One of the news today is about a couple who is urging the MOE to ban this particular teacher from teaching because he punished (by caning, which left bruises by the way) the couple's daughter for drinking water without asking for permission. I always read comments to see what people are talking about and how do they feel about the issue.

It irks me to read that there are still quite a number of people who felt that the teacher was right because children need to be "disciplined" and "learn manners". I would have to disagree on this point. While I do not disagree that children should be taught manners and asking permission before doing something is an ideal and good practice to go as far as punishing children for not asking permission to drink water is simply absurd. Heck, even if that child drinks water without asking for permission from the teacher, it's questionable whether he or she even deserves to be rebuked.

Caning as punishment is a sensitive issue because there are divided views on how people approach the issue of disciplining children, so I do not wish to delve further into the issue of whether or not the teacher should have caned the student as a punishment. We shouldn't even be discussing what is the appropriate punishment for this case because you know what, the student did not do anything that deserved to receive any form of punishment. I know some people have commented that if students can just drink without asking for permission, they will eat or vape in class. Really? The case here is that it is not against the school rules to drink in class. Whichever school established a rule to ban students from drinking in class needs to be reviewed and a police report must be made because it's simply inhumane! For someone to draw a conclusion that students will eat or vape in class in the future because they did not ask for permission to drink water is just... appalling and a slippery slope.

Again, this ask-for-permission-to-drink-water rule is nothing new because I have heard of it even during my schooling days. It just angers me further that some netizens lack sensitivity towards these children. Some even suggested that students should only drink water during the 15-minute recess time! I can't believe what I have read. I just cannot bear what will become of our public schools and the next generation of students who have to face all these draconian rules every day. I may or may not have exaggerated to call rules like these as draconian but that's up to you to judge. As a Malaysian who underwent the public school system for 11 years, to me these rules seem to be created to establish order and teach manners but really, underneath this disguise all of them are there to create fear.

I have mentioned many times here on my blog, that there are way too many rules in schools that do not make sense today, and slowly but surely, trust me - the rules will be too much and an issue will explode. Case in point: the baju kurung issue that happened earlier this year.

Seriously, parents need to spend more time with their children to know what is happening, and to get these rules off the books. These students need a voice and it seems like only parents and the media could provide this. Lengthen the recess time. Let students go to the toilet if they request to (ya, there's a rule that doesn't allow students to go to the toilet because it's not the "right time"). There's a lot more. Will these ridiculous rules go away one day? Will we change our mentality to be more compassionate and approach things differently? Will we choose to empower rather than create fear?