Beating Down Corporal Punishment in Barbados – An Uphill Battle: Latest Sad Incident at Queen’s College is not Isolated but reflection of Primitive Desires poorly repressed

My regular readers know that for many years I endured an on/off brutal relationship with my father, it’s part of why I have no sympathy for creeps like Chris Brown or Joe Jackson. My parents were divorced on grounds of Physical Cruelty by my Father’s hand, which had many witnesses fortunately/unfortunately depending on how you consider it – I was 12 yet it is still fresh in my mind and I have mixed feelings… Not of sympathy for my Father, but should I be ashamed of him or should I be grateful my mother was able to escape his clutches even at a terrible price – having neighbours see him kick her while on the ground? Far less than what he did to me as in striking a Mahogany walking stick to my forehead as his Coffee was not done right or busting a Coke bottle at my feet and making them lacerated?

No big surprise - the meeting was very well attended and by many Parents of 1 Alpha where the Incident occurred

Forward to present-day, I attended the Queen’s College PTA by invitation (two of my regular sources – one is a Past pupil and their child also attends; while the other has offspring that also uses the same school), they had a horrible albeit isolated incident which was obliquely alluded to in the Saturday Sun about a fortnight ago. I learned exactly what happened and it reminded me of the brutality I endured from when I was 6 to 19 with my own Parent, and I decided no one else should have to go through what I did again.

For those not aware of it, this is Queen's College in its St James locale, but where the current Ministry of Education is in the City is where QC was originally

I called the Chairman of the QC’s Board of Management – Novaline Brewster, my former Supervisor at CBC and as a former Journalist she did a wonderful job of stonewalling and refusing to answer my questions, I salute her for performing what was, AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED THROUGH THE VENUE OF FAIR USE & COMMENT, abusing her training to apparently uphold more ignored violence in Barbados.

If you recall, St Leonard’s has come under the Bajan Microscope more than once for what appeared to be both public & private flagellations rivalling what pertained to days of slavery… But this form of what some may consider as modernised Plantation Disciplinary Measures happens not just at St Leonard’s or Queen’s College but also at Princess Margaret Secondary School and I called there to speak to a so-called Educator who allowed a parent to openly flog their child in front of a class and as far as I know? THEY APPROVED OF IT! However, when I called the teacher in Question directly on their Cell number, they bluntly refused to respond using the cloak of Public Sector to obscure their mistake.

One of the parents expressed their fears of not knowing what their children do while on Facebook, she even had an IT guy block the popular site but the children bypassed it; I would have taken away the Laptop!

It is also my understanding that both St Michael’s and even Harrison College are supposedly guilty of this practice, it seems that if Teachers are not to set their hands on pupils then once Parents can be convinced their children are a fork-tail short of becoming an Assistant for Son of the Morning Star, then they are urged to come on down and give their own flesh & blood at least six of the best (Do Educators or Parents stop to think what this does to the Trust between them and the child in question? Would they really let that pupil/son/daughter mix them a cup of tea or make lunch for them ever again? I know I’d turn Dexter for sure! Lock up the cleaning materials, folks – Ian is about to prepare a Meal!), do we need to hack a bamboo switch for you?

Not letting the matter rest, I called the Education Minister of Barbados, Ronald Jones, on his personal Cell, I also texted him apart from sending a Private Message to him via Facebook… All of which he is yet to reply? I know he’s busy, but so caught up in his Acting duties that he can’t just send back an SMS indicating he has no response until further research? Wow, he’s such an Actor it’s a wonder he did not get an Oscar the other night, he could have pulled one for an Adaptation of the Tom Clarke novel – The Prime Minister, but only in an Acting capacity, of course! 😉

A more relaxed moment for the Moderator and the Panel before the evening's discourse began in earnest...

Having been frustrated every step of the way, including at the PTA meeting despite Moderator peter Wickham’s attempt at opening communications (see video), I made sure at the end of the discussion to mention as a comment since I cannot query as I am not a Past Student/Have no children attending/Nor am I a Teacher there… I spoke of how Parents can go too far, having been such a victim more than once in my Life, then I advise they deal with the incident which Traumatised 1 Alpha before it haunts them when they least expect it. Their Principal finally got up and explained a Report was sent to the Ministry of Education and it is under review therefore he is not at Liberty to elaborate on the situation.

