This story triggered a bit of childhood reminiscence, not to mention reflection on how times have changed:
A West Australian teacher who allegedly tied a five-year-old boy to a chair to punish him for misbehaving has been stood aside while the case is investigated.
When I was that age our kindergarten teacher at Harbord Primary School was Miss Hilton. We had a kid in our class named Sid Dawson. His parents had sent him to school early; he was only 4 years old. Probably as a result he was disruptive in class most of the time. Miss Hilton seemed a kindly old biddy, only a couple of years off retirement. But she had a unique way of disciplining little Sid. Because we were only littlies we had two rest periods every day when we would curl up on sleeping mats and have a nap of 20 minutes or so. The sleeping mats were kept in a coffin-like wooden box. When Sid ran around the room noisily keeping everyone awake, as he often did, Miss Hilton would lock him in the mat box for the duration of the rest period.
Miss Hilton was never reported or disciplined for this as far as I know, she retired with honours a couple of years later. Nor did the experience seem to do Sid any harm as far as I could tell (mind you, how would I know?). If it had been me it would have blown my mind completely. I’m a bit claustrophobic. Maybe it comes from imagining what Sid must have felt like locked in that dark box.
Incidentally, from memory Sid was the grandson of famous Australian baritone Peter Dawson, and Sid’s older brother Khan in turn became quite a well known popular tenor. I have no idea what became of Sid. I never saw or heard of him after primary school.