WTOC reports: Parent says school took paddling too far

My e-mail this morning has several tips from Get Schooled readers, including this referral to a story by WTOCTV.com in Savannah about a paddling incident in an Appling County middle school.

According to the WTOC 11 story:

BAXLEY, GA (WTOC) – Should educators be allowed to spank a child who misbehaves? It’s a subject that’s been debated for years.

In the State of Georgia, paddling students is legal, but the implementation of a spanking policy is left up to each school district. But one Baxley parent says her son’s school took it too far.

“I haven’t seen any write-ups or warnings. It just says, ‘classroom disturbance, throwing objects in class’ and he received two licks,” said mom Carletta Crummey.

She says the note was sent home Thursday about her 13-year-old son Cody and that, “two licks” means being hit twice with a paddle.

“He said, ‘I need to call home’ and they refused to let him call home and they paddled him,” said Crummey.

Crummey says Appling County Middle School teachers should have let her know first before they made the decision to hit her child.

“We don’t believe in paddling our child,” she said. “I don’t think what he did was right. I want them to punish him, but not hurt him where he is afraid to go back to school. You know if I put bruises on him, I would be in trouble. I don’t think a stranger should be allowed to put bruises on a child.”

Crummey says she doesn’t understand why some school districts allow this to happen.
“Suspend him, send him home, let me take care of the problem.

We have talked about this issue here many times, and I remain steadfast in my belief that schools should not physically discipline kids. I agree with the parent. Suspend the student. Call the parents. Send him home. But don’t hit him.

(And for those of you who are going to say that if this mother paddled her son more, he wouldn’t throw thing in class, there is no evidence that kids raised on corporal punishment are better behaved as a result.)

Have a good Saturday.

144 comments Add your comment


November 21st, 2009
8:18 am

It’s unclear whether the student was paddled by a teacher or administrator, and it’s unclear whether the paddling left bruises or not.

I’ve never taught in Appling County, but I have taught and my children were students in a county that used corporal punishment. In that county at that time, it was stated clearly to parents at the beginning of each school year that if children misbehaved, corporal punishment was one disciplinary option in elementary and middle grades.

I’m trying to remember if parents were required to opt out or opt in, but some parental response was possible and requested, and as far as I could tell, all parents were aware of the policy and the requirements.


November 21st, 2009
9:04 am

I agree with the parent and your article. The school system claims to be mandate reporters, so if our children come to school with apparent bruises, parents are immediately suspected of abuse and are in trouble. I also agree with you in saying that “there is no evidence that kids raised on corporal punishment are better behaved as a result.” We do not want a stranger disciplining our child with physical contact, and we should be informed prior to any action taken. Who knows what this “educator’s” agenda is anyway.

Based on my dealing with the school systems, the counsellors all seem to be reading from the same playbook called “stupid.”. Based on my research, under NCLB, parents should be informed prior to the initiation of any disciplinary action against the child. The way the law is written the school has to make a good faith attempt to contact the parent, and if there is no contact, the school has to send a certified letter within 48 hours to the parent about the action it intends to take.

Because these blogs have educated me so to the inner workings of the school system, and the lack of due process our children encounter if there is a problem, these are our instructions to our child of what is expected while at school:

Sit down, be respectful, do not disrupt the class, no name calling, no agressive behaviour, no intentional physical contact with anyone. If there is an incident(because there will be), and you are taken to the office by the counsellors, resource officer or administration, you are to ask politely for the school to call your parents, or call us yourself. If the school refuses to call and/or allow you to call us, sit there and do not say another word, do not give any statements orally or written, and do not sign any prepared statements. They have to send you home eventually if you are not involved in any incident that could be deemed criminal. They cannot punish you any further if you sit quietly in the office!

In Gwinnett County, a recent audit showed there have been nuemrous incidents when the resource officers/adminsitration have detained children without due process aka parents not being informed in a timely manner and the child being detained. Children have been intimated to sign or make statements that have been used against them without the parent even being present. The parents only find out about the statements when the school system is ready to impose the punishment and which time it is too late.

Questions that should be raised [a] are children precluded from their constitutional rights while at school? [b] if the death penalty is seen as “cruel and unsual” punishment and prisioners’ rights are always being protected, why are schools engaging in physical discipline with children?

I know many will argue that this is not a death penalty or prisioners’ rights issue, which is true, but the physical punishment is no less cruel and unusal, and who protects the rights of our children in schools?.

Concerned parent.

November 21st, 2009
9:14 am

If a school has coporal punishment in its discipline plan, it had better make it VERY plain to me, in writing that it does and I will do everything in my power to remove my kid from such a place If I know that and have no other place to send my kid to school, I will: 1.Watch them put my papers on file at the school that clearly state my child is NOT to be touched with or without a paddle. 2: have absolutely NO respect for the administrator and watch every step made there and 3: You can cover your ass or all of you with all the paperwork you want, but if you hit my kid, it’s battery and I will take you down! (Fortunately, my kids have never been any discipline problems, but even if they were…) Unemotionally involved adults should NEVER be allowed to hit kids. And I’ll take it even further…NOBODY should be hitting kids!

Robert E. Fathman, Ph.D.

November 21st, 2009
9:27 am

The article is correct — there have been no studies that show even a little benefit to inflicting corporal punishment in children in schools [nor in homes for that matter]. But there have been many research studies published in respected journals that all reach the same conclusion — school corporal punishment is bad for students, and should be stopped immediately. If a reader is unsure if corporal punishment is allowed in their county, call the office of the superintendent and ask. And please do call or e-mail your state senator or representative and ask that Georgia join the 30 states that have now prohibited physical punishment of school kids. Good school discipline is instilled in the mind, not the behind. Here is much more info: http://www.stophitting.org


November 21st, 2009
9:28 am

Parent, if your child follows your instructions to “Sit down, be respectful, do not disrupt the class, no name calling, no agressive behaviour, no intentional physical contact with anyone”, I don’t see why you seem to expect that your child will get into trouble anyway. Could you elaborate?

