"Spare the rod and spoil the child" is apparently the guiding principle of Kevin Donnelly, an adviser of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott who is advocating the return of corporal punishment among Aussie students to instill in them discipline. Donnelly is the co-chair of the Australian curriculum review, together with Kenneth Wiltshire.
Donnelly said on Tuesday over 2UE radio that corporal punishment was very effective and he sees no problem bringing it back to the educational system if it is done properly.
The suggestion immediately sparked criticisms from educators.
"All fair-minded people would see these comments as totally ridiculous and out of step with Australian community opinion and out of step with the law," said Glenn Fowler, ACT branch secretary of the Australian Education Union and a teacher. He added that a consultation process is not necessary because ACT teachers "have no interest in beating students."
Justin Garrick, the principal of Canberra Grammar and teacher for 20 years, said he couldn't recall a situation that would be appropriate to use physical punishment on student.
Fowler added it was disturbing to even hear Donnelly sharing stories of how teachers in the past lure students behind the shed to give them physical punishment.
Garrick also said that he is concerned that someone having that kind of viewpoint is also charged with handling a big role in Australia's education climate.
Education Minister Christopher Pyne said he does not support the return of corporal punishment, while Joy Burche, ACT education minister, stressed, "The ACT will not be bringing back the cane."
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