And the Beat Goes Out

Chalk one up for mischievous schoolchildren. Britain's House of Commons last week struck down a longtime classroom practice: punishment by the cane. The bill abolishing corporal punishment in state-run schools passed by a bare 231 to 230. An earlier version would have retained caning while allowing parents to exempt their children from the practice, but critics charged that the measure would divide students into "beatables" and "unbeatables." Last week's final approval came despite the Education Minister's warning that "the abolition of corporal punishment would send out wrong signals."

Some Britons agree that caning is inhumane and should not be practiced. This...

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