Give them licks!

Seasoned criminologist Cheryl Willoughby is making a strong case for teachers and parents to have the freedom to exercise all forms of discipline, including flogging, as a means of curbing increasing incidence of violent behaviour among students.

Cheryl Willoughby & Mary Redman

Just yesterday, the issue of student violence was once again the subject of national focus, when a 15-year-old male student at Parkinson Memorial School allegedly smashed the window of a teacher’s car with a rock.

Commenting on the incident on the sidelines of this morning’s launch of the Winners’ Circle 11 plus Programme at the Home Affairs office in Wildey, St Michael, the Director of the Criminal Justice Research and Planning Unit said appropriate disciplinary action for the boy in question should be determined only after assessing which form would best effect change.

“You have to discipline according to the particular child and the particular incident. I know there is this big debate now about whether we should flog or not . . . but you may flog one child and it may work, but it doesn’t work for another child,” she explained.

Her position flew in the face of Minister of Education Ronald Jones who has advocated the abolition of corporal punishment in schools.

In fact, an an address to mark Child Month last year, Jones had called for those who “brutalize” children by flogging them to be thrown in jail.

“Flogging is not discipline. It is abuse against the child, and anyone who abuses a child should be taken before the court and jailed if they are found guilty. If, as a modern nation, we can’t talk to and reason with our children and only brutalize them, we are a lost nation. We cannot create gems of the nation through brutality,” he said then.

However, Willoughby contended that the data did not support Jones’ perspective, and warned against wholesale adaptation of disciplinary models from other countries with the expectation that they would fit perfectly within the Barbadian context.

“What I am also concerned about is that we continuously stress that we should seek alternatives to flogging, but I am yet to hear what those alternatives are. I have seen from my own research as a criminologist that some of the jurisdictions that have prohibited flogging, crime among young people have escalated on an annual basis. So we cannot take our model from jurisdictions that have failed as a country; we have to develop our own value system,” she pointed out.

Student-on-teacher violence, as well as student-on-student violence has been a contentious topic, and had been one of the most vexing issues that led to a breakdown in relationship last year between the Jones-led Ministry of Education and teachers.

It exploded to the fore in mid-April last year after a teacher at Ellerslie Secondary School was allegedly spat on and kicked by a student who she had attempted to verbally discipline.

However, both the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) and the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) have repeatedly stated from as early as January 2015 that violence against teachers was a major problem in schools, citing as examples teachers being subjected to assault and battery by their charges, including a teacher who had been attacked on three occasions and his vehicle vandalized.

The two unions again raised concern in March of this year after a 14-year-old male student was left in a critical condition at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital after he was struck on the head by another student, with BSTU President Mary Redman saying school violence was rampant.

Redman today strongly supported Willoughby, telling Barbados TODAY the ministry’s alternative approach to discipline was “clearly not working”.

“I believe that a regulated and judicious application of corporal punishment works and corporal punishment does not equate to abuse. There is a difference between the two things. I am not talking about corporal punishment for school work, because I do not support that; but there are certain type of infraction of school rules that to my mind the judicious and regulated use of this form of punishment can work,” the trade unionist said.

Willoughby today placed much of the blame at the feet of delinquent parents, who she said seldom played their part in reforming troubled students, and called for the mandatory participation of these parents in the reform process.

“Right now we have a programme called the Dispute Resolution and Conflict Mediation programme where we are targeting at-risk children within our secondary schools, who are having challenges and giving problems in the schools. Unfortunately when we invite the parents to come they don’t show.

“Some of them will come, but I find that the attendance rate is very low. I am thinking that we may have to put a system in place now where these parents are mandated to come forward and deal with situation regarding their children. It is neither the police’s responsibility nor the Office of the Attorney General to instil discipline in children,” she stressed.

34 Responses to Give them licks!

  1. allison archer May 5, 2017 at 2:18 am

    Most parents want nothing to do with the discipline of their charges they prefer to be their child’s best friend and like the Minister believes also it is outdated besides the parents knows when it gets too much for them the government will take them

    I say truly this is an evil, perverse generation

  2. Sunshine Sunny Shine May 5, 2017 at 2:38 am

    They are kazillion approaches Barbados can take to discipline a bad behave child. I am one who believe that flogging is not a deterrent, just as much as throwing a man in prision will not necessarily help him to mend his ways. Barbados has a serious ” raise the child right” problem when it comes to proper parenting. But, if we say A we must look at B. On one hand we need to look at what factors are causing many parents to be poor parents, and on the other what influences in society are not conjucive for having the right environment for raising children the way that they should be raised. Barbados have a combination of both, since we tend to look hard at the bad in the action and not the cause that is the root behind the act.

