A hundred years ago October 30, 1919 Archives

From the Archives (October 30, 1919): Corporal Punishment.

The following is the full text of the order passed by the Police Magistrate, Colombo, in the cases in which Mr. H.D. Jayasuriya charged Miss. M.A.S. Choate Principal of the Methodist girls School, Colpetty, with voluntarily causing hurt to his daughter by giving her twenty cuts with a cane on the 30th ultimo: — In this case it is admitted that the accused, Miss Choate, Principal of the Colpetty Methodist Girls’ College, gave Irene Jayasuriya a public caning on the 30th ultimo, giving her 20 cuts with a cane on her thighs... Irene Jayasuriya is eleven years old and appears to me to be rather a frail child. Miss Choate says she was justified in giving Irene the caning she did, as the offence she committed was, in her opinion, a very serious one indeed viz., corrupting the other young girls in the school by telling them ugly things about her form teacher, Miss. Herft. In support of her contention she has produced the documents B,C, D and E which purport to contain statements made to her by other girls in the school of what Irene had been telling them. These documents are inadmissible in evidence for the purpose of proving such statements as the girls who wrote them have not been called as witness. Had they been called the cross-examination might have elicited the fact that they were obtained under compulsion or pressure by a School Principal from her pupils.

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