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WHIPPING STILL HAPPENING IN ZAMBIA

Whipping, the hitting of students, has been outlawed in Zambia since 2004. Despite this I saw the Assistant Deputy of a Basic School whipping a student in 2009.

More recently, in early 2012, I was told by a Livingstone Zambia Grade 11 student at a public secondary school that a few days prior the headmaster himself was whipping many students. It was so out of hand that people called the media. The media came, recorded on video the headmaster in the process of whipping. Thanks to the courage of the students who called and the recording of this on television, radio and the newspaper, the headmaster was removed from that school. However, this government school did not fire him. The government said that because this headmaster was making so many physical improvements in the building due to some financial donors, he was TRANSFERRED to another school in another area of Zambia.

In 2011, another of the boys I sponsor told of another headmaster at a different secondary government school slapping him hard across the face because he was late for school. There were several students lined up for their corporal punishment by this role model and leader. This particular boy after the slap turned his head and said "Here. Slap the other cheek". The headmaster paused, laughed and then slapped it.

Changng laws is a start, an important necessity. But how do we get people to change? From where does this anger come ? Or is it anger? Perhaps it is a conditioning of the brain during that particular brain development stage. I do not know the answer. But I applaud the media for stepping up. They have power and used correctly can begin to contribute to the needed humanity changes. Perhaps instead of so often criticizing the media for what they do wrong, we should look for when they do right and step up and compliment them. Sort of like the saying "What you focus on magnifies".

I don't know the answer. It is complicated and multi-layered. I do know that in order for a person to make a change they have to have a replacement of equal or greater value to make it worth their changing. Change is scary. It is treading into the unknown.

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