Tuesday 14 February 2017


When I was at primary school, in the 1970 s, physical punishment for bad behaviour was still officially allowed. This was called "getting the cuts" . A smack or smacks to the palm of the hand or bottom, with a ruler or feather duster handle. Mr Sleeman used to take the naughty boys outside and give them that, I was told. I'm told he only pretended with the girls, and hit the wall instead. I only saw red marks, no "cuts" to the skin. The boys would pretend they had not been crying.  I was never called out. Mr Sleeman told me to be a writer. He taught me for two years.

Fast forward decades, and I'm told Mr Sleeman reported child sexual abuse by clergy in a parish where he was Principal, and lost his job over it. In 2016 he was vindicated at The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse. More about that in the safe link at the bottom of this page. How do I feel about Mr Sleeman? He was a good teacher for me. He was also a product of his time in the 1970s. I think we learned the 3 Rs (reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic), better than kids do today. However physical punishment is now no longer allowed in schools in my state.

From Wikipedia:

StateGovernment schoolsNon-government schools
VictoriaBanned in 1983.[46]Banned in 2006.
Queensland[47]Banned in 1994.[48]Not banned.[49]
New South Wales[50]First banned in 1987.[46][51][52] Ban repealed in 1989.[53]
Banned again in 1995.[54][55]
Banned in 1997.[54]
Tasmania[56]Banned in 1999.[57][58]Banned in 1999.[57]
Australian Capital Territory[59]Banned in 1988.[60][61]Banned in 1997.
Northern Territory[62]Not banned, but contrary to Education Department policy.[63]Banned in 2009.
South AustraliaBanned in 1991.Not banned.
Western AustraliaBanned in 1999.[64]
Effectively abolished by Education Department policy in 1987.[65]
Banned in 2015.[66][67]

Getting back to The Cuts. The Government here, right now, wants to cut benefits to ordinary Australians and the poor. At the same time they are wanting to give tax cuts to wealthy corporations. 


Sign here at this safe site if you want to stop the cuts to the poor:

Mr Sleeman and the Royal Commission :


Running on empty said...

Feel free to comment on the dual topics from my post. If you don't want to join google, you can post under anonymous.

Fizzfan said...

The bigger and wealthier the corporation the MORE tax they should pay. This global madness of caring for those with the most has been catastrophic for our economies. Loss of small businesses, loss of local employment, leading to more in need of benefits. It's as if governments are being held ransome by fear of losing the big guns that dominate business. If collectively the WORLD agreed that greed cannot be tolerated anymore and these businesses paid their CORRECT dues, where else could they go, there is only one world!

Fizzfan said...

As for physical punishment for children, well, it's a tricky one. I grew up in the 60s and 70s and I would say that smacking wasn't even a recognised 'thing' really, but it certainly went on. Over the years it's profile has gathered momentum and it seems that some children were on the rough end of this being 'allowed', but to be honest I can't recall one incident that was either memorable or traumatic to myself or any of my school chums, and we certainly weren't that well behaved. I neither dismiss it or applaud it. Everything is about degrees and unfortunately I think our approach now of one size fits all has failed, as a young mind made aware of their 'rights' can often become very abusive themselves. Fear is a deterrent and if handled correctly and not abusively, very effective. It's just a shame that some adults obviously did abuse it and now any kind of physical deterrent is now seen as some kind of unearthly crime. Personally my biggest scrape with a good wallop was off my otherwise utterly peace loving Dad when he discovered I'd nicked £5. I was 6 years old and he hit my backside with a hairbrush. I cried a lot and NEVER stole again. My Mum also told me she'd called the police and they were coming to take me to jail so I'm not quite sure what I was more afraid of, but it worked!

Running on empty said...

In reply to your first comment, Fizz, it does seem logical, but what incentives would make the governments all agree on doing that? (or anything, at present? Seems like they are further apart than ever right now.) sigh.

Both my kids stole something minor from supermarket checkouts as we were leaving, as small kids. I got the security guard to lecture my son, and he apologised. Daughter gave the lolly back, but refused to apologise. To this day she freezes up if has to ask for assistance or directions.

Kathy said...

I was never spanked but I did swat my kids once in a while mostly from frustration. I don't think physical punishment should be carried out by a school in case a teacher is unfair or overwhelmed. I'd rather they notify me if my child was that bad. I know my son had to do time out a few times for being the class clown. He used to love to make the kids laugh, which is funny itself as he was so shy. Talking about not apologizing..my daughter picked up a small stone in a neighbor's yard and she said my daughter stole it. I took her back to return it but I could not make her apologize...lol..she absolutely clammed up and wouldn't say a word.

The world seems to be in a mess. I don't know if I feel that way now because our country is in chaos. I can't imagine what would have happened if these people had been in charge in 2009 to take over 2 wars and a major economic crisis. As it is our country was stable and they still cant manage.

Fizzfan said...

You're right ladies, the world is a mess. I watched a doc about Brexit on the BBC last night and it seems the trend towards countries reclaiming their own identities is gathering momentum and many other European countries are rallying to quash the EU. It's a backlash against globalism, immigration and normal hard working folks being placed in poverty without hope, ignored, and controlled. It hasn't been caused by what's happening now, it's a reaction to years of abuse by a succession of idiotic governments that have been deaf and blind to the struggles in their own back yard. People are desperate for change because the old ways simply were not working for so many poor communities. Since the economic crash (I point a very large finger of blame at the idiots who led us into that) soooo many of our services have been cut and benefits slashed. Our prison service is in complete meltdown due to massive staffing cuts and being taken over by private firms (always seemingly catastrophic) and zero hours employment contracts have been a gateway to hell for countless people who don't know from one day to the next, if, where, for how long or for how much they'll be employed or paid. That's the tip of the iceberg. I have no idea what the answer is, but I definitely do understand the reasons.

Running on empty said...

You were never spanked, Kathy? What did your parents do to punish you instead? I think a lot of shy kids turn to being comedic. I guess it's kind of like a mask, or a role.

In 2009 we had a dreadful bushfire that claimed many lives, the culmination of a ten year drought. The last recession Australian companies sold a lot of iron and other metals to China, for their industrial revolution.

Fizz, our youth detention system is in shambles right now. Many of the youth rioting have seen war in places like Sudan. They tore apart one facility, and were put into a max security adult prison while theirs was being rebuilt. So they rioted there the other day too.

Fizzfan said...

Thanks Cath, I'll have a look out for that. Saw a doc the other night where prison wardens are being hospitalised frequently from the fumes they inhale from all the drugs being smoked in our prisons, namely a really dangerous one called Spice. The staff cuts and privatisation means they are often just running a damage control system and are very stressed and really afraid for their safety. The money this private company get for so called rehabilitation programmes such as workshops to train the prisoners for work in the outside world, amounted to sitting down with colouring books for 5 year olds!

Running on empty said...

Maybe they will largely automate the prisons and have robots instead of staff eventually.

Fizzfan said...

How bout like some Daleks!

Running on empty said...

With the call of "EXTERMINATE!" Instead of "Rehabilitate" the daleks would certainly be different!