  3. Greengiant May 5, 2017 at 6:10 am

    No @ Allison Archer; it’s not most parents. Its most mothers.. I like several fathers I know off went to my daughter’s school some years ago and administered some lashes, while teachers credited my action wishing other parents would act similarly. Her mother, joined by other females openly ridiculed me, encouraging my daughter to have nothing to do with me. Even our own child care board officials (female) had their negative opinion after the mother complained to them for me.

    After not speaking to me for three years, at least one year during which time the same mother had a young man sleeping in her house with our daughter. The girl became pregnant and was hospitalized during pregnancy. It was only then that I learned of our daughter’s pregnancy. Later during a legal paternity hearing was when I learned that the young man lived at her mother’s house for over a year with my then school age child.

    However without mum, child care board or any of the other maliciously involved females who supported mum back then, I’ve paid for day care, tuition, and other expenses for the last two years and will continue until my daughter is well prepared educationally, socially, psychologically and spiritually to be a model parent for her child, and hopefully a solid respectably partner for a deserving husband in the future.

    I know there are several delinquent fathers in our society, but many of you women who find time for men who don’t support the children they already have and then let them continue their delinquency by becoming pregnant for them are at fault.

    At the same time some of you use children as pawns against caring fathers. In your effort to cause the father pain, the children suffers mentally and otherwise. These types of parents are creating the little institutional monsters teachers, and other students face daily. Community members and neighbors need to report these adults, the authorities investigate and action taken to save these children where needed.

    • Jennifer May 5, 2017 at 6:50 am

      @Green Giant – Well said. The women is usually the problem. And very stiff and set in their beliefs too.

    • Breadfruit. May 5, 2017 at 8:45 am

      Thumbs up for all you actions and opinions.

    • allison archer May 5, 2017 at 10:22 am

      i’m sorry to hear of your experience and thankful that because of the mother’s behavior did not deter you of your responsibility to your charge even pressing in more fervently, I take my hat off to you

      clearly most men have abdicated their role even although parents still dwell together giving the female total domination in building of the home which should never be, remembering now whenever one will ask Daddy permission he will always send the child to ask mummy while he sits around enjoying a game or his pleasures

      homes are predominantly led by females who somewhat implement all decisions with the people embracing them as they continue to rise in every facet of society, usually the head is a female or in close proximity but this ought not to be for females are emotional creatures, forming decisions based on their mood

      honestly I am a female frustrated with all these women in places of authority especially the home for they continue to create disaster after disaster, just look at this situation the former magistrate is on a campaign to abolish the flogging of children, now tell me how will they be restrain? by naughty corner or banning them? there is a place for flogging which was applied by our fore parents therefore we know the benefits of a good whipping not abuse but a good old fashion whipping that would deter any child from disobedience but these silly women relying on their emotions cannot relate to physical pain not understanding the principle behind flogging, they want all to be nice and rosy pampering the child

      I have a brother that glories in the fact that he never lash his 15 year old child yet still the mother have to be constantly initiating punishment which he ought to be practicing in the life of his child taking that burden off the mother, a good lashing from Daddy will totally derail him reeling him back on course but of course he wants to be his child best friend, living on the praises that he was the perfect Dad and as one commune with another this mentality is very evident in many parents

      Greengiant when one say A must also say B, kudos to you but we have arrived here because of the failure of 98% of males who neglect to become who they were ordain to be = a men of authoritative leaders

  4. Othneal May 5, 2017 at 7:20 am

    @Greengiant, It seems to me that you are describing a dysfunctional society whose future citizens are not being given the care and attention needed to produce responsible, productive, mature participants.
    In order to understand​ a person’s behaviour you need to understand where they come from. In order to fix it you need to know what’s gone wrong. So the first step is assessment. Followed by analysis, action, monitoring, review, adjustment​ if indicated and mentainence.
    Sounds like a job for​ the Government ministry with responsibility for youth development and welfare.

  5. Jennifer May 5, 2017 at 7:41 am

    @Othneal – “In order to understand​ a person’s behavior you need to understand where they come from. In order to fix it you need to know what’s gone wrong”

    1000% correct with those two phrases.
    Problem is that NO ONE, government or otherwise has endeavored to find out about any of the above. When the head is sick the whole body is sick. Back then we had a people who knew where they came from and how they got here and under what circumstance etc. All of this has been erased and shielded from the youth by the said parents and teachers. So here we are in this new conundrum of societal dysfunction. We keep dismissing this as a people, a lost identity is a very serious issue.

  6. Milli Watt May 5, 2017 at 8:29 am

    my word green giant………lost for words. I like the reasoning of the criminologist. just got back from North Korea got some techniques to try out that will yield the desired results talked about just need this society to say enough is enough.

    • Breadfruit. May 5, 2017 at 8:59 am

      Milli, dah can wuk here. We dun brain wash and got deh Americun systems. Evuhting America do, duh lill monkey (Barbados) must do tuh.
      Yuh sparing deh rod and duh get moh violent. deh minister full a shiiite.

