I agree with you that giving kids a few days off school if they're really naughty is not a punishment, but I remember from my time at school here in the ACT that the "out of school" suspension was only used in extreme cases, and the "in school" suspension was used for most cases.
I remember a couple occasions in high school where I was given "in school suspension" for a day where I was placed in a small room for the day and was expected to still do any tests or other important assessment items that were due on that day. This was a fairly boring way to spend the day, although I did manage to entertain myself.
The out of school suspensions were usually reserved for cases where a teacher had a reason to consider that their safety was at risk. If memory serves, hitting a teacher was an automatic three days of out of school suspension with the possibility of the police being called.
I remember one occasion where I was accused of punching my English teacher, except that I had a classroom full of witnesses who saw that what happened was that the teacher lent over me as I was going to stand up and out heads clashed, resulting in her needing to go and see the dentist…the fact that she dragged me down the corridor after this probably helped my case a bit. In the end I just got a day of in school suspension for not obeying the directions of the teacher…but that's a whole other lengthy story
which I might save for another day.
Perhaps one day you could have Rhonda on to talk about some of her more memorable moments as a teacher.
Anyway, on the so-called "sin taxes" on cigarettes and alcohol, I find it somewhat peculiar that they are linked to increases in inflation when the very act of putting the prices up adds to inflation. It seems a bit circular to me.