After a video clip of a mother berating a school teacher over the caning of her daughter went viral, netizens have been left debating who was in the wrong.
In the widely circulated clip, the off-camera mother can be heard expressing her displeasure to the teacher, who she refers to as cikgu besar (a term used for the school headmaster or a senior teacher), saying that his disciplinary measure left bruises on her arms and her legs.
The two-minute, 28-second clip shows the male teacher in plain view, and also shows the high school student from the neck down, while the mother speaks to the teacher in Malay.
“Why did you do this?”
“Don’t talk like this. You cannot cane her like this. As a teacher, you cannot do this. You are wrong,” she says.
“She only said things to you. She did not hit you, did she,” she continued.
“If she did, then it’s fine (for you to hit her back). Don’t be like this,” adding that she was surprised that he used such tactics to teach children.
Caning is still allowed in Malaysian schools, but is limited to male students only, and is regulated by codes put in place by the Education Regulations 2006. One of these points includes the need to inform the parent(s) before any punishment is meted out, and that the strokes must be made on parts of the body that are covered by clothing, or the student’s hand.
Unmoved by the mother’s argument, the teacher then asks her if she is aware of what the girl said, to which the mother confirms that her daughter called the teacher effeminate, using a pejorative term for transgender.
The senior school official then highlights that she only apologized after her beating, and at the insistence of her classmates.
Moved by emotion that a grown-assed man resorted to caning a teenage girl because she insulted his sense of masculinity? (For the record, any kind of derogatory term for our friends in the LGBTQ+ community is a hard NOPE from us). Well, a lot of Malaysian netizens weren’t, and agreed that the teacher was giving the student another type of life lesson.
However, there were some that agreed with the mother, and called caning outdated, cruel, and questioned its place in an educational institution.
Right. Let’s get our best Judge Judy face on and give a ruling: We’ve mentioned it’s a hard NO to undermining our LGBTQ+ friends, but it’s also a hard no when it comes to caning a teen over being a mouthy jerk. There are other ways to explain why something is wrong, and let’s start with the obvious: Violence isn’t going to do that.
Sensitivity training for all.
Gavel, gavel, gavel.