Gone are the days where school teachers could cane students without fear of any repercussions from parents.
A recent incident from Malaysia is an example of these changing times.
Parent vs teacher
In a viral video posted by Facebook page Heaven and Earth Entertainment, a woman can be seen scolding a teacher for caning her daughter:
The student supposedly called her teacher an “ah kua” (Hokkien slang for an effeminate man) in front of other students.
The teacher then caned the girl on her arms and legs as a form of punishment:
Mother felt the punishment was harsh
This infuriated the student’s mother, as she felt that the punishment was unnecessary and harsh. Here are some parts of the exchange between the student’s mother and her teacher.
Mother: You think you’re such a big teacher… Don’t do this. You used the cane to hit a child like this, look. You caned her until it turned out this way. As a teacher, you cannot do this. You already did something wrong. She was just talking to you, did she hit you? If she did hit you, then it’s fine if you hit her. Don’t be like this. You said you were angered? You can fight?
Teacher: But ma’am, did you ask her what she said to me?
Mother: Ah kua? But she already said sorry, right? Did she say sorry?
Teacher: Yes, once.
Mother: Once is not enough? How many times do you need her to say sorry?
Teacher: The problem is, why didn’t she say it immediately after I caned her? It was only after her friend said sorry then she said sorry. She called me the term in front of me, it’s okay if she said it behind my back.
The teacher then clarified that the student only apologised after the caning, and when her friend had told her to.
Malaysians rally around the teacher
But since the video went viral, most comments have been supportive of the school teacher.
They believe that students need to learn respect and be disciplined when they make a mistake:
Perhaps caning wasn’t necessary
However, there were also some who felt that the teacher should not have resorted to caning as mistakes are part and parcel of growing up and non-violent punishments are available:
According to The Star, a photo of the girl holding a police report, believed to have been lodged against the teacher, was circulated on social media.
In a separate article, The Star also reported that Malaysian Education Minister Maszlee Malik has instructed the Johor Baru District Education Office to investigate the matter.
Top image from Heaven and Earth Entertainment’s Facebook