The Children's Commissioner for Wales isn't very happy about the fact that Westminster has stopped the National Assembly from outlawing the physical chastisement of children in Wales. Quite right too. Members elected by the people of Wales should be allowed to decide upon this issue. I can't understand the logic that says that politicians in Westminster are more competent to decide how hard Welsh children are thrashed than politicians in the Bay.
If the competence is passed down to the Assembly, members of all parties have agreed that physical chastisement should be abolished in Wales.
I understand the arguments against the physical punishment of children, but Helen Mary made a point on Question Time last night that makes me wonder if the arguments are as child friendly as they might appear.
In response to a question about the increase in the number of girls gaining criminal records, Helen suggested that girls' behaviour wasn't worse now than it had ever been, it is just that issues that might previously have been dealt with within schools are now being reported to the police.
Isn't this a direct result of teachers and parents being denied the ability to chastise children?
If I had hit a fellow pupil when I was in school, I would have been caned by the headmaster. If my son hits a classmate he will be charged with assault, taken to court and have a criminal record for the rest of his life. Whatever the rights or wrongs of corporal punishment, given the choice, I would prefer the cane!
I know from bitter experience that when Mr Evans (my headmaster) caned a boy he couldn't sit in comfort for a week and a half, but surely that is less cruel than being condemned as a criminal for the whole of ones life.