15 FEBRUARY 1935, Page 18


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.] SIR,—Whenever the beating of children in schools is discussed, sooner or later someone comforts himself—as "An Ordinary Schoolmaster" does in your issue of February 8th—with the reflection that the punishment is generally inflicted on the hand.

It may be worth while to mention the reason for the popu- larity of this method. The only remedy open to the parents of an elementary school child who has been beaten is a sum- mons for assault in a Court of Summary Jurisdiction on the ground that the chastisement was excessive. Benches haw, one invariable criterion in deciding these cases—" Are there any marks ? " Caning on the hand leaves no marks, so that the slight curb which the law places on the exercise of pedagogic authority is evaded. Yet a considerable degree of torture is often inflicted, and in the case of terrified children it can