Public flogging of students degrades Barbados

Dr. Victor Agard would have made an excellent Negro Overseer

Dr. Victor Agard would have made an excellent plantation field boss

St. Leonard’s Boys’ School senior teacher whips students for lateness

One would think that teachers in a nation that was built upon a foundation of whips, chains, rape and cultural genocide might view the public flogging of students as unacceptable in the year 2009.

We are disgusted with the actions of Dr. Victor Agard and moreover with the educational system and society that permits this outrage. Those educators who constantly run on about how the legacy of slavery still impacts our society today would do well to look in the mirror. They would also do well to look at some historical images of slaves being flogged to note how many of those wielding the whips are slaves themselves.

As for Dr. Agard, he should be aware that upon viewing a photo of him whipping their son, many fathers would be of a mind to have a quiet little chat with the teacher and provide him with some advice.

(Photo from Nation News: Getting licks for lateness)

For those who believe there should be a “debate” about the issue, feel free to do so – but at BFP we won’t be joining in. Once again we turn to our friend Dennis Jones at Living In Barbados blog who wrote much of what we would say in his excellent piece Flogging is a form of torture. Don’t pretend that it is otherwise.

And finally for perspective, let’s look at some other people today and in the past who, like Dr. Agard, believe that the flogging is appropriate, whether in public or private.

If the shoe fits…

whipped slaves


Filed under Africa, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Ethics, Human Rights, Slavery

72 responses to “Public flogging of students degrades Barbados

  1. permres

    Many thanks, BFP, for this thread. What a pity it does not get wider circulation! This criminal behaviour in Barbados has got to stop. This teacher deserves a reprimand, if not a suspension.

    Credit to those students who refused to go through the gates! Years gone by they would have hidden in the canefields, and I do not blame them!
    I can only guess that the ones who did go through possibly enjoyed the exposure, and will now make a considerable play on their ‘macho’ demeanour.

    When they grow up, women beware!

  2. Hants

    This case is particularly offensive because it was a mass flogging of children for being late.

    Also the floggings took place at a School entrance in clear view of the public.

    This barbaric practise of public flogging is not normal in Barbados and our foreign bloggers need to know that.

    and here in Canada….

    BARRIE, Ont. — A Barrie high school teacher has been charged after allegedly slapping one of her students.

    Barrie police Sgt. Robert Allan said the charge stems from a “gum-chewing incident,” although few other details, including the gender of the alleged victim, were released.

  3. Huh?

    Hants, you make it sound like it is the public part of flogging that is barbaric, while private flogging by a teacher is ok.

    Is that your view?

  4. permres

    “This barbaric practise of public flogging is not normal in Barbados and our foreign bloggers need to know that.”

    Well, we hope not, Hants, hence my call for the suspension of the teacher concerned. The subsequent enquiry then needs to be made totally public.

  5. permres

    Unfortunately, Huh?, corporal punishment is still legal in Barbados. However, it is incidents like these which will eventually lead to its demise, as it did in the UK, in my experience.

    If this teacher ultimately gets the sack (as I think he should), then this will lend credence to the abolition of CP. Whether Hants thinks its OK to beat children in private, or not, becomes irrelevent, I think.

  6. Lp

    “We are disgusted with the actions of Dr. Victor Agard”

    I agree.

  7. Hope Springs Eternal

    Wait, my eyes not suh good. That “teacher” Agard got long locks and a wooly beard? His students supposed tuh have respect fuh he?

  8. Hants

    @ Huh?

    Let me be pellucid.

    I am totally opposed to beating children. PERIOD.

    The point I was making is that beating or flogging in public adds to the humiliation and degradation of the person being beaten.

    Flogging should be banned in all schools. It is a barbaric practice.

  9. Hants

    @ Hope Springs Eternal

    If the locks are indicative of the Teacher’s religion and its practices, he can still be respected.

    They use a herbaceous sacrament.

    Christians drink wine.

  10. love

    Dennis Jones,

    Can we FLOG Gline Clarke , Liz Thompson and Reginald Farley as well for the MESS they created and left at NHC……as revealed by the Auditor General’s Special Audit ??

    That would be……TRANSPARENT…eh !

  11. politicians not children

    Many of the bloggers on this site will be old enough to remember when caning or flogging was a daily occurrence and punishment for bad behaviour.

    Very few of us will think that we did not deserve it or that we were emotionally scarred by such acts but times have changed to other forms of discipline as being more acceptable, such as time outs, being sent home etc.

    That being said, I think I am all in favour of the public
    flogging of politicians who continue to steal public monies through various means or do not strive to get value for every dollar paid by taxpayers, or continue to fail to implement full integrity and transparency legislation.

    The number of politicians that fit this bill would necessitate many shifts and several town criers to call
    the publics attention to these events. Given some recent photos of our politicians, the canes will need to be extra large.

    Like public hangings of the 19th century and before these public events of shaming could draw thousands and could be an excellent source of helping to reduce Barbados debt and instill in citizens, especially children, the difference between right and wrong.

  12. Hants

    Whatever happened to punishment like at Kolij in the 60s when we had to spend an hour in detention writing lines?

    or writing 2 page essays on why you did what you did when you did it?

