A young boy dies after allegedly being beaten up in school. Is it high time that corporal punishment in schools be banned?
An 11-year-old boy in Malaysia has just lost his life after enduring much suffering.
Complications from allegedly being beaten up in school
According to Channel NewsAsia, Mohamad Thaqif Amin died on Wednesday, April 26, from complications that apparently arose out of being beaten up by an assistant warden at a Johor religious school.
Little Thaqif went through much pain; he had to have both his legs amputated last week due to an infection, following the alleged abuse at a private Islamic boarding school in Kota Tinggi. Doctors were forced to amputate his legs to prevent the infection from spreading to tissues and blood cells in his body.
Thaqif however, did not recover, he slipped into a coma. It was later found out that his arm would also have to be amputated, and that his right hand had turned black due to a bacterial infection and blood clots had started to form on his left shoulder. The procedure however, never took place because his heart rate and condition were not stable.
Young life cut short
A young life has just been cut short due to an apparently reckless act of abuse. According to The Straits Times, Thaqif’s mum has claimed that in March, he was beaten up in school several times on both legs, with a water hose.
It has also been reported that the assistant warden has been detained and is being investigated under the Child Protection Act 2001. It has also emerged that the suspect was an ex-convict, who had previously been jailed for theft.
It is a huge and tragic loss for this family, and Thaqif’s father Mohamad Gaddafi Mat Karim has been quoted by Channel NewsAsia as saying, “I hope everyone prays for my son.”
Our prayers are with little Thaqif. We hope this family finds the strength to deal with their loss. May justice be served.
Call for ban on corporal punishment in schools
The incident has put the spotlight on punishment in schools, with the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) putting pressure on Malaysia to ban corporal punishment in schools.
The Unicef representative in Malaysia, Ms Marianne Clark-Hattingh has been quoted by Today as saying that the boy’s death was a “stark reminder of the negative consequences of corporal punishment and violence as a form of discipline”.
According to Wikipedia, school corporal punishment is no longer practised in any European country. In fact, by 2015, most developed countries had abolished the practice, with the exception of some parts of the United States, some Australian states, and Singapore.
In Singapore it is also not uncommon for parents to cane their kids, claiming that there is a thin line between discipline and abuse, and as long as caning is done the ‘right way’, there is no harm.
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