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Crime and punishment


Crime and punishment

Ashley Robinson reckons a tougher message needs to be sent to youths behaving badly because teachers and police are taking a caning.

The civil libertarians have made the bed, but unfortunately now we all have to lay in it. What a mess we have with youth crime.

The Premier is trying to talk tough now, but the bloody horse has bolted and, sadly, it is a horse with no fear, as the police are saying, “They used to run away from us. Now they run at us”.

Deadset, who would be a police officer or a teacher? What a bloody thankless job, with little support from our politicians.

Years ago, they talked about implementing community service if kids played up at school. I’m not sure where that went but it would have been a good idea. It’s a bit like when I played up at school and had to stay back and pick up pine cones for an hour or so. I really think, though, it would work if the serial offenders at school were made to go out and clean up rubbish around skateboard parks and graffiti, or generally do things that would benefit the community. That also sends a message that bad behaviour won’t be tolerated.

I can nearly hear the outcry from some parts of the community that kids would be mentally scarred if they had to do community service because of the trauma it would cause them to be openly punished. Well, woe is me. Maybe the next time they thought about playing up at school they would think again.

It could be worse – much worse, in fact – if they brought back the cane. I know I would rather pick up rubbish than get the cuts, which was the norm back in the ’70s at Nambour High, or before that at Eudlo Primary. I got the cane in Grade 1 and lasted until Grade 11 before I got it again. So, it must have worked to some degree.

I did get the occasional clip under the ear from my German teacher. But the thing was, if I did get into strife, my parents stood fairly and squarely behind the school or, later, the police. That was just the way it was in those days.

I guess it comes down to actions and consequences. All of us, then and now, should be responsible, which I reckon might just make the jobs of teachers and police a bit easier. Right about now, the bed we are sharing with the civil libertarians would feel a whole lot safer.


Ashley Robinson is the manager of Alex Surf Club and the chairman of the Sunshine Coast Falcons.

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