  13. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    @love, while I do not personally approve of flogging, I ask the question on my blog today why flogging is sanctioned for small children but not for those who have left school, go to university, are in the work place, trangress traffic laws, etc. See Lashings of good things (

    I see that ‘politicians not children’ has suggested flogging politicians. Consistency has a lot going for it. I recall issues last year about non-attendance at Parliament or being late, and wonder if indeed it may not be flogging a dead horse to think if the right sanctions are applied to politicians. The current government members and MPs would also have to be ready to be beaten not just at the polls but with the rod if they transgress. THAT would be transparent.

  14. Crusoe

    Beating has no rewards. Many of the hard back fellas at school were not scared in the least of flogging. It merely made them harder.

    For lateness, the best solution is a requirement for the parents having to come in to explain the child’s tardiness.

    You think any parent is going to be happy about having to leave work, to go to the school, particularly if repetitive.


    For other infractions, lines or essay writing are good. If not done or if the infraction is worse, then simple suspension is the only solution.

  15. Sargeant

    Ah, the good educator is described as “Dr. Victor Agard” I wonder what his thesis was about, I know that it couldn’t have been titled “Discipline in Education: A progressive approach”.

    As to the locks etc. He looks like he would get some “licks” from the Shadow Minister of Education (Farley) unless of course the hair was related to his religion. (LOL)

  16. It’s all about control and people in high places love Power and Control .They love to go after the people who are defenseless whether child or adult and the poor.

  17. Hope Springs Eternal

    “If the locks are indicative of the Teacher’s religion and its practices, he can still be respected.

    They use a herbaceous sacrament.

    Christians drink wine.”

    Hants, the same as I would not like a “teacher” instructing my child while under the influence of herb, I would not like a drunken teacher instructing my child. What is your point or do you have one?
    Teachers are supposed to be role models to our youngsters. This man’s chosen personal appearance is not the role model that most parents would want for their children.

  18. American Girl

    Wow! I wonder what the parents of these children think about this treatment of their kids? Are they ok with it? Is there no public outcry from the parents? This type of treatment in the school would NOT be tolerated here in the U.S. When I was in elementary, it was acceptable for a teacher to slap the back side or hand of a child with a yard stick, but never an all out ass-whipping. And nowadays, there would be a gang of parents headed straight to the Board of Education to have charges brought against that teacher and would demand that teacher be fired. And this would be the more civil approach by some parents I know. I don’t even want to think about the alternative. This situation is truly an outrage. I’m not a parent, but I do have nieces and nephews, and if something like this ever happened to them, I SWEAR I would be going to jail.

  19. Chicharron

    It appears that none of you have ever taught in a Barbadian school. I support the teacher, cut their tails. If school starts at 7:50 why are they waltzing through the gate at 10 am without a valid excuse?? Somebody needs to instill discipline in children. If they cannot follow simple rules like gettin dum bums 2 school on time, do you think that they will be able to follow other rules when they get older? Then when we are old and grey we are going to be asking how the youth get so disgusting. As we say in Bim, dem aint put themselves so. If we as adults dont put them right in the little things, we cannot correct them when they graduate to bigger things and we are going to be forever building prisons,living in houses wid ten tonnes of burglar bars and frighten as france 2 go outside after 7 pm. If you let them slide with one school rule, they will break others, children are always testing adults to see what they can get away with. I agree with the the school cut them ass. School children aint got no right being late for sch, them does be bout the place loitering and getting into trouble (drugs, sex, bullying…). I rather their principal or a senior teacher cut them tail than some random person on the street or the police. Ya know what, we does dont want the teachers to beat them when they are small and when they get older the police does whup dum tails in the station and it dont be 2 slaps wid a bamboo cross their behinds!! When a child late for school constantly, more often than not, the child is up to no good. The sch kids themselves would tell you why so and so cant get to sch early and it does be true. Lil sch girls that kneel down fa anything, boys that bending over or peddling drugs so that them can flash all the money at lunch time, somebody got to cut them ass and show them there is a better way. Spare the rod an spoil the child. Children spend most of their time at school, as long as the teacher is being fair, I say punish them. If more schools would cut these lil people tail, ya wont got so much teenage pregnancies. I know a sch girl, she always absent from school and all the school do is report it to the Ministry and when the ministry call she house, the sch girl answer the phone and tell the people from the ministry that does be sick. If de principal a that sch did cut she tail, instead a carrying home a baby to she muddah she wudda carry home a CXC or 2!! I dont care how barbaric ya all think it is but that is one of the reasons that we can feel safe in Bim and we do not have societies like Jamaica and Trinidad where there is no respect for law and order. If somebody had cut them tails and set them right when they were going to school, they would probably have more orderly societies. We have to be realistic and if it takes tough love to deal with deviant youth well so be it!! If it means that there will be a few more boys who walk the straight and narrow because of a flogging, I say job well done St. Leonards!! You are asking why we cant whip sticky-fingered politicians, the answer is because somebody neglected to whup their behinds when they were in school.