Here’s what happened based on a parent recording an eyewitness report from their child who is not just a pupil of that class, but who is a buddy of the maligned 11 year old in Question… Here goes , goofs & all;-

On 2 February 2011, a serious incident took place in the classroom of 1 Alpha, at Queen’s College. On this day, a father was escorted by the Principal of the school, Dr. Browne, into the classroom where his son and 28 other students were. The father asked his son to come forward, at which point the father made the statement, “You will never do anything like this again,” The father then removed his leather belt, and proceeded to whip his 11 year old son. The child, according to several witnesses, did not cry, and this was interpretted by the father that it was not hurting enough. The father then proceeded to “cuff” his son in the chest and face. It was at this point that the Principal then interveened and stopped this public beating. The 28 children that witnesses this inappropriate behaviour were disturbed, and upset. Many of the children, who were all male, were in tears, and feared for their own safety. The teacher fled the classroom to seek assistance. The father, the son and the Principal then left the classroom, and it is understood the father was allowed to leave the premises with his son. The child was suspended from school, and did not return until February 10, 2011.

Several parents, on learning of this situation, immediately attempted to speak with Dr. Browne, but were unable to. Discussions took place with the Guidance Counsellor and other teachers. On 7 February 2011, several parents again attempted to speak directly with Dr. Browne, but were not provided an adequate audience, and were verbally told by Dr. Browne that he was fully aware of the father’s intent when the father was escorted to the classroom.

Several parents have written directly to the school, the Board of Management, and the Ministry of Education. To date the responses have included:

1) Dr Browne has had one on one meetings with 3 parents, and expressed the opinion that he made a bad decision taking the father to the classroom, but that he stands by the father’s right to dicipline his son. Dr. Browne personally fealt that the situation got out of hand when the father started cuffing the child.
2) A Committee of the Board of Management has met with Dr. Browne, and they are satisfied that he (Dr. Browne) has taken all necessary corrective measures to ensure this incident does not happen again. They have indicated they do not plan to take any further action.
3) Dr Browne has met with the students in this classroom and apologized for the situation.
4) The Chief Education Officer has been verbally briefed and has requested a written explanation from Dr. Browne. I don’t know what has happend with this this request, or the letter.

No parent, to the best of my knowledge, has received any written communication from any of these entities, and there has been no formal or informal communication to the parents by the school, the Board of Management or the Ministry of Education.

  • Nothing has been done to the father who chose to physically and mentally abuse his son in this barbaric way.
  • Nothing has been done to draw this situation to the attention of the wider parent population at Queen’s College.
  • Nothing has been done even to ensure that all of the parents in this class have been fully informed of the situation, despite a promise by the Principal and the Board of Management that an all parents meeting will be held.
  • Nothing has been done to formally reprimand the Principal for his actions, and his abuse of power.

This situation is unacceptable on so many levels, and parents and teachers that are aware of this situation do not feel this has been fully addressed. This act of public violence has apparently happened in other public schools in Barbados, and it remains both unreported by the media, and unresolved by the Ministry of Education. The only “hint” was the reference to this situation in the Nation’s Puddin and Souse on Saturday, February 19, 2011.

  • Under The Education Act 1981 Cap 41, it states that head teachers, and senior teachers have the power to adminster corporal punishment. No where does it state that a parent is permitted to adminster corporal punishment on the grounds of the school. Under the criminal act, the father could/should be arrested and charged with committing a criminal act. If this father had opted to commit this same act on the streets of Bridgetown, he would have been arrested. However, he is allowed to do this with no consequences in a public classroom, under the watchful eye of the Principal of this school.
  • Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act 1904, Cap 145, it proscribes assualt, neglet and “unnecessary suffering” of children under 16 years. Section 4 preserves the right of parents and teachers to punish children. It states, “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to take away or affect the right of any parent, teacher or other perso having the lawful control or charge of a chold to adminster punishment to such a child

If we interpret this law the way the Principal of Queen’s College has interpretted it, there is nothing to stop anyone who is left in the care of any child under the age of 16 from whipping, cuffing, or beating a child under their care. Is that what we want in Barbados?

