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Rude Boys Got Whippings

By Angel Nuñez

This past week I heard a radio reporter commenting over national radio that children were swimming in the sea during the high wave action of Tropical Storm Matthew that was entering Belize. The reporter commented that the police was asking them to come out of the sea for their own safety but that the kids paid no heed and even swam deeper into the sea while laughing at the police officers.

At home I commented: “This would not have happened twenty five years ago when I was a kid in San Pedro. Actually that would have been fifty years ago to be more exact. The policeman would have taken out his whip or use a small stick to whip the child and then take him home and report the case to the parents who would probably give the rude kid another lashing. Lashing of kids was done by uncles, grandparents and even responsible caring adults who would then take the child home sand report the matter to the parents. Of course there were lots of mischief that kids did like breaking bottles in the street or in the dump site, fishing frigate bird with their fishing lines and the like.

When a police officer spoke to a kid, he was afraid and immediately stopped whatever mischief he was doing. But there came all these laws about child abuse and protection of the child and children rights, which is all good. Don’t misinterpret me, these laws to protect children are good, but then what about the rude children? Who disciplines them and how? Teachers cannot lash in school or they are in big trouble, so the kids take some teachers as their laughing stock and take advantage of other children and teachers alike.

Oh yes sir, I was brought up in the days when teachers would give any child a good lashing for mischievous acts. Of course they also talked to the children, but those who failed to listen were made to feel. No wonder children were more disciplined, more mannerly, more respectful and better behaved twenty five years ago. In Belize City there was this much respected officer named Tablada who commanded respect of all citizens. He would whip anybody who was out of order in the ticket line going into the majestic or Palace or Eden Cinemas. He would whip children, men and women. Everybody walked straight when Officer Tablada was around.

Here’s an interesting note and a short anecdote. Do you know who was responsible for whipping rude students at St. John’s College in the 1950’s? It was the late Reverend Father Raszkowski, who was also our parish priest for over 40 years. He was the disciplinarian at SJC and whipping was abolished around 1962 just when I started high school there. It was the same time the teaching of Latin was abolished. I can recall the last lashing I got in primary school in 1959. It was recess time and a whole bunch of R.C. boys playing softball started throwing away the balls of the Adventist School kids whose school was only 200feet away. Suddenly some of our group started hurling stones and accidentally hit one of the glass windows of the Adventist school. Oh, yes, we knew it and we got it. Each kid received six cuts with a wet rope from our principal. If I am not mistaken it was either Manuel Cuellar or Reymundo Cuellar who was our school principal.

So now you understand why children respected and obeyed all police officers and teachers twenty five years ago.

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