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Australian MP wants caning back in schools PDF Print E-mail

© Neena Bhandari, Indo Asian News Service

Sydney, Sep 16 (IANS) A far right parliamentarian from Australia's Queensland state has reignited the debate on sparing the rod and spoiling the child by demanding that caning be re-introduced in schools as the "go-soft approach has failed".

"Schools should have corporal punishment brought back even as a deterrent and in extreme cases it should be used as necessary. We've already looked at the go-soft approach, I don't believe it's working," Queensland's only far right One Nation Party MP Rosa Lee Long told Channel Nine television.

"We've got to trust our teachers and trust them to discipline our children. I know they would only discipline them when they had to discipline them," said Long, who was elected to the state parliament in 2001.

Earlier, Long had told The Cairns Post newspaper: "It is the only option left. Bullies have long since learnt they can get away with it. Some students are consistently reprimanded and take no notice - they're laughing at authority."

Arguing that there was "a great lot of support" for her proposal within the community, Long quoted the example of a 13-year-old girl who was forced to change schools to escape a gang of abusive students.

Laws on corporal punishment of children differ across Australia with states and territories having their own right to legislate. Corporal punishment was banned in Queensland in 1994 and the state education minister has emphasised that there was no intention of reintroducing it.

But Long told the state parliament: "In some ways suspension is simply allowing the children to play truant. It is time for real discipline to return to our schools."

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Australia, is unequivocally against physical punishment of children. Countries like Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Cyprus, Croatia, Latvia, Germany, Italy and Israel already have a statutory or judicial ban on physical punishment of children.

© Copyright Neena Bhandari. All rights reserved. Republication, copying or using information from any content is expressly prohibited without  the permission of the writer and the news agency through which the article is syndicated.

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