Interestingly, and very worth noting, The Child Care Board Regulations 1985 prohibits the use of corporal punishment in relation to a child in a day care centre or a residential children’s home run by the Board, and corporal punishment is not allowed in private day care services. However, according to the actions taken by the Principal and the Board of Management at Queen’s College, it is perfectly OK for a parent to come in and whip and cuff his 11 year old son, as long as the Principal says , “Oh, I’m sorry“..Oops!

How can we as a society claim to be a progressive, developed and civilized when this is allowed to happen, with no consequences?

The following officials are fully aware of the facts of this case:

  • Novaline Brewster-Chairman of the Board-Queen’s College
  • Reverend Gerry Seale-on the Board of Management for Queen’s College
  • Dr. Browne-Prinicipal of Queen’s College
  • Mr. King-Acting Chief Education Officer
  • Minister of Education, The Honourable Ron Jones
  • Ms Jemmot-Guidance Counsellor, Queen’s College
  • Ms Inniss-teacher at Queen’s College

This is not a discussion on whether or not corporal punishment should be allowed in schools. This debate needs to happen, but it can’t be discussed and debated in tandum with this situation. Corporal Punishment is allowed in schools in Barbados, but there are clear rules that define how it is to be adminstered, and this Principal and the parent in question stepped way out of these bounds. Corporal Punishment does not provide Prinicipals, and senior teachers with an open option to beat a child nor does it grant this power to any parent, supervisor or adult who is left to care for a child. Queen’s College has a tradition of not adminstering corporal punishment which makes this situation even more shocking.

If by highlighting this situation, we can engage in an open discussion on corporal punishment, then that might be the one good thing that comes out of this very sad situtaion. But please don’t confuse the two. What happened at Queen’s College on 2 February 2011 was very sad. A father chose to physically and mentally abuse his son, and he also chose to subject 28 other young minds to this sensless violence. The message that has been sent so far to everyone involved is that this type of violence against children is OK, and acceptable. I for one do not agree with this, and I believe if this situation is exposed to a wider audience, we will find that the vast majority of parents in that class, and the vast majority of people in Barbados, will not condone this. The Principal needs to be properly reprimanded, and the father needs to be charged with assault and battery. Those that chose to cover up this situation need to be exposed, and we need to provide an open forum for other parents, teachers and students to come forth with their own stories of abuse of power by teachers and principals in our school system.

Was it really necessary to keep that cannon there? Is this a place of Higher Learning or a Battlefield?

There were both parents and teachers there who just wanted the whole situation to die a natural death and are quite open on that, but is that fair to the child who endured that horror? Granted when it comes to School Indiscipline for Barbados that QC is least likely to have pupils physically fighting each other – but then is that not all the more reason to make sure that not only the Parents punishing kids never happens again, but to counsel both Father and Son for the public tragedy?

I really would love to know and plan to consult the necessary officials in the following – What would the United Nations local Branch have to say if they learned of this matter? Does not UNESCO and the UNDP assist in funding Barbados with various projects to develop CHILDREN? How does this Incident speak to the UN’s International Human Rights convention on what are the Rights of the Child? What future funding would there be if we have no better methods of raising children than Dickens’s Beadle?

24 Responses

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  1. Ian
    I was so touched by your story, I had no Idea you and your family had suffered such cruelties. You are a great guy and an example to any one else who has suffered violence as a child.
    The situation at Queens needs to bring about change in corporal punishment policy for schools, I also fear what that poor child suffered once he got home and probably suffered before and possibly since.
    I have called the child care board a few times in BDS for things I could not let pass…. continue to be a voice that can not be silenced….

  2. I am both furious and deeply saddened by the events that took place at Queen’s College a few weeks ago. However, I am also happy that someone such as the author of this article has finally shown the guts to stand up and say something about this tragedy which is merely one example of what happens on a daily basis in Government Secondary Schools in Barbados. The extent of physical and mental abuse that is suffered by students ranging in ages 11-18 years is absolutely appalling. The people of Barbados need to take a stand and free these children from this institutionalized abuse!!!!!!

  3. Shocked to know of this incident AND of Ian’s own pain and suffering!
    But proud to know that SOMEONE has the guts to stand up and expose this crime, the headmaster should be fired, and the father arrested (and just to see if he enjoys it – be given a Rodney King style beating by our local Police – who are quite professional at ‘physical interrogation’ techniques …though they deny it).
    The lad should grow up in a household run by an actual human being so he will know this is NOT acceptable behavior by civilized people so he does not end up being ‘cruel as shite’ (as we say in Barbados) to his own children one day when he becomes a father himself…if his childhood abuse (which I have no doubt shall continue unabated) does not drive him to commit suicide first – that is!