    • Jennifer May 5, 2017 at 9:14 am

      @Milli Watt – Enough is enough – I said it. Lets get started.

      @Breadfruit – British system first for brain washing sponge. Anything to feel like we fitting into another NATION’S culture.

      • Jennifer May 5, 2017 at 9:22 am

        The major problem we have as a people is that we keep letting that stranger in to control and dictate to us what we should and should not do in our society. Psyops like those child rights groups. Keep getting f*** with that limber prick. BALLOT OR THE BULLET. we keep taking the bullet.

        • Milli Watt May 5, 2017 at 12:54 pm

          you all understand that the minister allow cell phones from september…….clock ticking till somebody get kill

  7. Gearbox1964 May 5, 2017 at 9:43 am

    I grew up getting a cut-ass whenever I deserved one, and sometimes when I didn’t deserve one, but all-in-all I would say it served me well and I am eternally thankful to my mother and grandmother.

  8. Gearbox1964 May 5, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Not only did they cut my tail when it needed cutting, but they also made sure I went to Sunday School every Sunday.

  9. Peter Thompson May 5, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Yes that’s totally logical, the solution to violence is more violence.

  10. Peter Thompson May 5, 2017 at 10:12 am

    That was sarcasm, for those who might have missed it.

  11. Carlisle norville May 5, 2017 at 10:25 am

    we are no longer a GOD fearing society, as a young man i got every thing i wanted having come fron a weell to do familly i also got a lottttttt of licks my father was so taken up with ( do NOT do anything to disrespect my name, i was like a sissy shy, & quite & frighten because i became a very frighten child,I felt no love in my growing up years, I developed verry low self esteem & lack confidence, in my growing as an adult i wanted to understand my negativities so i turnsd to the study of child psychology, & then ifound out that blows & blows, is not the way to raise a normal thinking child, in fact blows & blows raises a rebellious child n.b. ( children should be treated with love, when they do wrong you should explain to them, that if they do it again they will be punished not with blows, but by taking away the privileges, they needLOVE it is the answer NOT Blows

  12. Carlisle norville May 5, 2017 at 10:40 am

    if i may comment again, this my perspective of trying to raise a balance child( the child should know that GOD does exist, & that child should be made to know, that he or she is, an awesome person ,the child should be encouraged to express itself ,& the child should be told that anything it wants to achieve, it can achieve it the other thing is right eating, without the right foods or supplements the brain & body cannot function as it should.( LOVE is the key, but the pressures of today’s society does not always allow you to react in a very loving way. ( my Perspective)

    • Jennifer May 5, 2017 at 11:49 am

      @Carlisle N – Listen hun. We keep talking about the bible and Sunday school etc. Do we even understand our DIRECT physical connection as a people to those same scriptures???? THAT IS WHAT IS MISSING FROM THIS PEOPLE. This is why they keep following every tom, dick and harry to do evil things. When will we understand that the ENTIRE bible is only talking about a CERTAIN nation of people. With SUB-NATIONS BEHIND. Look where the bible places MEN FROM THE VERY BEGINNING and look where the serpent slithered in and removed men and appointed women instead>>>>>>> back to those GROUPS.
      ALISON ARCHER is hitting things to some extent – OUR MEN (heads) HAVE BEEN BROKEN DOWN LIKE AN OX – having no strength at all or AUTHORITATIVE POSITION IN THE HOME. Courts, CHURCH, women, men and school systems to be blamed for all of it.

      • Jennifer May 5, 2017 at 11:51 am

        And I am DEALING or talking strictly about BLACK people.

        • Jennifer May 5, 2017 at 11:59 am

          If any of these christian or bible readers who comment on here can see the transatlantic slave trade in the bible, please let me know.

          This will prove what I am saying.

  13. Peter May 5, 2017 at 11:09 am

    As far as I can see, ALL you folks are full of talk without sound knowledge nor experience. You are literally trying to make the landslide flow back upwards. Sunny sunshine mentioned one very important factor.. INFLUENCE Every child is influenced by something and /or someone. It can be drugs, alcohol, sexual, popularity, movies, notoriety, the seeming success of peers that failed educationally but are doing well with crime in whatever form. How can this be corrected? It can’t unless we live in a marshally ruled regime like Singapore or North Korea. where expectorating is a capital offence punishable by inhuman actions. The best we can do is educate the child to make them understand what is correct and what is wrong. without violent means.

