysts and the like need jobs. Look at the ADHD stuff, in my day a good smack in the head would get you to pay attention, today….give him some drugs to calm him down and he he grows up he is not human.

  12. Bieber says:

    This is not America! Every household and situation is unique!

  13. rme says:

    spare the rod spoil the child

  14. Annie says:

    People need to get this idea out of their head that to discipline a child means beating them! People who do that are just too lazy to communicate with their children and encourage proper behaviour-it’s just easier to pull out a belt and beat the stuffing out of them.

    I NEVER laid a hand on my daughter who grew up just fine. Ever since she was a baby I talked to her like she was an adult-in a calm and rational way. As a toddler, she was like a little lady and never threw tantrums or acted up. My husband and I also set a good example for her-which is the best thing you can do as a parent. It doesn’t make sense beating yoru kids and then leading an unwholesome livestyle in front of them!

    I can’t imagine taking up a weapon and physically hurting my child! As a parent you want to save your children physical pain so why would you hurt them? It causes children confusion and resentment when mommy or daddy hurts them! I’m sure most of the guys at Westgate got ‘licks’ but probably had parents who let them roam the streets and raise themselves with no guidance. I just believe it is wrong on so many levels to hit children and is not proven to make them turn out any better!!!

    • WELL SAID says:

      @Annie, Well said indeed!!! I raised my daughter very similar to the way you and your husband have raised your daughter. It is a lack of parents learning alternative parenting skills. Easier to just give “licks” and be done with it than to put any real effort into raising your child.

  15. Joonya says:

    Not condoning child abuse at all, but if you get out of line like many of the Bermuda youth today, Im sorry but you need a cutass to straighten yourself out. Like that girl who f’ed off the trashman and called his mother names. They have no respect for anyone and think they have earned and accopmplished more than people 3-4 times their age. Bottom line is if you dont behave and think you are above the law you need LICKS!

  16. just a thought says:

    The thought of licks is usually enough to keep one in line. In some house holds these days the thought of “Time-out” might be a blessing of peace and quiet time alone!!! This is the problem with society, it has allowed discipline to be taken out of the schools, out of the homes and now we sit and shake our heads at why some of the youth of today have a total lack of respect! I agree with the above, BEATING a child is a totally different ball game! Spanking is not BEATING! Love them enough to spank them, so society doesn’t have to be smacked by them later!

  17. Tommy Chong says:

    Those who are typing the, “back in the day. no licks now” comments must not have fully read or comprehended the article. Corporal punishment is still allowed in school & at home & is still administered. I’m sorry that I have to be stereotypical but even though the truth can offend it saves from the sin of lying. The truth is that the demographic of parents that would use the time out, grounding or 1,2,3 method are not the ones who have kids joining gangs or committing violent acts its the demographic that still spank their children that have children who have strayed. As I mentioned before sorry this seems like a stereotype but lets be real when we think about who the parents are that send kids to time out.

    I will admit that I’m not a time out kind of parent but I try not to give spanks out of anger or for minor matters that don’t warrant them. There is no way for government or the law to keep track of all parents or as poster Not My Money ridiculously suggested, “Educate on the comprehensive disciplining techniques so that parents understand the proper administration of spanks.” Something like this would have to be mandatory which is unrealistic.

    The problem between now & then is not that parents don’t hit their children now the problem is that many parents do it when the child is still a toddler, when the parent is intoxicated, for any reason whatsoever & many other unjustified reasons. If anyone thinks that a toddler could do something that justifies smacks something is mentally wrong with them & they should seek professional help. I’ve seen this toddler instance happen many times in public on island & it enrages me that a child that young gets waked across the the hand for trying to get the parents attention or in the butt so hard their feet come off the ground for just doing something minor. These toddlers learn a life lesson before the age of five that no matter what the problem always gets settled with brutality. The other problem is many parents take the time to hit their kids whenever now but will not take the time to sit down to dinner with their children or any other quality time with them.

    • Pastor Syl Hayward says:

      Mr. Chong, I don’t often agree with you, but in this instance, I think you are spot on!
      I will reiterate what you have said. We keep talking about our young black men going wrong. I would bet the parents of these young criminals were not using time-outs and groundings as a part of progressive discipline. Based on non-scientific observance, there is much more screaming, cursing, and the use of electric cords, brooms, fists and feet than explanations why something is wrong, ideas on how to do it better and opportunities to try again to get it right.

