How a magistrate would deal with refractory boys.

Daily Mail, London, 9 August 1902, p.3

Art of caning.

How a magistrate would deal with refractory boys.

 

Mr. Paul Taylor, the magistrate at Southwark, gave his views on the treatment of refractory boys yesterday when a lad of thirteen was brought before him charged with being beyond the control of his parents.

The father, delicate and without his left arm, told Mr. Taylor how the boy was beyond him. His son’s last exploit, he said, was to steal his mother’s purse and to hit her on the head with a hammer.

The prisoner protested with sobs that he was only looking in the purse to see what it contained, and that the hammer incident was accidental, being due to the fact that his mother came behind him when he was swinging the hammer over his shoulder to drive in a nail.

The father produced a letter from the master of a Board school. The Magistrate: This is a very admirable and sensible letter. It says:

Mr. Webb thrashed your boy for misbehaviour, and ten minutes afterwards he ran out of school and climbed over the wall. I shall not have him here again until his father has thrashed him, and if he will bring him up here I will lend him a cane.

Did you accept that offer? — No. The School Board officer put him in another school.

Why didn’t you do as the schoolmaster advised you? Have you ever caned the boy? — Yes, several times.

When was the last occasion? In my time boys were caned frequently. — About ten weeks ago. I used a little halfpenny cane; I did not hurt him.

What is the good of caning him if you don’t hurt him? The way that boys are managed is by hurting them when they do wrong. Give him a good caning.

The boy then departed with his father, considerably awed by the magistrate’s views of what should overtake boys who did wrong.