Sir,-The recent allocution to
school teachers by our Holy welcomed by many Irish parents
and should be studied by every parent and teacher in this country.
Such words of wisdom arc not to he lightly put aside on the usual pretext that " he was not referring to us." When he clearly states " too much severity ends by transforming the strong characters into rebels and the timid ones into dejected and reserved people" it would seem that he is fully aware that too much severity by school teachers is responsible for producing either delinquent or neurotic problem children.
In view of these solemn words of warning by our Holy Father it is apparent that there is now an urgent need for investigation of the widespread practice of inflicting corporal punishment on young Catholic children attending Primary schools in all countries.
am confident that were a representativebody of Ecclesiastical Authorities, instructed and directed by our Holy Father, to undertake this onerous task they would achieve a uniformity of Catholic teaching that would assure that future generations would be educated in the true Spirit of Christ and in conformity with our Holy Father's directions.
It is lamentable that a few weeks ago in Catholic Ireland a Mntion in the Senate asking for the abolition of the physical punishment of young girls (aged 4-14 years) in our National schools was treated with such contempt that it was not even debated and was defeated as General Mulcahy, our Minister for Education, refused to even consider altering the existing Regulations. He stated that we had a tradition of discipline and correction in our schools that was based
on years and years of experience of thousands of school-managers and teachers. Surety it would be more in keeping with Catholic Tradition to accept the wisdom of our Holy Father in preference to the wishes of our school-managers and teachers?
Our Holy Father also has emphasised the need of gentleness and reasonableness in school so that children are led by love and persuaded by reason, How could this possibly be construed as giving school teachers licence to heat our young children into rebellion or submission instead of educating them in a Christ-like manner?
Constance O'Connell, Secretary,
School-Children's Protection Organisation, 19, Lincoln Place, Dublin.