    • cathy says:

      I definitely agree with this. People keep talking about kids NOT getting licks…I really don’t know what they’re talking about!!! Really?? When did people stop giving their kids licks? In my observations there are PLENTY of kids getting licks every day in by schools and by parents, and that’s just what’s going on in public – what kinda beatings are going on behind closed doors????!!

  18. Just saying... says:

    I am 19, never been in trouble with the law, in university aboard, I have received multiple scholarships, awards and internships offers and trust me when I say when my parents gave me licks, i would never do whatever I did again!

  19. Simple says:

    It’s nothing wrong with spanking your child. It’s necessary and shows discipline. No you shouldn’t beat your kids black and blue but it’s effective. I am a young single mother and I’ve only had to spank my son a few times in his life and at a very young age. He has grown into a wonderful young man, who has prevailed to be head boy in primary school and a consistent honor roll student with no behavioural issues at all. I respect the opinions of others but I found spanking to be effective. The evil eye works too LOL

  20. Tricks are For Kids says:

    Really Sheila???? this is coming from a mother……you know what I’m not even going to go there….time out…I’m going to go and stand in the corner before my typing gets me into trouble….

  21. Simple says:

    And trust and believe I spank my godchildren too if they get out of line and I’ve only had to do that here and there. I refuse to deal with continuous behaviour issues from children, a little sting on the legs won’t kill them. And to the person who stated that the “gang members” are those who got licks back in the day, how would you know? You live with all of them? Don’t be so quick to categorize people when you have no idea of their upbringing.

  22. WhistleBlower says:

    Mrs. Cooper needs to RETIRE and take her IDEOLOGIES out to sea. Many of the UNRULY children present in OUR SOCIETY today are this way because they LACKED a good ‘cut ass,” they even have the AUDACITY to tell grown folks “you can’t hit me” and then you have Magistrate ARCHIE WARNER telling MICHAEL POND he IS wrong for SMACKING a CHILD who DISRESPECTED his mother that he is WRONG. Too many YOUNG people today do NOT know what it is to RESPECT their elders and KNOW their place. Because of DUMB laws such as Corporal Punishment!!! Mr. Robinson your children NEEDED to be DISCIPLINED by the ROD because they were EXTREMELY UNRULY!!!!

  23. Familiar says:

    ~shaking my head~
    I believe that not enough information is being taken into consideration.

    Corporal punishment has it’s place in disciplining a child and there are generations of us to prove that this is the case, while we have growing generations of children who have not received corporal punishment showing what the lack of such discipline fails to accomplish.

    What I believe is being missed is the full understanding of what the punishment is, as well as the family dynamic.

    I believe there remains a confusion between considered corporal punishment and a beating given in anger or frustration. I believe it is different if a spanking, for the want of a better word, is given as a last line of punishment, or if it is given as a first line deterrent

    There is too great a belief that ‘don’t spank the child’ is the solution, when the solution would be better found in offering overwhelmed parents help in learning a better route to dealing with children’s behaviour from the very beginning.

    Too many parents now are overwhelmed and exhausted simply by trying to keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables. Support , guidance and education are what is necessary, not some hard lined, not fully informed opinion.

    And you bet I received a spanking when necessary, sometimes with a hand, sometimes with a wooden spoon, and looking back I have no criticism of the choices my parents made.

  24. This recent case is an example of bad parenting, the parents allowed corporal punishment to be administered and then failed to provide proper care.

    Mrs. Cooper et el,

    I’m sorry but your social experiment has failed, let parents parent and stay out of my house.

  25. fred says:

    Oh, Bull$hit! A good cut A$$ was the only thing that kept me from doing worse than I did when I was young and in my teens. If I had been given the ‘time-out’ stuff and the psychological babble that wouldn’t have deterred me one bit. This child’s parents have probably done just that and that is why she’s out of control and got a beating. And what was the treatment she needed? A bandaide.

    In my day I would have got home and got another cut tail worse than the school’s. It’s the only thing that teaches children that there are consequences for thier actions. And to say that corporal punishment causes mental retardation… maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe those in the study who received corporal punishment were slightly retarded in the first place and were doing things they shouldn’t have been doing so they got spanked.

    Now back to the girl at school. All that she’s learned is that she can get away with stuff because her parents have defended her. Great going parents. All you’ve done is given her carte blanche to go do as she pleases. Yes, there will always be those that go headstrong against what they are taught and they are the ones that will end up being the problem children and at worst the derelects of society. But without strong deterrents that teach them that they WILL NOT LIKE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THEY DO WRONG a person is created that has no respect for others and knows no limits (because they’ve had it their way too long)… they are usually those in trouble later in life.

