Letter: The day I hit a schoolboy

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The Independent Online
Sir: Have we lost our sense of proportion on smacking children ("Carey happy to give a gentle smack", 26 October, letter 28 October)? I taught chemistry in a Cambridge boys' school during the war, and I had to teach 30 boys in a lab designed for 20.

During one practical class a boy deliberately put a piece of sodium on to a wire spoon and held it under the water tap. There was, of course, an explosion. I walked up to the culprit and slapped him on the cheek. I had no further trouble with that difficult class. I am still convinced that I did the right thing.

BARBARA DAINTON

(Lady Dainton)

Oxford

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