  4. As a past teacher at Queens I must say I am not surprised at this situation. The current Principal {LIBEL REMOVED}… bows to no one. {FURTHER EDITED FOR CONTENT} A deeper search would show that he is not very well respected among staff or students. I hold my breath in anticipation of a public apology… I also plan my funeral as I do so. A sad, sad day at Q.C.

  5. I attended QC and we were not disciplined with corporal punishment. but with detention, lines etc.
    I didnt hear what they child did that 1. he was suspended or 2. the father lashed him.
    Before I would make any real comment on if it was right or wrong i would have to know what the child did.
    I think we as a society cry abuse so fast, and any parent should be allowed to discipline their child in a way that does not compromise the safety of the child.

  6. Ian I can relate to your child hood horrors. Thank God we turned out ok and can be advocates for others.

  7. I am a past student of QC… I graduated recently and know most of the teachers and especially the principal very well. @Jane Austin, I don’t know when you left QC but it must have been long ago if you think that none respects Dr. Brown (current principal), in my opinion he has been more respected that (previous principal) was as she did not seem to respect students at all and was far from personable. The only way to get to speak to (previous principal) was to do something wrong and while at QC i always felt i could talk to Dr. Browne (current principal).

    However, i do not believe that the father’s actions were right and yes it is surprising since corporal punishment was never administered while i attended the school. As a “Bajan Youth” i have received “lashes” as a child like most Bajans and I believe that corporal punishment is fine once it is not brutally administered.

  8. A measure of punishment to students should be imposed in two forms only :
    1. Detention before, during and after school, leading to suspension for frequent violations
    2. Removal of privileges such as e.g. on sports day you will be kept in class unable to attend any sporting events at National Stadium also no field trips but detention instead and so on.
    3. A point system to enable the child to regain his privileges should also be made available by performing school activities during detention that would enhance the school. Planting, tutoring, and so on

    No corporal punishment at all. How would you feel if I came to your office and beat you? Would you have love for me or hate?

  9. I personally think that you are biased based on what you experienced as a child. I do not agree with the father cuffing the child and I am sure that Dr. Brown did not expect the parent to carry their discipline that far. This child however needed to be embarassed. I say this because my child attends Queens College and told me about the incident the same day it happened. If a child so young can do what this child did, tell me when he reaches third form, how will he be behaving towards his teachers. He needed a public shaming. One Alpha is an all boys class and he probably thought he was going to show his classmates how much of a man he was. There was no traumatisation there that day as his peers were laughing. There is atime and a place for everything and I suspect that Dr. Brown did not believe the parent would react in that manner. I personally know of an incident at another school where after the parent was called to the school, he proceeded to beat the very badly and the principal had to call the police. You need to deal with your mental scars and not apply your experience to this situation. This is the problem we have in Barbados now. My mother used to beat us very badly when she was frustrated and I have learnt from that experience and only discipline my children when necessary. They are happy and well adjusted individuals. Dr. Brown does a very good job of running Queen’s College, leave him alone.

  10. I agree with ‘opinionated’ … “we as a society cry abuse so fast” and then use these exceptions to rule how we solve it and that usually means a carte blanc approach, instead of a case by case basis. Every time these things come up all you hear are what happened to person who had been abused as children, never from ones that were not but may still have had some form of corporal punishment at school and they are ‘normal’ well adjusted people in society.

    UNICEF has an article published on their web site about Barbados and Corporal Punishment, see …

    But what really has me annoyed with how this is presented is the preamble they used to justify why corporal punishment does not work, and that is …

    “While corporal punishment is on the rise, poor behaviour among young people in Barbados is not declining.”

    Am I going batty as I near half-century in age, but is it fair or more so a complete falsehood to say that “corporal punishment is on the rise” in Barbados? If this is how UNICEF approaches these issues … God help us.