    Take your psychological BS and stick it where the sun don’t shine. Thinking like this is the reason for so many gang bangers, and out of control young people. I have a daughter and son-in-law that are raising my granchild this ‘new’ way. She talks back to her parents, is manipulative and does what she wants and is only four. It’s sad to watch adults be told what to do by a four year old. They will regret it when she is twelve and by that time it will be too late. Yes, isn’t the world a better place with the new generations of children raised without corporal punishment?!! I can see the difference. Stabbings, shootings, killings are common place. These were never heard of in my day. U.N. comittees go stuff it. “Spare the rod, spoil the child.”

    • Mayan says:

      @Fred: You don’t even know the particulars of this case so you need to shut it. There is so much that cannot be said at this point, you don’t have all the facts, so don’t even go there about the parents.

      People talk about how they got licks back in the day and feel this made them turn out well. You are not looking at the social fabric of our society then compared to now, and so you feel the licks is what made the kids turn out o.k. HOWEVER, back then most kids had two parents in the home, many moms were housewives, there were grandparents around to help mould the kids, etc. etc. Now there are many single parent household headed by women with no man in the house to help rear the kids.

      Mother Nature gave men deep voices for many reasons-one is that it is more authoritative than a woman’s and will get a child’s attention. I never spanked my kids but I had a husband to help raise them. There were times I’d instruct my kids to do something and my son would be tuning me out playing video games. After I had spoken a couple of times, my hubby would come out and say to my son “Don’t you hear your mother talking to you? Get up and do such-and-such.” My son would instantly get up and do what I said. He wasn’t trying to be disrespectful or disobedient-he was just tuning out my lighter voice. Hearing a deep, commanding voice got his attention.

      It is so, so important that children have two parents in the home to love and guide them. God could have made us so that we impregnate ourselves…why make it so a child has two parents? Clearly because rearing a child is a two-person job. These kids are just running wild these days, granny is out working hard herself with no time to take care of them, and many are just raising themselves. Kids need a lot of guidance and LOVE. Whipping out a belt and leaving welts all over them isn’t love, sorry. Again, I never spanked or beat my kids and they are all responsible, law-abiding adults so don;t tell me that children need licks to turn out well-NOT TRUE!

    • Mayan says:

      BTW, Fred-the reason we have all these gangbangers is because their parent/s let them roam the streets and fall in with bad company. They probably had no rules in the house, didn’t stress that the kids get good grades and probably told off their kids’ teachers, etc. I’ll bet they got licks, but nothing else! Most of these guys had to raise themselves without love or structure and went looking for love and structure in the wrong places. Lack of licks did not cause this problem.

  26. Truth says:

    I cannot support bruising a child to the point the wound becomes infected. There are limits, no matter what you believe about corporal punishment.

    How hard are you hitting a 12 year old to break their skin? What are you hitting them with that the wound could become infected?

    I’m glad this is being reviewed. Some of the practices of the past must end. This is one of them.

    • fred says:

      Maybe she got cained. It will leave welts and break the skin. It will also leave a lasting memory and be a big deterrent the next time.

  27. Bermudian says:

    Only loonies would think that this behavior is acceptable. When a child gets hit and it leaves bruising, marking or breaking skin that’s child abuse. CHILD ABUSE!!!! If a dog owner was caught beating the animal everyone would cry animal abuse. We don’t even know what the child did to receive such punishment. All I can say is no teacher in their right mind would try and a lay a hand on my kids….I would go ape $h1T! And I don’t need a bladdy village to raise my kids.

  28. jussayin says:

    whether you’ve gotten beaten or not it all comes down to one thing: the decisions that we make. I was given corpal punishment and i turned out just fine but i know of others who have received it and they’re up westgate and the prison farm. to say that it is uneffective isn’t really conclusive. it depends on the individual. now in the case of that young lady, she chose her poison and must now live with the after affects…maybe next time she wouldn’t do something that warrants a punsiment period but since her parents pretty much rewarded her bad behavior by blaming the infected wound on the senior personelle then she just might go right on back to doing what she was doing before.

  29. Unjust Realities!!!! says:

    The Coalition strikes again . . .there is a marked difference between a spanking and abuse. Yes, I do agree the leaving of bruises and/or cuts eludes to the ides of abuse, however there are mitigating factors, such as the complexion of the child, if the child moves their hand or jumps, meaning, a lighter skinned child will most certainly have bruises or marks even if spanked on the bottom. When it comes to corporal punishment being administered at the school level, we all remember moving our hand when getting “strapped” in school, which in fact could have led to a bruise and/or a cut.