  20. Chicharron

    Some of you are mixing up punishment and discipline there are two separate things. When you are late for school and a teacher and or principal says to you listen child you are supposed to at school at X time because that is the time that school starts that is discipline. When the child refuses to adher to the discipline that is when they are punished ie detention, flogging, time out etc… If some of you will go and teach you would understand the literal daily battles that teachers go through with some of these children, especially the ones that have no broughtupcy!!

    Ya all will have to be really silly to believe that sending home a child works, they are happy to be sent home because it is a mini vacation and they have the whole day to do nonsense and get into trouble. Maybe and in school suspension might get the message acrooss but nothing does it better than a good cut tail. After the first one, they dont want another. How do you think teachers feel when a 14 year old is walking around with her bag over her stomach to hide her growing stomach?? How do you think teachers feel when the police comes to the school to pick up one of their students for theft or drugs?? How do you think teachers feel when they see their students in places they are not supposed to be when they should be on their way to school or home?? It is not a pleasant feeling, the same way that parents want the best for their kids, teachers want the best for their students. If it means that somebody has to take up a strap or a bamboo so be it. I rather that than having a student go to Dodds later in life because somebody did not correct him when he made a mistake in his youth. If they would put some corporal punishment (bamboo or a good belt) up at Dodds instead of having them getting fat off if my taxes, a lot less persons would run afoul of the law.

  21. Trudatz

    As one who supports the retention of flogging in schools, this sort of display is very disturbing.
    I have always believed that school children, whether primary or secondary, should never be flogged for their inability to grasp concepts in Maths, English etc., or for their punctuality.
    I support the use of corporal punishment in schools for those things that fall outside the law in the “real world” when students leave school, namely abusive language and violent or disorderly conduct.
    I regret that this will likely do damage for those persons like me who believe that it still has a place in our schools.

  22. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    @Trudatz, in trying to understand any rationale for ‘retention of flogging in schools’, why is this a role given to teachers? What makes them special? Why not the sports coach, the music master, etc. or whoever is helping children to learn? Why not anyone (let’s say adult) who witnesses ‘those things that fall outside the law in the “real world” when students leave school, namely abusive language and violent or disorderly conduct’? Such as the store keeper, etc.? I’m trying to make sense of the thinking.

  23. Trudatz

    @Dennis Jones. What you are either failing or refusing to acknowledge is that for the most part from the primary to the secondary level (perhaps with the exception of the six form schools where some of them are actually age 16+)these are CHILDREN, not adults.
    Just as you would discipline your child or your children in the home by flogging or whatever method can be utilised “within reason”, it is not unreasonable for the schools to have that “power” as well, since most children cumulatively spend the majority of their lives in school.
    Your rant about flogging workers, politicians etc is a non-issue because in the “real world” as I said before, all of us 16-years and older adults are responsible for our own actions. When we overstep reasonable boundaries, the chaps in blue and grey with the handcuffs are there to bring us back to reality, in conjunction with the prison system.
    The removal of corporal punishments from several schools across the United States has borne its bitter fruit of increased violence, the utilization of metal detectors etc…I never want to see that in Barbados.
    Finally, since many of us are guilty of having the schools raise our children these days, then what better institution than that to discipline them.
    I pray that this Dr. Agard is an anomaly in the system because I readily agree that he has overstepped in this instance.

  24. littleboy

    You are obviously unaware of the REAL causes of crime. Being tardy is certainly not one of them. That knotty hair herb smoker is the one that is mal-adjusted. I hope to God that the parents of the children take him before the court.
    At my primary school the most flogged were the ones who ended up in prison. We had some brutal old demons that terrorised children because they “would not learn”, but in most cases it was the poor people’s children that were singled out.
    How come St Winifreds and St Gabriels and the Ursuline Convent do not practise that brutality?
    I will tell you…it is because the children of the “elite’ go there. We are still “enjoying” child brutality…and that is sick,sick,SICK.
    Agard is a sick brute!!! Prison is too good for him, and the Nation photographer is only the messenger

  25. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    @Trudatz, there was no ranting, I asked some questions. I do not discipline my children with flogging and they have never transgressed in any serious way: no violent conduct, no profane language, no abusive attitude towards authority at home or outside, and they have always been good students.

    There are fewer policemen around to deal with transgressors than there are teachers, so your faith in leaving it to the chaps in blue and grey is misplaced. In fact, if you look around, and listen, and read, you will see in Barbados that transgressions beyond ‘reasonable boundaries’ are going on aplenty by the adult community with no sanction. There are many more unsolved than solved crimes.

    But as I asked, explore the logic. The young and less responsible in your view are worthy of beating (those who are responsible for them seem to get off scot free), while the older (over 16) and responsible may be dealt with by prison and handcuffs. I think one reason why those who want to use flogging stop using it on adults is that they are less comfortable with the idea that an adult will not take the humilation.

    The removal of corporal punishment in schools is not the root of America’s problems. You only need to look around the world and see where corporal punishment does not exist or has been removed. America tolerates violence in a manner that is unique and has a constitutional right to be armed that is rare (even unique). That makes it quite a different place.