  11. I am a parent of a 1st former of the school who witnessed a part of the incident while passing the class room. On the way home he told me of the incident and my heart went out to the child. He recognised it as abuse as most of the pupils did. The thing is most students my son included knows the difference between corporal punishment and abuse. In this case the latter took place and they recognised it just as the principal and teacher probably do.

    In my limited experience with Dr. Browne I find him to be a fair man and as the past student said he is very approachable and my son likes him. I am afraid this incident got out of hand but I also believe after reading the article and some of the comments that some people want to turn this incident into a lynch mob and fuel and spread your dislike for the principal. I know journalist always want the scoop and sometimes I enjoy reading about it but you can not always have a response. I don’t think you are entitled to all to the details of this incident as a journalist, a minor is involved and the it is a sensitive situation. Best dealt with by the relevant authorities and not the media.

    After hearing about the incident from my son I immediately felt that while the child was wrong in his actions (very wrong) a cerious wrong was committed against him. This is probably not an isolated incident in his life and therefore those in authourity needed to help him.

    I would not have allowed the parent to leave with him but would have been on my phone calling the police and other organisations that could bring change to this child’s life. Counselling is needed for all involved, the child his father, classmates etc.

    I don’t think that the outcome was Dr. Browne’s intention. How was he to know that the father was abusive. I am sorry that the incident happened but I am glad that it brought to light that child’s situation so he can get help instead of having to live with an abusive father. Where is his mother in all this? Somebody help this child and forget all the rhetoric and even the sensationalism. I am sure he powers that be will change how these situations are dealt with.

    On the subject of corporal punishment:
    1.As a child received corporal punishment from my parents and teachers and deserved it too. I am better for it. I was never abused and always felt loved. There is a difference between corporal punishment and what you Ian and the child received

    2. I have lashed my children in the past and will from time to time dool it out when necessary. I have even promised my son that if I have to come to the school and lash him infront of his peers I will do so even though he is now taller than me. After this incident I had to rethink this.

    3. My son who saw the incident have been disciplined via corporal punishment among other method (not so much now). He however knows the difference between corporal punishment and abuse. I was glad when immediately told me in his opinion he thought his friend was abused without prompting. When asks he states he does not think he is abused. He would tell me if he thought differently since we have a relationship where he speaks to me freely.

    4. While I see nothing wrong with corporal punishment, it must be administered in the right situations, by the right people, in the right way and never in anger. I have always stated that if you don’t care for my child you should never touch him.

    Finally (and I am sure you are relieved) I will not try to make light of what you guys who suffered abuse went through because abuse in any form is horrible. However it is not fair for you to say that corporal punishment is abuse.

  12. The whip is cracked and it connects

    The welt it soon appears

    The bond of trust forever gone

    Marks left but not just on rears

    This happening all over the place

    At home, at church, in school

    Corporal punishment is the law

    They tell me it?s the rule

    But who are you or we to say

    We going to take that trust away

    Why must you use the whip

    Instead of hand, or mouth or lip?

    Parents listen to the cries

    Don?t listen to those reckless lies

    That tell you beat your child in love

    And save his sole for heaven above

    They?re lies I tell you straight

    Beat your child, and they will hate

    Silent cries you will never hear

    Your child will shrink because of fear

    They’re watching you when you beat

    Nightmares they have when they sleep

    Wet their beds, they shiver in fear

    They wish that you would disappear

    They see how you deal with anger and stress

    They see you beat, with such regress

    In the school yard they copy you

    Then off the to principal, whose beating who?

    You teach your child that it?s OK to hit

    Why wonder when they punch a bit

    Or yell, or swear, or slap their mate

    Or apply violence on a date

    Stand up and protect your child

    discipline but do so mild

    Put down the strap, the belt, the stick

    The marks they leave too deep too thick

    Set the rules, and tell them so

    Astray you say they cannot go

    But also talk, and spend the time

    Don?t let them out to useless lime

    Show them respect, and demonstrate

    How to still have fun, but don?t berate

    Give them love, and cherish their pride

    And for the children?s sake nor more lics to hide!

  13. “Opinionated” needs to understand that nothing justifies what happened in that classroom. Even without the brutality of cuffing his son, the father – and by extension the Principal – is guilty of abuse for taking part in a public flogging.
    It was outrageous. Nothing the boy did could have justified that kind of abuse.
    Ian, you did a wonderful job in exposing this outrageous conduct. There is a core of primitive, dinosaurs in our education system and wider society who believe that education cannot take place without the brutality of the past. You hear them sometimes celebrating the horrible beatings inflicted by supposedly great teachers like Rawle Parkinson. In all of this not a shred of thought is given to the welfare of the child.
    Those who are trying to cover up this incident stand condemned.

