The Joys of the British Newspaper Archive
Happiness (for me) is a browse through what is probably my favourite online resource – the British Newspaper Archive. It’s here.
I thought I’d mention it now because it’s a subscription-based site, and there’s a discount code valid until the end of January 2015 – enter “news01” and you get a month’s unlimited browsing for just £1.
Here’s a little article I found, local to me as it’s from The Liverpool Post in 1937 (and I am all about 1937 right now). It’s what initially seems to be a fairly modern scenario, in a way. A pupil from Rock Ferry, Birkenhead, sued his teacher for caning him, and he won his case. Then everyone remembered they were still in 1937, his teacher appealed, and she was successful in getting the conviction overturned.
You’re left in no doubt as to what general opinion might be, reading the language of the article:
“On the afternoon of January 12th, she warned him several times. When she went to cane him in the ordinary way, he turned away and she hit him with the cane three times on his pants. She did not lose her temper. The boy went back to his desk and sat down, doing his work much better afterwards.
Mr Roland Thomas, K.C., for the teacher, commented, “Teachers will go in terror of punishing children, if bruising of the ordinary kind is going to be taken as excessive.”