Sufferings of Little Children from Cruel and Improper

Sufferings of Little Children from Cruel and Improper Punishments.

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In reporting on this subject, the county superintendents mention these as inflictions not uncommon. Standing on one foot for a long time; “sitting on nothing,” that is, obliging the child to hold himself in a sitting posture without any support; holding out the arm horizontally with a weight on it; tying a finger so high as to oblige the child to stand on tiptoe; holding the head downward, sometimes causing dangerous hemorrhages from the nose, or injuring the brain; frightening little children by threats. Many cases are declared to[52] have occurred in which permanent injuries have been inflicted by thus straining the muscles, and torturing the body and mind of little children. The following is a description of a scene witnessed at school by one of the county superintendents in his periodical visitation: two girls, about twelve years of age, were out of order, and the teacher, without any warning, sprang across the room and severely flogged both. A little boy, tired of sitting on his hard seat, leaned over on his elbow; he was caught by the head, dragged over the desk to the floor, and ordered to study. A little girl of seven, after one or two admonitions to “tend her book,” was caught by the arm, dragged on to the floor, rudely shaken, cuffed on both sides of her head, and then whipped. “I looked around,” says the superintendent, “to learn the effect upon the other scholars. I saw no happy faces. There seemed to settle upon the countenances of nearly all, a cloud of gloom and terror. The school closed soon after, and the teacher remarked to me, that he did not punish near as much now as he formerly did.”
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Catharine Esther Beecher

Trailblazing American educator, advocated female education and kindergarten integration.

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