Tuesday, March 31, 2009

'Six of the Best' for Incorrigible Students in Queensland -- Coming Soon to a 'Consensual Living' Rehab School Near You

I went to a Catholic high school in the 1970s. This brings back memories.

THE cane is still being wielded at some Queensland schools where parents sign legal waivers to give teachers the power to hit their children.

The corporal punishment option is offered at some of the state's fastest-growing independent schools as part of their strict behaviour management strategies.


Bundaberg Christian College principal Mark Bensley said corporal punishment had become a drawcard for some parents because of a "lack of boundaries" at other schools.

"A growing number of parents come to our school and say the school got their attention because it uses the paddle," Mr Bensley said.

"If they choose to not sign it (the waiver), they are not refused enrolment. But a very significant majority of parents sign because they like that we understand the need for boundaries, fairness and consistency."

Mr Bensley said the plastic paddle - shaped like a table-tennis bat - was a "last resort" when suspensions, detentions and warnings had failed.

The school, which has 600 students in Prep to Year 12, gave the paddle 10 times last year and seven times in 2007, he said.


I suspect that if this "consensual living" approach to neo-progressive, touchy-feely parenting ever catches on, we'll be needing a lot more of these corporal punishment schools in the near future.

In the consensual living model, father doesn't know best. Neither does mom. Instead, parents and children are equal partners in family life, according to the principles laid out at consensual-living.com.

Founded in 2006 by a group of families in North Carolina, consensual living is gaining ground in alternative parenting communities and online, including a Yahoo group with about 900 members.

Devotees study books such as Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn and Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication, and they consider parenting based on punishment and reward structures to be "coercive."

In contrast, "consensual" parenting is non-hierarchical.

And when these future spoiled brats have trouble adjusting to a world where everybody doesn't value their opinions all the time:

-- "You've gotta help us, Teach'. We've tried nothing, and we're all out of ideas."

Savannah? Kiernen? Meet the "board of education"!

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