  26. AGREE

    Very well said, Chicarron. I agree 110 percent. Everything you have said is the truth, and you are brave, in these days, to say it. Unfortunately, it will fall on deaf ears because we are all doomed to witness a lost generation with a bunch of zombies and hooligans for children. And sadly, as you said, the blame cannot be laid on the children. It is very sad. I am glad that I had my backside cut – regularly – both by parents and teachers at school, and I have lived to enjoy a disciplined, yet extremely enjoyable life.

  27. canadian

    from my short sojourn in Barbados, if i were to whip those who were late when i had an appointment, it would range from people in the public service to the lawyer , banker and electrican. and seriously late .Geez, brutal stuff this .Somehow i get the feeling that some people think that children are some different sort of creature and are sub human until they age. It is interesting that barbados would practice this form of punishment that is outdated in the western world and it supporters would claim that this is the way of orderly society and yet would bend over backwards to lure those “miscreants” as tourist. May I then suggest that the tourism authority seek tourists from more like minded areas such as Iran.

  28. Sing-a-Song

    I am most shocked that Dr Agard should expose himself to the expected public disapproval and censure for vainly attempting to bring some order to that sorry institution named St.Leonard’s Boys’ School. It is certain that he received no increase in pay, no time off, no official commendation, no national award nor a place in heaven for his actions. I am thus at a loss as to why he did what did. It is very doubtful that his self esteem is so increased by this action but it would not surprise me if arguments to the contrary were made.

    Given that teachers can only apply such sanctions as permitted by the existing law and that they possess no other powers of persuasion and control that the majority of the population have, it is my very strong suggestion that the school should just let the tardy children in, tell them how naughty they are and carry on smartly until the children are sixteen (or eighteen if the children so choose) when they leave school.

    One benefit of abolishing the common entrance, corporal punishment and many other recommendations of progressive commentators is that the viability of private, fee-charging schools for those who value education is much more certain.

  29. Hants

    @ Hope Springs Eternal

    My point cannot be printed. I could get sued.

    Yours is taken and I agree.
    Teachers should be role models.

  30. dominoes

    Practice make perfect that is what children do when they are young, them continue into the work force.check it. late for school. late for work.take up some one else things in school.carry away things when they get adults.

  31. Arthur

    Chicarron and Agree would probably not mind if the principals line up some female third formers and whip their naked butts in broad daylight. I get the point. Whip them. Whip them good.

  32. Arthur

    While we’re at it, we should whip Thompson in the bare butt for being late with Integrity Legislation.

  33. Hope Springs Eternal

    Any teacher who has to resort to corporal punishment is a weak and ineffectual teacher. Any school that allows a teacher to use corporal punishment, is an institution that has not taken the time to learn about child and youth psychology and the long term effects of corporal punishment. There are much better ways to deal with youngsters who are not applying themselves at school. God forbid that the teacher should take a student somewhere private and have a heart to heart talk to find out if there are some underlying problems at home. This type of brutality at schools isn’t even practiced anymore in England which is where it originated from.

  34. Crusoe

    It is up to the parents to ensure that children are on time and at school.

    If this does not happen regularly, then the parents and children should be summoned to a meeting at the Ministry of Education.

    After a few times of this, with work missed, no doubt parents would buck up.

    And if not? Well, they will then not be able to complain when the children end up with one ‘O’ Level and nothing else.

  35. Crusoe

    Y’know. Some of y’all talk bare foolishness.

    After thinking and thinking about it, I now remember being flogged once. It was so immemorable, that I actually forgot about it, had to rack my brains to remember.

    I do now remember, at the time thinking…’that is it? That is what all the fuss is about?’.

    Really had no effect upon me whatsoever. Left the deputy principals office with a bit of a surprised feeling.

    So, if y’all think that licks do much, just to let you know that you are very wrong, rather pathetically so.

  36. Sargeant

    When people think that flogging/beating children is the way to instill discipline and adherence to rules, then why do the same people express shock at the multitude of domestic abuse cases that are on the court docket. I mean if a little cut tail does wonders to get a child in line think of what a bust up face will do a partner who has her own voice and speaks her mind.

    I know there are legions out there who will say that they received “licks” as children and look how they turned out. Well I also received “licks” too and to this day I still remember the capricious way this punishment was meted out.

    What astounds me is that I haven’t heard a peep from the Minister of Education; The Chief Education Officer or none of the associations representing the teachers or principals, I guess their silence means that they have assented to the way Dr.Agard dispenses punishment.

    It seems that the children don’t only have to worry about the bullies on the streets, some of the bullies are in the classroom…..teaching them.

  37. Micah

    What are the the real issues here with regards to this incident? Corporal punishment which is still available to schools as a form of discipline in Barbados vs. no corporal punishment for schoolchildren in places like the United States as it is essentially outlawed there; corporal punishment in the form of a public flogging at the gates of a school, vs. such punishment administered in the privacy of a Principal’s office?; or corporal punishment for coming to school late vs. corporal punishment for more serious offences such as bullying or violence? It would seem that there is a lack of public consensus on the subject of corporal punishment in general , and if so this will mean we will be talking and talking about it for a LONG time.

