Singapore—Claire Kang filed a police report on September 3, Tuesday, after her 12-year-old son came home with welts, reportedly from a caning administered by the discipline headmistress of the school he attends, on his arms and legs.
The boy had allegedly been caned the same day at his primary school, said to be located in the north-eastern part of the country.
The police, who confirmed they received the report in Lorong Chuan on September 3, is now investigating the case involving Ms Kang’s son, as one of voluntarily causing hurt. A report in Shin Min Daily News said the police removed a meter-long rattan cane from the premises of the school as evidence.
According to Mrs Kang, her son and another boy from his class received the caning from the discipline headmistress without the parent’s knowledge. This is outside the proper procedures that had been set by the Ministry of Education (MOE).
Mrs Kang has also reported the incident to the Ministry.
She told The Straits Times (ST) that her son and the other boy had earlier gotten into a fight, which is why they were called to a school conference room. There, the discipline headmistress allegedly scolded and caned the two boys.
She and her husband were summoned to the school because of the flight between the boys. She told The New Paper (TNP) “When I arrived at the school, I spoke to my son’s form teacher and the discipline master first, and neither mentioned that my son had been caned.
Later, when we were about to take my son home, my husband noticed the marks on his arms and legs.”
When she asked the disciple headmistress about the welts on her son’s body, the teacher said she had only “tapped” the boys as a warning.
The mother added, “I was so heartbroken and angry that my mind was a blank. Even I do not use a cane on my children.
I would have been less upset if they had told me beforehand, so I could have had time to mentally prepare myself to see the wounds.”
She also said that the caning made her son cry and that when her husband noticed the red welts on their son’s arms and legs, he extracted the story from the boy.
”The police requested my son to demonstrate how he was being caned… He is traumatized by the caning incident and is unwilling to go to school. Is this how my son should be treated in school?” Mrs Kang told ST.
The boy is scheduled to taking his Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) in around a month’s time.
MOE acknowledged it had learned of the situation by Wednesday, but chose not to comment on the incident.
A spokesman for the ministry said, “In deciding the best approach, schools will consider the circumstances of the case, including the age of the student, severity of the student’s actions, and whether offences have been repeated.”
The boy’s school also said that it could not comment on the incident, due to the ongoing investigation by the police./ TISG