A Barbadian criminologist is not in favour of a suggested ban on corporal punishment in schools.

Director of the Criminal Justice Research and Planning Unit, Cheryl Willoughby told the online media house Barbados TODAY that flogging should not be ruled out as a form of discipline, challenging opponents who claimed it has failed to work.

Her comments came against the backdrop of an incident at a public secondary school involving a 15-year-old male student who allegedly smashed the window of a teacher’s car with a rock.

Willoughby did not advocate the use of corporal punishment in that case in particular, but stressed that appropriate discipline should be administered according to the circumstances.

The expert however cautioned authorities not to rush to abandon the practice to keep up with steps in developed countries without analyzing other options.

Education Minister Ronald Jones has already publicly declared the practice as “abuse”, suggesting that those who flog children should be thrown in jail.

His position has, however, drawn concern from the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union President Mary Redman who maintained that violence in schools remains a major problem and the ministry’s approach to discipline had failed.



  1. Miss Willoughby and Miss Redman are absolutely correct to insist that Corporal Punishment should be retained. I personally benefitted from a sound caning on my bare buttocks at the age of 12 after I had made some rude and indecent comments about my headmistress to some girls in my class. They were assembled to witness her thrash my bottom severely. My conduct improved markedly after my deserved and properly administered punishment. I feel the same outcome might be achieved if boys are subject to discipline of this kind at that early stage in their development as the psychological impact is to reinforce authority and (quite rightly) humiliate the recipient.


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