Opinions: Have you ever had corporal punishment?
Sunday 24 April 1994
PHILLIP SCHOFIELD, television presenter: I haven't been beaten myself but I'm absolutely in favour of corporal punishment. The system has tried every way of dealing with people and I firmly believe that this is the only alternative.
TIM WOODWARD, editor, Skin Two magazine: Corporal punishment is tremendous fun for adults and I can't get enough of it, but it is out of the question for children. Everybody should spank their partner and cuddle up afterwards. But hitting children? No thank you.
SEBASTIAN STEELE, actor: My prep school was a hive of beating - the Latin master had to leave because he beat so many boys that parents complained. I was beaten for talking after lights out and lying about it. The headmaster used one of those unpleasant white plimsols and it was called being 'whacked' - I got one extra stroke, probably because I was counting out loud.
SOPHIE BAKER, photojournalist: I was hit at boarding school because I had a pee on the playing field. I was seven or eight and I was summoned to the headmaster's office after lights out and told to bring my slippers. The headmaster bent me over his knee and spanked me with my slipper in front of his wife and assistant. Whenever I was good afterwards, they always referred to my beating as the reason, saying things like 'Well, that was obviously just what you needed, wasn't it?'
MICHELE ROBERTS, novelist: I haven't but my brother used to be whacked by my father. He would be taken into the dining room, the door would be closed and I would stand outside in terror and horror knowing that he was being beaten with a leather strap and suffering such pain.
ROGER GRAEF, writer and film maker: My father hit me once when I was 11 when my brother fell off a climbing frame and he thought it was my fault. I was shocked and so was he - the memory of it remains with me clearly. People who think that the short, sharp shock is the only answer should read the accounts of the young offenders I've spent the past year-and-a-half interviewing - they were often beaten frequently and it made no difference.
ALEX STITT, publisher: On my first day at prep school the teacher gave us some graph paper and asked us to draw a lattice. I drew a lettuce, thinking that this was what he'd asked for. He thought that I was taking the piss out of him and beat me with a metal ruler, which was extremely painful and unpleasant.
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