Bruce Logan – NZCPR Essay 14 April 07
In 1989, just before the abolition of corporal punishment in schools, I was a member of the PPTA executive and invited to appear on a TV programme with Russell Marshall, the then Minister of Education. I commented that I was not convinced the majority of teachers were in favour of abolition.
The claim made at the time, which suggested a link between corporal punishment and violence in schools has been proved wrong. Violence in schools has increased tremendously since abolition. Of course there may be no actual causation either way, but the argument linking punishment and violence has now been extended and forged between violence and parental smacking. Every age has its blind spot. The late 20th century and early 21st century have been and remain very spotted indeed.