  14. This issue is old as the hills and we seem no closer to a solution that the majority can accept. The father’s actions are cruel and harsh, but clearly wrapped in good intention. Alternatively, there are some parents who not raise a finger or voice to support a teacher in the course of their duty.
    It is clear that has expectations and wants to accept responsibilty for his child’s education. Punishing the father, embarrising the school are all traditional methods that provides revenge but has not solve the problem.
    We would want a student to accept responsibilty for their learning and circumvent these situations. However, the current construct of the school system is that adults – by way of the curriculum and otherwise – decide what children should learn. What we provide for students is not driven by student interest. Some students rebel and opt out and we don’t understand why. For others what we want for them is a burden.
    The bigger issue – which no one seems willng to touch – is this: If a Government is willing to pay for a child’s education, then that child and parent should accept some responsibility in terms of behavior, punctuality, and attendance with a consequence like having to pay or dismissal. But such action may erode votes which leaves us no closer to developing a culture for learning and minimising difficult situations. The above isssue is a collective issue..

  15. How can you administer punishment “never in anger” … unless you are sado-masochistic?

  16. I totally agree with Carl Moore that punishment should never be administered in anger. I believe this father was so outraged by what his son had done he responded this way. We need to think not about what “my child has done to embarass me” but what can I do to get it to change. Anyway there is a difference between abuse and corporal punishment. Our values in this island are declining very quickly and I just hope that all these people who are against corporal punishment which is not abuse can deal with the fall out.

  17. I agree with everything submitted by Charlene. I also submit that most of the persons calling for the abolition of corporal punishment have yet to come with a viable alternative. Further, most of these persons crying brutality are either not parents nor teachers. While I am not condoning what the father did, I hope the author agrees the boy needed to be punished. I also submit that since there has been this outcry against corporal punishment in schools, the behavior of the children has gotten progressively worse. A lot of children when I was going to school were kept in check not by corporal punishment itself but the FEAR OF corporal punishment. Now children are so bold now that they even threaten to hit teachers!
    My view on corporal punishment is that it should be used only as a last resort and a child should know what they are being punished. As a child, I had some memorable lashes but you know what, 99% of the time I deserved it. And I never did whatever I was lashed for again!

  18. There are too many stories that have a small amount of truths but too many inaccuracies.

    There were only a few children that cried (3 max), the majority felt sorry , but some were laughing.

    What the father did was wrong, but it is the parents who are blowing the incincident out of proportion. The children just want it to be over so that they can carry on with they school lives

  19. What if the boy was made to carry a placard during Lunch saying “I HAVE A DIRTY MOUTH“? I bet he would think twice, public humiliation maybe but not at expense of brutality! There are ways to handle inappropriate situations, I heard of a case where a teacher made two boys in the same class who fought to literally kiss and make up in front of the form – they eventually became friends but never fought again… There are clever ways if you can get beyond the Cro-Magnon methods. My father lashed me as I said and I don’t really care if I see him again – if anything, I learned from him what NOT to do, okay?

  20. @ Jane Austin Dr. Brown is one of the most respected teachers at that school so i have no idea what you are talking about!! Yes the father was wrong to “cuff” his son but i do not agree with saying he was wrong to scold him. It is true he could have done it in a more discrete manner but the boy obviously did something that was extremely bad to the extent the father was probably trying to get him to never perform such an act again! I myself have been beaten at school infront of friends and i honestly do say i deserved it!!! I would never do anything like what i did before!! I don’t think the father meant to abuse his child as the author of this is trying to put it i believe he was just attempting to discipline him in a way so as to cause him not to commit the same act again!

  21. I am a parent of a child in 1 Alpha. My child should never have been exposed to that situation. At issue, that irate father should never have had access to my child.

    What is unacceptable is that no one has seen it fit to engage the 1Alpha parents so that they can effectively air their views. Moving on and healing occurs when all parties have had a chance to share and hear. Instead there has been efforts to ignore what took place with the hope that it will go away.