  14. Blessed Bobb May 5, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Let me say teacher’s are not parents,and I will not be given any teacher any permission tom ‘beat kill any of my children’,children are already being spanked from as early as infants for every little thing, my son was being spanked so excessively I had to go to the child care board.
    Corporal Punishment should be a last resort,but we are a nation that cannot resolve conflict, and we are teaching these kids to resolve problems with spanking,and we wonder why they are so violent.
    There was a law that only senior teachers were to spank our kids and this law was not being adhered too,so my question is are teachers are above the law,since Junior teachers continue to spank them,I would like Corpal Punishment to be aboished,since it is being misused in my opinion.

  15. Everybody is quick to blame the youths of today, however the youth of today no longer have adult role models. There are too
    Many adults walking around with the mental capacity of a child. The young people busy watching adults behave in child like manners. Grown men and women walking around thinking they young behaving in a manner worst than the youth. Grown women to busy to care of their children, cause they want to be out enjoying a single life…parents competing with children. When adults know there place and return to being the adults of their parents and grandparent, today’s children will have the proper role models. The problem stems from the same adults quick to complain

  16. tsquires May 5, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    I have read all the posts whether good, bad witless or indifferent, however one thing stands out very starkly, that all of Barbados is following the broken religious system, simply because we do not know the Bible (collection of books) was stolen from Alkebulan by Emperor Constantine, and most importantly from Genesis to the Revelations is about the various (energies) bodies we possess, we
    need to do our research and not just accept everything our slave masters gave us, we have digested all their lies and swallowed bait, hook, sinker and part of the line too, please learn about our history rather than his-story, we were here long before them.
    “Free your minds by returning to the source” Your Energies. We are fooling ourselves by living the lies they learnt us, under the guise of education, now we are wondering where we went wrong!

  17. Michael Clarke May 5, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Successful student discipline must be culturally appropriate and must involve the school and the student’s support system.

    Of course the best support system is an engaged family. However, if you are working with students who have no support system, students who are raising themselves, then the first task is to create that support system. I am not claiming that would be easy but I am claiming that it is necessary if you really want to change how students think and how they behave.

    Community engagement through houses of worship, community centers and other organizations, youth clubs and structured activities, creating mentorship programs are all strategies that can build support systems for students without those systems.

  18. Carson C. Cadogan May 5, 2017 at 5:30 pm


    Giving parents or anyone the unfettered ability to impose discipline on minors will lead to all kinds of abuse up to and including death of minors.

    We ought to tell Cheryl , thanks but no thanks for that “”advice””.

  19. Phil May 6, 2017 at 4:51 am

    Proverbs 13:24 talks about not sparing the rod, but psalm 23 says “your rod and staff comfort me”.
    Discipline has to be seen as an act of love and guidance. Not one of inflicting pain out of anger. The side-effects of a “nuff licks” approach are shyness and internalised rage. Licks should be a very small part of discussions about discipline and not the focal point. Another thought is around preempting bad behaviour. Maybe there are aspects of our culture that influence bad behaviour that need adjustment.

  20. Sam Smith May 6, 2017 at 8:19 am

    A society without flogging as a means of discipline is a society destine to chaos. I am wary of these socalled intellectuals who trot around the globe and extract the worse examples of life to bring home and impose on small and vulnerable society.

    What would work for large countries may not necessarily work for us and following these silly international agencies talking about “children’s right” and spearing the rod will not work for us.

    Our prison system is choked with criminals that should otherwise be hung already but instead we or following other countries in refusing to hang murderers. And we are following them their are administering lethal injections to their criminals.

    We have to accept that there will be those amongst us that are hell – bent on destroying other people’s lives and therefore the system must protect the innocent and law abiding.

  21. Dale May 6, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Those who say flogging a child isn’t a deterrent must also say talking and reasoning is not a deterrent either.

    • Carson C. Cadogan May 10, 2017 at 7:57 am

      I raised a few children without flogging.

      Talking and reasoning worked every time.

      I had to move my children from schools where the teachers foolishly thought that it was their duty to beat my children.

      But I would have none of it.

  22. Carson C. Cadogan May 9, 2017 at 6:19 pm


    here is an example:

    “Father confesses to lashing now dead son to head- police

    Posted by: Denis Chabrol in Crime, News May 9, 2017 0 Comments

    A father has confessed to striking his son to the head that later resulted in the son’s death, in stark contrast to earlier claims that the young man fell off a ladder and injured himself,  police said.
    Investigators said the 40-year old man “is cooperating” as they continue to probe the death of 18-year old Azeez Khan, a labourer of Lot 8 Better Hope, East Coast Demerara.
    The Guyana Police Force said at about 7:30 AM on Thursday, May 4, 2017 the father and son ” had an altercation during which he was allegedly struck to the head with a piece of wood.” He was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation where he died the following day.
    An autopsy showed that the cause of death was given as hemorrhage due to blunt trauma to the head””

  23. Carson C. Cadogan May 10, 2017 at 8:03 am

    …..and why is it that only BLACK people like to beat the stuffing out of their minors?

    Does slavery have anything to do with it?


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