Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

March 21, 2013

Eliminate Corporal punishment

(Continued)

The notice also refers to proper instruction for sports club activities.

Club activities are part of school education, but there are no unified guidelines on them.

As a result, discipline is left entirely to the discretion of teachers who serve as advisers of such clubs.

The notice takes into account lessons learned from an incident at Osaka municipal Sakuranomiya High School in which a male student in the basketball club killed himself after being physically punished by the club’s advisory teacher serving as coach.

Criticizing the winning-at-all-costs attitude, the guidelines state that actions that impose persistent physical and mental strain on specific students are “not acts of coaching.”

In the case of school sports clubs, other teachers find it difficult to take issue with those seen as successful coaches and are liable to give tacit approval to physical punishments. It is natural that the education ministry notice asks principals and other administrators to supervise club advisory teachers closely.

Even if teachers apply physical punishment under the pretext of “a whip wielded with love” for students, it will only arouse a spirit of rebellion and fear among them. It will mold students who are obedient to teachers without fostering their ability to think and act for themselves.

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