    Here’s my thing, let’s look back at the history of the Coalition . . .upon inception, their advocacy placed parents in a position of fear of being arrested as their children said “I will call the police on you.” Hence, parents stepped back, schools stopped spanking, suspension rates rose and behavior problems increased. Then the Coalition came up with their mediation program . . . where is it now? How effective was it? Now here we sit as a society with children walking around with guns shooting each other and killing each other, with the clear and definitive attitude which they carried over from that young age when The Coalition empowered them that their parents could not touch them.

    So here’s my challenge to Sheila Cooper and her Coalition:

    1. Take your research based effective strategies for discipline and mediation into our prisons, sit down with the opposing gang members and mediate so that this foolishness on our island stops.

    2. Take your research based effective startegies on to the streets and do some mediation with our disenfranchised young people to stop the violence that we are seeing on a daily basis.

    3. Stop with the pacifying, “god like we will save the world ideologies” of hand outs and give our parents a hand up . . .teach them sustainability in coping with their financial distress.

    4. Stop spitting rhetoric and put into place some research based effective strategies of dealing with behavior. Clearly time out doesn’t work . . .it hasn’t for years.

    I will await the repsonse from the Coalition . . .better yet. since the RG says that the Gang initiative may be at risk of corporate sponsorship due to Mr. Leroy Bean, how about Ms. Cooper lead the hands on task force, take off her $300 suit and shoes and hit the streets!!!!!!

  30. Seriously??? says:

    The focus should be on when, how and why the injury occurred – not whether of not the child was deserving of a beating. The type of punishment adminstered is a matter between the child, parents and the school as coporal punishment is a school policy and was agreed to by the parents.

    However, when the police are called to investigate an injury which was ALLEGEDLY received as a result of corporal punishment, we should as acommunity be able to allow this investigation to occur without becomming defensive or abusive towards the child, parents or each other. Routinely administered corporal punishment should not result in any injury or complications nor should it require any follow up medical or hospital treatment.

  31. What Next?!?! says:

    First off I believe “The Coalition” has put “a beating” and “correction” in the same boat and they shouldn’t be. I also went to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry to read their position and it looks to me that you both throwing out the baby with the bath water. The negative repercussions that you both are attributing to corporal punishment have more to do with the environmental factors than with the spanking itself. If you look at the different generations here on the island you can see a marked difference between the ones that grew up with corporal punishment and those that didn’t. At this point Ms. Cooper or one of her associates might attempt to dispel that argument by saying that society and times are different now and to that I would agree. “We” have raised a generation of children and have taught them that there are no ramifications to their actions, to take what they want if they desire it regardless of the outcome, that rules and authority figures are unimportant because it’s all about you, and that if anyone tells them any different then that person is wrong. Is it just me or does anyone else find it strange that some in our society are surprised to discover “new problems” after we’ve abandoned “the old way” … New doesn’t always mean better.
    Now while I disagree with beatings, I do agree with spanking and while agreeing with spanking, I disagree with it as the sole corrective measure. I was raised the same way and I and not angry, dysfunctional, abusive or any other those other negative things Ms. Cooper likes to quote… I’ m actually quite the opposite. Now here’s the “news flash” to Ms. Cooper… Most of us upstanding citizens were raised the same way.
    Now in regards to the incident at Bermuda Institute, I have two questions…
    1. Didn’t the principle admit to breaking the skin of the child or were they informed after the fact that the skin was broken. As in my child was spanked today and they have a cut, therefore you did it.
    2. What did the parents do with the wound between weeks 1 -8 that it got that got that bad?
    Now for the rest of us rational people, there’s a commentary by Andon Fox called “Child Corporal Punishment: Why Anti-Spanking Studies Are Wrong” ( ). Mr. Fox makes some very valid points that I haven’t seen the “Ms. Cooper” types address. And before I finish, I have to rebut one of the earlier comments… this is not a black and white thing… I know a couple of Caucasian (White) folks that got as we locals would call a “good cut tail” growing up too… This is more to do with rational thought and irrationality (aka… stupidity). And before I forget, to the other lady who said she never had to lay a hand on her daughter, please do not fall for Ms. Cooper’s line of nonsense because you had a child that listened. No two children are alike. Some may listen when you speak, but others you can talk to until the cows come home and they will not listen. Those are the ones that may need a short sharp shock from time to time. (Notice I didn’t say beat them into submission)

    • What Next?!?! says:

      The question should have started “Did the principal…”

  32. Water says:

    It had to be a beaten if the skin was broken. I don’t think it was a matter of getting licks, but it must have been a harsh beaten. I got licks, it did me good, but I was never marked or cut. I still say it is wrong to beat a child so hard to the fact that the skin broke. This is what we have to take into consideration. It!s not the fact that she had gotten spanked but look at the outcome. She need treatment at the hospital because of the beaten. That teacher should not be given another chance to spank another child ever. Like I said before, what state of mind was she in? Come on folks think how that child must feel.