    Where is the PTA in all of this?? Planning a fair. How can you expect me to support you when you are not being advocates for ALL of the stakeholders?
    You have proven to be an ineffective girl’s club!

  22. Submitted this five days ago – but it hasn’t been posted! Too sensitive??
    My take on this is as follows:
    (i) the student was incorrect, rude, disrespectful in what he did and should have apologized publicly
    (ii) his father has a right to dispense DISCIPLINE as he sees fit
    (iii) Dr. Browne respected the father’s right to do so
    (iv) As can happen with all of us, the situation got ‘out of hand’ and Dr. Browne sought to remedy it
    (v) This does not make corporal punishment wrong
    (vi) Because the journalist (Ian Bourne) suffered ABUSE, does not make corporal punishment wrong
    (vii) Several persons who oppose corporal punishment have themselves been ABUSED, or/and have been brainwashed by the American educational system/culture that is primarily responsible for the quality of child rearing in the US (where do we witness more disrespect shown by minors, more violence, etc etc ?). Several persons who oppose corporal punishment are so focused on corporal punishment that they fail to appreciate the damage that can be done by non-physical abuse – verbal abuse.
    (viii) What happened is not conclusive evidence that the father is an abusive father
    (ix) As “Shellyb” said, the grounded child will know the difference between punishment and abuse – Ian, you have in your pain blurred the two. maybe parents should take advantage of this incident to teach children the difference.
    (x) I have two children at QC and NEVER have I had an encounter with Dr. Browne that indicated that he is unreasonable, unapproachable or does not have the interest of our children at heart. Like all of us however, he will commit an error at some point in time but these incidents should be treated respectfully and in the interest of the children.
    (xi) Unfortunately, to gain publicity for their articles and their opinions, some journalists have corrupted the art form of journalism by writing biased articles, by sensationalizing matters even at the expense of the overall good and have unfortunately (and I know some may consider this minor) sacrificed good grammar and proper spelling (What is “Cannon” (caption under the photo???) in the process.
    (xii) Biased and subjective statements such as “this was interpretted by the father that it was not hurting enough.” is POOR journalism (and check the spelling of “interpretted” ).
    (xiii) I have major doubts about several aspects of the article by the journalist which are stated as facts but which he really is not in a position to or has not done proper investigation to state the same as facts.
    (xiv)) I was present at the PTA at which the journalist was also present and was not impressed with his presentation on the matter – again an attempt to sensationalize and to provoke an emotional reaction. Is this the type of approach that we want advocates of our children to have???
    (xv) Let us as parents and teachers devise a more intelligent method of resolving these situations – objective analysis, respectful approaches, selflessness, impartiality and above all, a sense of goodness which dictates that the overall good of the family and therefore society must be an objective and therefore override our personal hurts and personal agendas.

  23. Hi Lisa Niles – this is the first time I see your comment, if it lands in Spam (as I happened to find THIS one) then usually I just flush the Spam… However, I don’t know if you took the time to REALLY read the article? I said I was printing the parent’s remarks “spelling goofs and all” as for cannon that is correct in the Caribbean, look up “The Free Dictionary” – you are so hung up on spelling that you forgot content… If you read these comments from 4 days ago, you see I suggested Non-Violent ways to handle the situation? Corporal Punishment is abuse in my books that’s my opinion and I am entitled to it the same way you support brutality.

    This website is not journalism, it is Social Media – it seeks to promote the Person on the Street’s view so your anally-retentive detailed point (xii) is Moot as that part of the item was carrying the concerned Parent’s view.

    In the end I don’t care if YOU are impressed, I want the right people tpo take note so this kind of travesty never happens again! Look at my comment from 8th March – there are ways to non-violently handle most infractions! It requires intelligence to exercise those options…

  24. I know I’m very late in commenting but I just happened to run across this article while on the Internet and believe me, I am shocked!
    I am a fifth form student at Queen’s College, which means that this incident occurred while I was at the school. This is even more surprising to me because not once have I ever heard anyone speak of this incident. Why is that? Did they try ever so hard to cover it up? Why try to hide the incident if nothing wrong was done? So many questions I have…
    Most people will talk about how “cool” Dr Browne is but believe me…he’s not “all that”. As far as I’m concerned, his cons outweigh his pros.


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