Caning In School: Ban It Or Keep It




‘A Primary 5 pupil from Horizon Primary School was recently caned for misbehaving, but his parents are concerned over the severity of the cane marks on his leg.’ – AsiaOne, 25 August 2017

Should caning be banned in secondary schools as well? What good does a child get out of caning? Will he really learn his lesson? Are there other ways of teaching discipline? Let us examine this thorny issue.



In the abovementioned example, the anxious parents were worried about the marks on his leg. The boy in question was reported to have ADHD. He was caned for bringing a deck of poker cards to school. Before the caning, the parents were informed and told to sign a consent form. The vice principal carried out the caning shortly after.


Is there a better way?

The article stated that the pupil was so traumatized by the caning that he even wanted to switch schools. The boy had trouble sitting down for a week. Was all this necessary over a deck of cards?

In a response to Stomp’s queries, a spokesman for Horizon Primary School had this to say: “One of our students was counseled and caned in accordance with the school rules so that he would understand the consequences of his actions”

In reality, it is unlikely that children have ingrained the school rules in them to heart. Most children have harmless intentions and are still learning.


First principles

What should the first instinct be? To punish or to help? For the student in question, the school could have counseled him, taken away some privileges, or given him detention. Caning at the first opportunity seemed a bit excessive, all things considered.

All said, caning remains a relevant disciplinary tool in secondary schools. It works best when used judiciously, and together with compassion, reasoning and counseling.


To read more about the article on AsiaOne, click here: