What would Vera Percy say now?

Mike Dodgson

Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 6:06 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 6:12 am
Punishment from Victorian times dished out by teacher

Marchwood, S6

A new study warns that the smacking of your children will turn them into anti-social adults, affecting behaviour in later life and changes should be made a top priority.

The life-long writer to The Star, the late Vera Percy, wrote a letter entitled "Naked flesh to smack" just before her loss of sight. Vera was caught and given a good thrashing by a shop keeper for stealing a bar of chocolate and got another thrashing from her mother. Vera stated that she never stole again. This was in the time just before World War 2 when her father's punishments used a leather strap. Vera had three sons and she wrote that short trousers, worn up to 11-12 years old, ensured plenty of flesh to be smacked. Both Vera and husband never used a stick or belt. Vera wrote, "Some parents do not realise that a child is for life". She went on to say parents should know what their children are doing and share in their interests. What would Vera say now? I met Vera's family and encountered people that you could happily associate with and meet more often. A credit to Vera, her three sons and grandchildren.

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As a pupil back in 1955, I was thrashed to almost unconsciousness by a bullying maths teacher for whispering an answer to a terrified school mate sat at the side of me. Just a fictional badge of honour followed as did improvements in wisdom and discipline. I would never advocate a return to physical punishment(s) in our schools, but I do feel that the support for our teachers has got to start improving with the appropriate understanding from parents.

It would appear that once again too many parents and guardians are being questioned, if not penalised, because of the few who will probably never change their attitudes towards improving behaviour in society, and in too many cases teachers become their first targets.

It's hard to believe that today there is still a smacking problem and further that this requires top priority. In view of all the violence, disrespect and greed, etc., my question would be, "Where did it all go wrong?". Let us make another start with top priority to help our teachers more and make available more establishments for outdoor interests and activities, short of bringing back National Service for both boys and girls.