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Friday, May 27, 2005

Beating people makes them compliant! 

And we value compliance above all else, especially in the young. That seems to be the message from this case, simultaneously disturbing and bizarre (yet not without numerous precedents in New Zealand). A jury took 70 minutes to acquit a mother who "admitted giving her son 'six of the best' with a cane for misbehaving at school, and striking him three to four times with a horse whip". Again, good old s. 59 of the Crimes Act proves to be a successful defence for parents charged with assaulting their children.

The difficult child in question had allegedly damaged school property, and been assigned a punishment he refused to accept. The mother arrived, took him home to administer said thrashing, and then returned the boy to school, after which "he was more willing to get on with his punishment" according to the Deputy Principal. Really, you don't say? I think you'll find beating people - irrespective of their age - tends to make them compliant. But the old saying about ends and means springs to mind.

Let's save canes and horsewhips for consenting adults in interesting leather costumes, shall we?


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