  33. Water says:

    To just saying, this child may never be the same or feel the same toward this teacher, just saying.

  34. RACE MATTERS says:

    We are tired of white people telling what we need to do and then enacting laws. They will starve us but won’t let us discipline our children. She needs to stay out of black childrens affairs!

    • Who wrote the report? says:

      The Coalition is for the protection of ALL children, no matter what color. Especially given the fact that white parents also physically discipline their children (me being a perfect example). Not that I necessarily I agree with the Coalition’s approach, but it has nothing to do in race.

      • status! says:

        @whowrotethe report—–Sheela Cooper is head of a Coalition for children when white ancestors beat Black people daily until they themselves tired then would hold agun to a black persons head to continue the beating..this woman has yet to admit to the origin of licks and beatings and where it came from..She hasn’t a clue, but looking for a job and something to validate her feeble existence!If she was sincere she would go beyond this facade she puts out of caring, there is so much available documentation that wasn’t available before that she could be drawing from but she won’t because this is her way of pointing out someone elses flaw.Typical

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      And HOW does race come into this issue?? Please explain.

  35. Triangle Drifter says:

    Never beaten but I guess I got my share of licks when due. Never been arrested either.

    Raised my kids the same way. From a very early age they knew they had 2 chances to pay attention. Failing the verbal warnings a good smack ensured that undivided attention was received. They were all ears.

    They understood that a warning was a warning, not an idle threat. Very few smacks were ever needed. They knew where the line was.

    You don’t negotiate with a 2 year old & the parent has the deciding vote right into the teens.

    Old school is the best school.

  36. David says:

    I also was the recipient of licks when I was younger. The licks corrected my thinking as I was constantly influenced by older children to do dumb things. `While in primary school, and even high school I received corporal punishment to keep me inline with the schools standards and teachings.
    The facts to this post are wrong. We are not the only community that continues to practice corporal punishment, there are numerous jurisdictions that still practice corporal punishment. And because some group declared all of a sudden that corporal punishment is bad, how can they now attest to the multitudes that were raised by loving, knowledgeable disciplinarians? Those who helped to contribute to a productive society.
    We can’t really trust these specialist. Look at the world today. Look at where a lack of corporal punishment got us today. The so called educated specialist have created a generation that does not respect authority, or punishment.

  37. Water says:

    Bermudian man trust me it was a beaten. Like I said I attended that school bro. Been there done that.

    • Ummmmm.... says:

      I went there too and I spent my time “at the front of the class” and got my share of licks, but I was never as you said “beaten”. After a couple times at the front I got the message.

  38. Yes I says:

    Blah blah blah….a good whoopin works. We’re adults who should know the difference between spanking to discipline your child and hitting them to hurt them. There are both positive and negative effects to eating meat! Moderation people. It’s not black or white but sometimes black and blue LOL.

    All jokes aside, make children fear and respect their parents. If one of your kids spits at me or gets in my face out of line I have a belt that will straighten any backside out.

  39. Judge Dredd says:

    No doubt children need affection, they need discipline, they need other creative ways of correction and sometimes they need corporal correction. It should be left to parents to decide and parents should know the difference between correction and abuse. We should clearly define what abuse is and trust me it is not a beating after doing something that deserves a beating. And frankly we should decide what abuse is, not some damn coalition that obviously has a bias toward parenting in the REAL world. We need to take a stand against these sick people who want to stick their noses into the home and remove the parents from their role. If they have their way parents will become their children’s slaves.

  40. Richard says:

    All you have to do is look at the people that grew up getting spanks I am being nice I got a beating n my friend did to lol and look at the Children that grew up with out it. We grew up just fine and most of us knew why we got those beating and need it. Abusers will alway abuse you need to catch them but look what has happen since parents where not aloud to spank there child chaos.

  41. Craig St. George says:

    If administered for purposes of changing behavior – as a friend said “I bet you they won’t do it again.”