Today’s Editorial December 20: Discipline begins in the home

Spare the rod and spoil the child.

Anyone who doesn’t believe that adage before now need only take a look at many of today’s children.

The problem with discipline – or lack thereof – has gotten so bad that Minister of Education Alden McLaughlin has become alarmed.

He plans to come up with a new policy that will address security and discipline at Government schools.

Corporal punishment is no longer an option as a way of enforcing rules at schools, so the minister and educators must come up with more creative ways to instil discipline.

Back in the days when corporal punishment was in place, children didn’t worry about the punishment at school as much as they did about the punishment they were going to get when they got home.

Back then most parents were behind educators.

Educators knew then and now that discipline doesn’t begin at school, it starts at home.

If children aren’t taught to respect others and behave they’ll never be able to function properly in society.

The minister’s words of warning came on the heels of a police report last week that reported two 13-year-old students were almost robbed at knifepoint while on Government school grounds.

A 17-year-old who did not attend the school was later arrested.

Why was this 17-year-old not in school? Whose responsibility was it to see that he stayed out of trouble?

Are we creating a generation of lost children who go undisciplined and who will turn to violence and crime to survive when they can’t get jobs in society?

Without corporal punishment educators are forced to suspend students who, more often than not, spend their time out of school in front of a television or computer or turn to crime.

Many parents complain about the education system in the Cayman Islands, but few are doing anything to help.

A good way to start is by making sure that your child is grounded, disciplined and is taught respect for self and others at home before sending them off to school to get an education.

Students are the future of the Cayman Islands.

Those who live and work in a polite society expect respect and discipline.

If we don’t start teaching our children the right ways now, there may be no future for Cayman or Caymanians.

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