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Sharing licks going and coming

Friday, December 6, 2013

I think I’m going to start beating my children again. I need the exercise. This time of year is so demanding. I edit two annual magazines that both come out in January and, since I can’t get to the gym so often, I’ll have to get in that bicep workout somehow. Hey, my muscles are atrophying; my children are just going to have to do their bit for my health.


Also, I have the legal right to beat them until they reach voting age when, I suppose, my disciplining will transmogrify into assault, and I’ll have to either stop or make a jail. Barbados was the first West Indian territory to attain “developed nation status” but it’s likely to be the last one to stop whipping minors. 


Every time some news outfit does a poll, the national percentage in favour of corporal punishment in schools is always in the high 80s to low 90s. In the 11-Plus class in primary schools, it’s an accepted method of instruction to beat children who don’t score 100 per cent in their maths exercises, one stroke for every mark away from 100. These are children aged between eight and 11. 


One Bajan man told me he was grateful for the vast amount of 11-Plus maths licks he got when he was ten: his marks rose from under 70 to regular perfect scores. A score of 65 meant 35 strokes, one of 99, one: you do the arithmetic; and he did. By the time of his 11-Plus, he rarely scored below 95; and he passed for Combermere, the Bajan equivalent of QRC.


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