  38. Onlooker

    I remember growing up in Barbados in the 70s. Most boys and girls i knew got some amount of lashes by their parents, guardians and teachers. I can’t think of a single one of them who bacame an abusive adult because of corporal punishment. Some contributors to this blog seem to have grown up elsewhere. J however do not share the view of some persons on call in radio shows that the licks are responsible for making people better. It’s all in the minds of the individual.

  39. American Girl

    I’m reading alot of dialogue arguing either for or against flogging a kid in school. I assume the uproar is about the manner in which it happened, which I’m not exactly clear on. Were these floggings carried out in a way that made it a spectacle? If so, I’d have a serious problem with that. And how severely were the kids whipped? And what about holding parents responsible for their child’s persistent tardiness. Is there no one from the school contacting the parents? Parent-teacher conferences? I know I have many questions. What I really think should happen is that this conversation should shift to what the level of discipline is and should be in the home. Can you really enforce rules, morals, values at school, if the foundation isn’t firmly set in the home?

  40. American Girl

    @Dennis Jones, I am curious as to what you meant by, ‘America tolerates violence in a unique manner’? Yes, we do have the right to protect ourselves, our homes and families and own a weapon (which is by the way, on a state-by-state basis; every state has it’s own laws). In Washington, DC, residents are not permitted to own a firearm. Other states however, you can put a shot-gun to someone’s head if they trespass your property. In order to lawfully have a weapon in your home, you have to have a permit. While I am a proponent of having a firearm in the home for protection, I also feel there should be much stricter laws for being able to obtain one, which should include an extensive background check.

    But, I digress. I don’t agree at all with one persons’ comment that not allowing teachers to flog students has somehow added to the increased amount of violence in America. First, I feel that poverty, lack of education, and increased dysfunction in the family environment has more to do with violence in America.

  41. Sargeant

    @ American Girl

    and Americans do love their guns, she wore the gun at her kid’s soccer games looks like she should have worn it around the house…….


    I was a bit surprised at this flogging for being late.I thought that detention or a strong note to the parents and a face to face talk would have done the job. Sometimes people need to feel that people care about them.

    *Another option *I would have taken the name of every student who was late that morning and probably post the names somewhere saying that such and such came late on the morning of the (date).

    *Another option *I would further counsel them on the need to early and the benefits of being early. I would further monitor them over a period of time and convince them through constant pressure to to be puntual.

    Flogging is defintely out of the question
    Talking helps , counselling helps

  43. American Girl

    @Sargeant, that is truly an unfortunate story and I’m sorry to read about it, but, I wonder why she felt the need to carry a gun on her hip at the soccer game? Yikes!!! And at the grocery store? That sounds like dysfunction to me. You are right though, there are some Americans who love their guns. Since dating a guy from the South, I now understand their love of a firearm for sport (like hunting, and trap and skeet shooting). But, other than to protect ones home, I really don’t get why folks love guns so much. I personally, am not a gun type of person.

  44. ac

    american girl ac agree with you . Dennis sure has a twisted way of looking at things>he must at sometime bumped his head.He will make a good politician .How can he be for flogging . i bet he loves to control every situatiuon

  45. Chicharron

    @ Little boy, I suggest that you teach for a day plan a lesson and try to do all of it in the allotted 40 minutes and you tell me if you can get it done. It is very difficult to get your class back on track when a student(s) waltz (es) in late and interrupt(s) the class and more often than not, they have to do something dramatic to make everyone laugh like yell sorry to be late, I had to do a lil something before I come school and there goes 5-10 mins of valuable teaching time because you have to wait till they drag the chair out nosily, look for a book, ask somebody wha class this is again….. Its frustrating and unfair to the kids who actually want to learn.

    You cannot compare St. Winifreds and the Convent. How often do you see those kids on a bus?? If they are tardy for school, its because their parents dropped them off late. The behaviours that exist in government schools are way less frequent at those schools, the kids of the “elite” don’t behave like the ones in govt schools, the majority live in the exclusive big up neighbourhoods, they don’t lack for anything, they go to ballet, piano lesson, swimming (things that require discipline and things that occupy their time) and they most certainly don’t ride up and down on ZR’s!!! Added to that Convent is a girls school and it is easier to control and effect change in girls than it is for boys. Look at the excellent job that Ms. Blackett did with the girls from Springer!! In addition, those schools are private and they will not accept some of the young thugs that we have in the government schools even if their parents had a swimming pool full of money!! The few non-elite students that actually attend these schools, conform to the norms and culture of the elite!!

    @ Arthur. What is your issue? The fact that they were whipped?? Or how they were whipped?? If there are 3rd former girls that need a flogging so be it. I do not understand what is the big uproar about punishment. We wait till they have 10 kids and no baby daddies and then our tax dollars has to support them and their hungry kids?? We wait till some man takes advantage of our girls?? I have seen too many young girls fall by the wayside because someone did not put them right!! Im not saying that you have to beat kids all the time, but when it is necessary there should be no hesitation.

