Some kids really do need a good punch in the face. I’m not talking about a punch from an adult (although if they’re teenagers it might be okay), but from their peers.
I teach martial arts to kids, and the first thing that I teach them is that I’m not teaching them fight, I’m teaching them to defend themselves. There is a fundamental difference between the two. No-one has the right to attack someone else. Everyone has the right to defend themselves, or anyone else, from an attack.
Unfortunately, most schools emphasise non-violence so much that they rob children of the right to defend themselves. Actually, they rob the children who are raised decently, by morally conscientious parents, of the right to defend themselves, because those that aren’t decent really don’t care if they suffer the wrath of their teacher. Henceforth we shall call her Mrs Toosweet.
What this leads to is the nice kids adhering to the rules, and being hurt. What this leads to is the rough kids hurting whomever they like and being ‘punished’ by having Mrs Toosweet verbally admonish them, probably whilst simpering all the time, and worrying about whether his parents would come into the school and kick her head in.
Case in point. My daughter has a small scab from where some little lad – let’s call him Toerag – thought it would be fun to stab her with a freshly sharpened pencil. Very fucking funny. Not. It doesn’t matter that the scab is small. It doesn’t matter that she wasn’t seriously hurt (thank God). It does matter that apparently Toerag had none of the normal social awareness or moral upbringing that told him ‘Stabbing people with sharp pencils is BAD!’
When I asked her whether she hit him back she said no, because she didn’t want to get into trouble.
Now, I’m sorry, but a stern talking to from Mrs Toosweet is going to have little effect on Toerag. He might cry a little at the time, and have to miss out on getting Mr Cuddles, the cuddly bear, during story time, but that’s it.
However, I firmly believe that if my daughter had smacked him in the face, no matter how hard, that consequence would remain in his mind for much longer. At the very least it would make him think twice about trying anything on my daughter. That, for me, is a result.
So, whilst I applaud the educational system for trying to stop violence, I think that they need to teach children the difference between attacking someone and self-defence. Turning the other cheek just means that that cheek will get hit instead, and that all the other Toerags of the world will see that they can get away with pretty much anything they want.