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The teacher and preacher

Carl Moore

The teacher and preacher

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Two recent responses to the perennial and seemingly enjoyable pastime of flogging children – and sometimes our women – evoked both amusement and amazement.

Amusement – from a senior school teacher who promised: “We’re hoping as time goes by, to eradicate completely the use of any sort or any form of corporal punishment.”

As usual, in our Barbadian way, he wants to put it off. He’s “hoping” to eradicate it, but not starting now – “as time goes by”. So he will continue flogging.

Amazement – from a priest who is also a psychologist, admitting he is probably one of the few such professionals who still supports flogging children. He intones: “I do not support flogging a child in anger.”

Not being a psychologist, I struggle to imagine how any type of flogging – except in sadomasochism – can be administered other than in anger. If it’s not going to be in anger, isn’t it reasonable for the untrained citizen to think that it’s a form of enjoyment?

The priest and the teacher should consider themselves lucky not to have been pupils at Giles Boys’ School when I was there in the 1940s and 1950s. Boys were mauled . . . and teachers enjoyed it.

We’re stuck with this backward form of modern-day barbarism that would make Atilla The Hun pleased and assured that his legacy is intact.

So Barbadians can sing along with the teacher and the preacher for the next 220 years: A kiss is still a kiss; a flogging is still a flogging; the fundamental things apply, “as time goes by”.