    @ Hope Springs Eternal, I disagree with you. When you add it up a teacher has approximately 200 students where is a teacher going to find the time to have a heart to heart with all the problem students?? There are some students that you can talk to and they actually make an effort to make positive changes. Then there are others that you can talk to them from dawn til dusk and it makes no difference, they say yes mam/sir, I hear you but then they do as they like. You cannot allow those behaviours to take root in a school cuz then you would have a riot on your hands. After trying discipline and it does not work, punishment has to be administered. Spare the rod and spoil the child. If the parents don’t do it, somebody has to. My mother always said that parents don’t want the teachers or other adults to correct their children but when they are older the police do it for them and it is true!!

    @ Kissmya, very good suggestions but teachers really don’t have the time for all of that everyday/week. There are some kids that you can talk to them and or their parents and they shape up and others that you really cant do anything with them. Counselling will not work for some, for others a detention and for others a few lashes and others you wait for their pic to appear in the court cases or the obituaries.

    To those of you who believe that lashes make people violent, I hope that maybe in 10 years time when all of these little thugs are grown up and are wreaking havoc in the society and you are afraid to walk down Broad Street in broad daylight, that you will not saying how the youth get so!! Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. Correct the kids now, bend the tree while it is yet young.

  46. BARBADOS SHOULD HAVE ITS INDEPENDENCE REVOKED – TURKS & CAICOS OR CAYMANS DESERVE INDEPENDENCE MORE , feel free to click above and see how I feel this incident is part of a wider endemic to Barbados

  47. livinginbarbados

    @American Girl, my ‘tolerance of violence’ point relates to what you later expand on regarding gun ownership. But it goes to a wider view about how violence can be portrayed (eg in films, TV), and how widely it is seen as a natural part of life.

    BTW Washington DC is not a state (as you mention ‘other states’) and its position in the US Constitution is of course an anomaly.

  48. livinginbarbados

    @Chicharron, you impassioned arguments about the difficulties of teaching I would not dispute. But that is not the same as saying that the solution to your problem is flogging/corporal punishment. They are quite distinct. Put otherwise, if flogging is the solution to all social wrongs/misbehaviour then why limit its application?

  49. Arthur


    I sincerely hope you are not in the teaching profession. Heaven help our children if you are.

  50. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    Chicharron, you spell out so well the problems that some children face in their lives, yet still hold a position that they as victims need to be ‘corrected’. That will indeed solve nothing.

    Those parents whom you see as the elite are not necessarily more than a group who have a vision for their children and yes may have means but also a certain commitment to help make that work out. They will tend to be very involved in their children’s welfare and upbringing (maybe too much some times). They will also work to get their children to really understand, and that takes time and patience. Most of these so-called ‘elite’ parents are no more than products of state schools themselves: maybe education and work have given them certain privileges or status, but that again is a result and not a cause.

    As a teacher it’s important that the understanding you have of what is going on really sits well with what you do.

    I wonder how you would react, though, if you faced one or several on an occasional or regular basis: your house had constant leaks, your lesson plans were ruined, your car broke down and you arrived at school late occasionally to give your class and the principal or an equivalent to Mr Agard was there to administer your due correction.

  51. Hants

    A very liberal point of view would suggest that Flogging is a violent and for some people a sado masochistic act that should only be between consenting adults in jurisdictions where it is legal.

    Children should not be flogged.Period.

    Now BFP how about starting a post based on the statement in today’s Nation by Leslie Haynes QC about the Lawyers.

  52. Chicharron

    I am not saying that you flog a kid who is late once or twice and I am not saying that you flog a child each time that they mess up. However, sometimes these kids need to be flogged and I am in agreement with it as long as it is administered fairly. For your information I have taught in Barbados and overseas and the two environments were vastly different!! Overseas you have to find alternative ways to deal with those kids and the majority of the time it does not work. Those kids gambled, they stole, they fought, they cursed, they did drugs and they brought to school weapons and not even the principal could flog them!! I had a friggin drug addict in my class who came out of a high society family!! You know what they do with those kids when they run out of alternative punishments?? They EXPEL them from school and when they are expelled for such serious offences, no other school wants to take them and what happens???

    Wider society is left at the mercy of these young thugs who get on the buses and rob, they break into your houses, they become tomorrows drug addicts, teenage mothers……. Sending them to the principal made no difference to them cuz as they say they will just have to write an apology or do community service. It was difficult trying to teach in those classrooms because the forms of punishment were ineffective and discipline was lacking. You could talk from now till the cows come home those kids would tell you to lighten up that they are not doing any harm. They had no problem cursing, front of teachers and we were just powerless. Everyone agreed that a good whupping now and then would have set the house in order. On the other hand, teaching in Barbados was like paradise, I had kids that were on time, kids who did not play music in my class, kids who did not interrupt my class… If they messed up I talked to them and they sometimes understood and changed their behaviour for the better and I applauded them for it . The few who were extreme were put out of my class and sometimes, I sent them to the principal who did what I couldnt do which was cut their tails. When you can no longer appeal to the intellect, you have to send an instant message to their brains and sometimes a bamboo or a strap does the the trick!! You must understand that punishment is a range of things with flogging being the 2nd last resort and suspension/expulsion being the last. When you suspend a student they are unsupervised at home for a number of days and only the Lord knows what they are up to.

