Jamaica’s Minister of Education, Youth and Information Senator Ruel Reid has called for a cultural shift to eliminate the practice of corporal punishment in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.
“Corporal punishment is so entrenched in our culture and interwoven in our society that it has been accepted as a norm for many families and at a point in time in our schools. We have been able to repel that in large measure,” he said as he addressed the closing ceremony of the second Regional Caribbean Conference of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN).
“I join the Prime Minister, the National Parenting Support Commission and, of course, the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect in calling for a shift in culture and discontinuing the practice of corporal punishment in our region.”
According to Senator Reid, parents and caregivers must employ “permissible ways” to discipline children, rather than resorting to physical and verbal abuse, which he said, have long-lasting psychological effects.
“In many cases, violence begets violence. The cycle cannot be allowed to continue,” he underscored according to a report by Caribbean 360 News.
The Minister noted that laws are being strengthened to protect children from corporal punishment and other acts of violence.
He also restated the Government’s commitment to ban corporal punishment in schools, and issued a reminder to teachers that an executive directive is in place prohibiting the act.