Friday, September 26, 2014

A Different Era

The recent case of an 8-year old boy that did not do his homework as reported here. His teacher tried to punish him by pulling his ears, but he tried to escape. Unfortunately, he lost his balance and fell down, knocking his head on the edge of a table, thus causing injuries that required several stitches.

The story quickly spread through facebook and Whatsapp, and of course as usually is the case, some sick people began twisting the facts, for the sake of, well, twisting the facts. Maybe they get their kicks by causing an uproar, and then watch in amusement how people would over-react because of them! 

And then in no time at all, the photos of the kid went viral and everybody, though not knowing the truth of the matter, became excited for all the wrong reasons! Police reports were lodged; inquiries commenced by several parties; heck, even a Yang Berhormat weighed in with his valuable opinions. Thankfully, however, the case has been resolved quickly.

Such is the nature of schooling life in this modern age. Except in some very isolated cases, kids are immune from punishments for their wrong-doings. It's because of the fear of abuse of our kids that there's that tendency to over-react. Teachers will have to be very, very careful with how to punish naughty or lazy students but remain free from serious repercussions from parents and the authorities.

I come from a different era, and it's interesting how much things have changed from all those years ago when I was still an 8-year old kid in school. Unfortunately, I wasn't an exceptional student then—in fact, I was a lazy bum and hardly ever did my homework. I was therefore one of those kids frequently subject to punishments from my teachers. They ranged from caning to something mild like standing throughout the whole 40 minutes of the class. But some of the teachers were quite creative; I was made to stand on one foot the whole 40 minutes. I sometimes smile to myself when remembering my typical school days when I was young.

However, things were different back then. Instead of reporting those punishments to my grandparents (I was living with my grandparents at the time), I was careful enough not to tell them. Otherwise, I would get even more beatings from my grandparents! I would gladly let it rest, live another day of being a naughty kid in school, and perhaps get more punishments while at it!

You see, parents of those good old days had a lot of faith in the educators. Whenever their kids received punishments from their teachers—and some of those punishments were quite severe—the parents had full trust in the teachers, and that those punishments were absolutely necessary! That's why it's a bad idea to report any punishments to the parents, because the parents would usually support the teachers instead of their kids.

It's amazing that kids these days are practically immune from punishments, because over-reacting parents can cause hell for their teachers. A different era, a different approach, but basically the same old naughty students.

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