Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Artifact of the Week - School Strap

If you recognize this artifact it is possible that you were a naughty student during your school days! This is a school strap that was donated to the museum by Pete Gardner who found the strap at Springfield Elementary during some summer cleaning. This would have been used to give bad students a slap on the back of the hand to smarten them up!

Although the strap has generally been out of use in Canada since around the 1970s, corporal punishment in schools was allowed until January 30th, 2004 when it became outlawed under section 43 of the Criminal Code. Every province in the country had banned corporal punishment in their schools prior to the 2004 law except for one, Alberta. The Peace Wapiti School Division in Grande Prairie was the last division to allow the strap and other corporal punishment in Canada leading up to the 2004 law.

Although it is likely that this strap has been out of commission for well over 40 years, it remains a frightening artifact that may bring back some less than positive memories for a few of us. Come to the Peace River Museum, Archives and Mackenzie Centre to see this artifact in our new school display and be sure to stroll by the mall on your way over to see our second school display. We’re showing some artifacts that are sure to bring back some more positive memories of your school days and are helping our younger visitors get excited about their return to school at the end of the month!   

M91.21.1 School Strap 

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