    The students themselves would tell you that they deserved the flogging or sometimes they would be upset if one of their sch mates ran afoul of the school rules and they were not flogged because as far as they were concerned “that was bare igrance that he do!!” As long as students understand why they are being flogged and it is administered fairly, I do not have a problem with it. I want you Arthur and all the others to know that I was well liked by the grand majority of my students in Barbados, they knew that they had a teacher who they could talk to about ANYTHING, a teacher who would listen to them, a teacher who would take their side when they were right and who would set them straight when they were wrong. Most of all they had a teacher who was willing to go the extra mile to ensure that they understood what was going on in class and a teacher who spent time with them at lunch and or break. The challenge still remains, plan a lesson and try to teach it within 40 minutes and tell me what you did when you had problem kids. Try volunteering at Grantley Adams, I know that they make some of their teachers cower in fear, try it and tell me how it goes!! Best of luck!!

  53. theNickster

    Flogging shows a lack of creativity on the part of the flogger. Those who “straighten” up from correction rarely needed to be flogged, and those who were regularly flogged always found themselves in a position to receive a flogging. Its a vicious cycle.

    Having an understanding of what a teacher has to deal with on a daily basis in addition to the preparation needed before classes, this incident shows me this teacher’s sole purpose that day was to flog the “offenders”, no classes to prepare for, no other students to teach, just show up to work for the public beating. His intention may have been to send a message, however he sent more than he was willing to share. The americans did get something right when they used their “scared straight” program, send a few of these “bad apples” to prison for a day or so to spend some time with real criminals, teach them a lesson more effective than a thousand beatings (floggings) .

    What slave masters passed on to the teachers of yesteryear (chicharron included), inflict pain on the animals and they won’t disobey, as a Jockey flogs a horse so too should our own two legged mules be flogged. Beat a child: “tough love”, beat a spouse: “tough love”, with all the beating going on the only lesson that is taught is “do not get caught”, getting caught means pain. (Massa’a gonna whup us if he catch us!), and that is the real tragedy, the lesson should be responsibility and consequences of actions, instead its the instant gratification of pain avoidance.

  54. Sing-a-Song

    If your boy child does not gain entry to Queen’s College where flogging is NOT done, there are the options of the St. Winifred’s, Providence and the Codrington schools. Fees at these schools are $1,785 per term for St Winifred’s, $2,500 per term plus a capital levy of $2,500 for Providence and $3,175 – $6,300 per term plus $3,500 – $10,000 capital assessment fee for Codrington.

    Oh those poor boys at St. Leonard’s, if someone would just chat with them and explain the consequences of being late. I am sure those children really want to be at school on time but what can one do in this time of economic recession? Even though the Government spent millions of dollars refurbishing the school and putting in state-of-the-art technical workshops it still isn’t enough. Those boys need love so here is a suggestion: let girls into the school.

  55. Colin L Beadon

    what a lot of nonesence on no flogging.
    Well I love all the ‘ol talk on flogging or not flogging. I went, in the UK, to a boarding school at age six. It was the war years.
    When you got there, they showed you the rules and read them to you if you couldn’t read. The teachers explained that breakage of these rules could get you a flogging. I got two long -cane floggings from the headmaster with my trousers down my first term.
    I did not have mother or father I could cry to. One flogging was for fighting, one for going outside of school bounds.
    After the second flogging, I decided it was less painful to follow the school rules, and that was that.
    The problem today is that parents don’t use the lash soon enough in the very early formative years. By the time a young person is eight, nine, or ten, suddenly bringing out a correction rod, is far too late, and irrevelent behaviour is already out of the bag and learning more irrevelence fast.
    So I don’t feel sorry for parents who spared the rod when it was badly needed, and then end up catching their ass with their child. To love a child and not be resolute enough to correct him, does not show real love, or teach the child what a failure to conform to rules made for his entry into society entail.
    Some children need a couple floggings to get the message through, though we are assuming you will know what is brutality, like any reasonable and civilized human being should know in Barbados.

  56. Rumplestilskin


    ” though we are assuming you will know what is brutality, like any reasonable and civilized human being should know’,

    Aside from uncertainty and doubt as to the effectiveness of the flogging per se, those words above are a further problem with the whole issue.

    Unfortunately, we cannot rely on a person being ‘reasonable’ anymore.

    The problem is, while there are certainly some wonderful and excellent teachers are around, we cannot vouch for some.

    This then creates a problem, as to whether we trust them with such a tool, or ‘weapon’.

    Just look at the the kidnapping of a 16 year old.

    While innocence or guilt has not yet been assessed, it does indicate a problem.

    Who guards the guards, if quality all around is declining?


  57. oh come on

    do yall feel that the teacher in the article flogging the kids as a first response? do you know what indicipline he deals with daily or what he has tried? i start getting flog from primary school and the fear of getting flogged kept me from breaking the rules, at school we werent emotional or scarred, we were accustomed that if we broke the rules, getting flogged was something that may or may not happen. i am all for flogging. i aint dead from it nor am i a psychopath becuz of it. i’ve seen too much bratty american kids to know the effects of a lack of a good cut ass. is this what barbados is really coming to? time outs and being grounded?

