Op-Ed: Corporal punishment is abuse

Op-Ed: Corporal punishment is abuse

The crime concerns have caught the attention of many, both at home and abroad. There is enough blame, and everyone has become an expert in crime-solving problems. But if we look in the mirror, converse with ourselves, and be honest, we may find the solutions.

We have all contributed to where we are. Our lack of respect for the law, finding ways to circumvent it, and our kisses going by favor that we have practiced over the years took its tool.

Parents who are unable or unwilling to converse are the brunt of the criticism, and even the breakdown of the family structure can be part of the problem. The church’s inability to genuinely show the moral side has not helped. The moral compass has gone out of wack.

Living a double standard life has confused the issues more than not.

A law for the rich and a law for the poor does very little to create confidence in the system, and the appearance that influence can determine who’s charged with crimes still lingers.

Bahamians have held on to those traditions, behaviors, and past practices that still determine where they came from or even where they worked. But because it was the norm, they used it and swore by the gods that it was effective.

In times gone by, history would confirm that the enslavers used physical force to strike fear in us to keep control. They punished us with violence to cause us to think twice about disobeying their orders or any attempt to run away.

While many families have not experienced this personally, it was engrained in our subconscious through the generations that if we defied the master, we would feel pain. So, this is a learned behavior.

In our ignorance, we have adopted this method to strike fear in our children and cause most of them to be subservient and succumb to our orders even if they object.

Parents struck fear in our minds and hearts, and we walked in lockstep with our parents’ orders. We did not have a sense of our own. We were free physically but in bondage mentally, unable to think clearly. We were never encouraged to have a mind of our own.

In recent decades, in their ignorance, our parents and grandparents carried the tradition of “spare the rod, spoil the child.”

Parents who lied and pretended to love us beat us across our heads and used leather belts and buckles across our backs because we dared to offer our opinions. The mentally disabled parents called it “backtalking.”

It was customary for a parent to whip the behind of an infant or toddler and call that love.

Black families took pride in brutalizing us and bragged to their peers about how they did it. Whippings were commonplace.

It was clear that uneducated, highly insensitive parents continued the practice of this primitive, senseless behavior. Many tell the stories that they were beaten so severely they threw up.

Sadly, a simple conversation could prevent these torturous practices from happening for trivial things.

But a person who did not have a formal education or never knew what rationale resorted to the baseball bat and two by four on the heads and backs of the children they claim to love.

I heard an inmate say that his father plait the electric wire and wailed his behind until he passed out.

Worse of all, a teacher who had marital problems came to school and took out her frustrations on the children, beating them black and blue.

For those who suggest that teachers must administer corporal punishment, the question is, who measures the punishment? How can we justify permitting a stranger to rain blows on our innocent five-year-old because he wet his pants in class? Is there a psychoanalysis for teachers?

How do we explain to our impressionable children that we love them when we sanction someone else to take advantage of them?

We did not protect our children from harm, and we missed all opportunities to show love to our children, who look up to us for protection from harm and illness.

Now, after we destroy trust with our children, and they become adults, what do we expect of them, since we planted in their subconscious that if anyone said or did anything, we do not like to pick up a piece of iron and whap them with it.

How can we justify him as being such a criminal when we trained him how not to resolve differences or conflict resolution? We must grab a piece of two by four and smash it over their heads like they did us.

How can we honestly not say that our children are acting out from what they have experienced throughout their childhood by a heartless teacher, parent and grandparents, who used profound ignorance to rear us?

While some may strain to justify the beating that made them better people, I dare say that most who endure the blows are introverts and afraid or unable to express themselves because of the planted fear of being tortured.

Everyone who brags about being beaten as a child is a sadist or still brainwashed that if they behave, they will be given special privileges by their master.

Unfortunately, abused children are abusing their parents.


No parent or teacher should beat a child within one inch of their life and not be held accountable. Life is too precious to be squandered by an unadulterated ignoramus.

Communicating with each other will get better results, rather than physical force or verbal torture.

The Buddha said, “One who, while seeking happiness, oppresses with violence other living beings who also desire happiness will not find happiness, hereafter.”

A word to the wise is sufficient.

Written by: Ivoine W. Ingraham.