  58. Jonsan

    Why all the talk about flogging.
    Spear the rod and spoil the child.
    How many kids in the Caribbean go to school and shoot up other kids? How many of our kids put they parents in court? How may of our kids kill they parents for money of because the parent don’t approve of a boyfriend or girlfriend.

    Caribbean kids are more mannerly and obedient than the kid in most parts of the world especially the US and Canada.
    Just talking and talking to kids don’t work, corporal punishment IS sometimes necessary.
    Comparing kids in the US and Canada, kids in the Caribbean have way more disciplined.
    I hope it stays in the Caribbean so most of our kids won’t become like most of those in other parts of the world.


  59. Bad Man Saying Nuttin

    I am not shamed to admit this. At school I was a tyrant but I always kept my behaviour below the radar so that I never came to the attention of the school authorities. There were other boys who were much badder than I was. The thing is I really wanted to show that I could be as bad as they were. I wanted to be more of a gangster. The only thing which kept me in check was the possibility of being flogged. Suspension, detention steupse; no deterrent whatsoever. The embarrassment and pain that being flogged would cause was the only deterrent and it was the same for most of the borderline kids.

  60. Bad Man Saying Nuttin

    The thing about flogging though is that it must be fairly and consistently applied for serious breaches. It should also be one of the last resorts and it should never be administered in such a willy nilly cavalier fashion as it was at St. Leonards.

    If he wanted to flog those kids then he should have sent them to the office and administered it in the proper setting with the appropriate level of discourse.

  61. Colin L Beadon

    Dear Rumple,
    Bad Man Saying Nuttin, has it wrapped up. There is , or should be in schools, a proper procedure for the administration of a caining ( flogging being a term used for unrepentent and unmanageable criminals, usually carried out with the use of a CAT. They hardly ever, the records show, need it twice.
    But surely you are not suggesting that Teachers and Parents in Barbados are unworthy of being allowed to administer licks of any form, because some might be too brutal ?
    You might as well be saying the same thing about Barbadian drivers, because some tend to wreck their cars and kill people.
    We have to assume most people are sane and intelligent enough to appreciate the damage too much ‘licks’ can cause.
    A loving parent who wants to raise an intelligent child, that one day might have to look after her, would hardly need be told how to correct bad behaviour. Correction of the young, is an instinctive behavior, common to a number of higher animals, and it would be sad to think we have too many humans in Barbados,… who do not possess it, or appreciate the danger of its over use.

  62. Hants

    Three out of every 20 children in Barbados live in poverty.

    Feed the children don’t flog them.

  63. civilsociety

    Get Real. I would support public flogging of the parents/guardians of these children. They are ulimately responsible for making sure their children make it to school on time, and that they walk through the gates prepared to learn.

  64. J

    Dear BFP:

    You wrote “Dr. Agard…should be aware that upon viewing a photo of him whipping their son, many fathers would be of a mind to have a quiet little chat with the teacher ”

    Unfortunately BFP too many fathers do not care whether their sons live or die, whether they go to school or not, whether they have something to eat on mornings or not

    That too is a legacy of slavery.

    Too many fathers still seem to view their children as li’l pickneys in massa’s nigger yard.

    Children who are loved by their parents are rarely beaten by the teachers.

  65. Lady Anon

    I am wondering if the response to the flogging by the Chairman of the Board was read by those here standing in judgement.

  66. BFP


    PLEASE don’t be such a silly girl. This business of fathers ignoring their families is not a legacy of slavery. Blacks had that licked in the 40’s and 50’s when men stayed with their women. This running off is largely a development of the 60’s that still haunts us. That development was the “empowerment” of women through the government subsidization of unmarried mothers that made unmarried motherhood a viable career choice. IMHO

  67. 740

    what has Dr.Agard hair and beard got to do with the issue,ya mean after all this time we as black people cant be free to grow our locks and beard .Who is to say what looks good and what does not, why cant we be free to be what we want to be u all know everybody with locks dont smoke herb,and i would know every bald head dont drink rum, come on man!!

  68. yatinkiteasy

    Apart from all the discussions that have gone before, no one has made the point that the Barbados Government has signed and ratified (since 1990) the UN `s Convention on the Rights of The Child.
    This is supposed to be a legally binding agreement.We are therefore in violation of this Convention when we permit”flogging” of students in schools.The Articles pertaining to this are:Art 19 ..Protection from all Forms of Violence, Art 28..Right to Education ,including Disipline WITHOUT VIOLENCE. Art 37..relates to Detention and Punishment.
    Why bother to sign these conventions if we just plan to run things in the same old way.

    This is one of the vestiges of Colonialism that as an independent Nation, we must throw out.

  69. sandra Williamson

    Sometimes I wonder if this island has progressed from our slave heritage.
    The unfortunate boy was not getting a ‘wup ass’for being insolent, bullying and I can’t think of anything else that remotely appraise such brutal action.
    What is truly laughable, that punishment was in vain.
    He arrived according to Bajan time!

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  71. 213

    That’s bull…I wish one of these teachers will hit my son…I would break off he rasole hand…

  72. SheriVeronica

    Reblogged this on Sheri Veronica and commented:
    It’s barbaric! It’s degrading! It engenders deep-seated anger, hatred, retaliation and further abuse. IT MUST STOP!