Appalled parent

November 21st, 2009
9:32 am

Perhaps if these children had been paddled at home, they wouldnt need to do it in school. I think that’s part of the problem with our schools in Georgia–the teachers have their hands tied and there is no discipline or punishment in the home. No child left behind and no punishment for inappropriate behavior–no wonder they arent getting an education and the schools are failing.


November 21st, 2009
10:20 am

Is it me or are these reported incidents occurring more often? I am wondering where the lawmakers are on this – still hiding their heads in the sand? It doesn’t make sense that if a parent hit a child with an object they can get turned in to child services but a school can get away with it. Can you imagine if a parent took a baseball bat and whacked their kid in a walmart for example? Police and dfacs would be all over it and rightly so. But schools in Georgia can get away with this? It’s embarassing!


November 21st, 2009
10:31 am

@ScienceTeacher671, why do I need to elaborate?

I am sure all parties here would agree that no human being is ever going to go through life without any unpleasant incidents, whether they instigated it or not. It is even more likely that children in a school environment will have many more of such unpleasant incidents just by the very nature of the structure of the organization, or because children have not yet acquired the nuances of life and how to avoid unpleasant interactions or situations.

No where in my response did I indicate that I expected my child would get into trouble. The piece indicated that if there was an incident, which could also include my child being in the classroom/cafeteria/restroom/playground/school bus when an incident occurred, being a witness to harm being done to another child, being aware of threats, seeing a weapon or some violation to the policy and being asked to make a statement, We want to be there if our child is involved in any such situtations before the child makes any statement.

What administrators/teachers/resource officers have not yet grappled with and addressed is that there is an incredible lack of trust by parents for these “educators” to address the issues in a manner that does not violate the policy, that is fair, and also does not violate our rights.


November 21st, 2009
10:33 am

Concerned parent, do your childrens’ schools not send home a copy of their code of conduct, with discipline plan included, each year?

Every system in which I’ve ever taught or in which my children have been enrolled has always done so, and I thought it was required by Georgia law.


November 21st, 2009
10:33 am

I was paddled in numerous schools on many occasions in several different states. Paddling does not work. Suspension at hom is free time for the student. What does work? In school suspension.


November 21st, 2009
10:34 am

On May 19, U. S. Congress held a hearing on the overuse of restraint and seclusion due to a report done by the Government Accountability Office. Public schools take federal tax dollars to educate students. They are bound to provide equitable education for all. Is this equitable? I don’t think so. One of the U.S. Congress members called paddling ‘legalized child abuse’ during that hearing. One of the few that has spoken the truth in my opinion.
Mo, my question to you is if you can look up somehow how this is affecting AYP in every district that uses this form of punishment? Parents want to know. If recent studies suggest that physical punishment may be lowering IQ it may also be negatively impacting AYP too. I don’t know for sure, but it would be interesting to look into a possible correlation.


November 21st, 2009
10:39 am

Parent, I apparently misunderstood your comment, which seemed to me to indicate that you expected that at some point your well-behaved child would be unjustly accused of some misbehavior.

We all understand that there is an incredible degree of distrust by some parents. I was trying to understand if the distrust on your part was due to prior incidents, or due to your experiences as a student, or due to things you’ve read in the newspapers.

Personally, I don’t think the mistrust is justified in most cases – although I do believe in the axiom “trust, but verify” – but if I had as little trust in teachers as some parents here do, there is no way I would send my children into their care on a daily basis.

jim d

November 21st, 2009
10:39 am


I’m afraid intimidation has long been the standard operating procedure for Gwinnett County Schools. A school gestapo member Threatening children DOES get results.


November 21st, 2009
10:42 am

@gamom, remember that “correlation does not equal causation”. It’s very possible that the districts that allow corporal punishment are also the smaller, lower socioeconomic level districts that tend to value education less.


November 21st, 2009
10:50 am

Parts of this story weren’t very clear. I checked online for Appling County’s policy and according to the board policy the parents can opt out. Paddling is also not supposed to be the first discipline option. https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/ePolicy/policy.aspxPC=JDA&Sch=4002&S=4002&RevNo=1.01&C=J&Z=P (Sorry, have no idea how to make that a live link) All parents should be aware of and understand the discipline policies in the schools. Unfortunately, there’s so much stuff to sign off on at the beginning of the year and it’s mostly the same year after year that it’s easy to just zip through it all without really paying attention.

As to notifying parents before disciplining students, I think it depends on the discipline. What kind of order could be maintained and how much instructional time would be lost if the teacher or administrator had to wait to talk to the parent before proceeding? I’m never heard of the provision of NCLB referred to above.

I don’t think corporal punishment is appropriate in schools and if the board does include it, the parents should have the right to opt out or better yet be required to sign off on it one way or the other.


November 21st, 2009
11:01 am

I’ll let those online Phd types (who probably have no kids of their own) argue about whether or not paddling is an effective discipline measure. The bottom line is this, if a parent has zero respect for their child’s teacher and/or administrators, there is no way in hell they will agree to let them paddle their child.


November 21st, 2009
11:05 am

@science teacher – I know a lot of parents and my self included that teach their kids about personal safety which includes – don’t let anyone hit you. Period. Don’t get in a car with strangers. Don’t let a teacher do this to you or that to you. And if someone does something to you you scream loudly, run away and tell me. That’s what I teach my kids.. am I wrong? I don’t think so.

Hall Monitor

November 21st, 2009
11:08 am

#1 Education website DetentionSlip.org has been fighting the battle to END paddling in schools. Check out all the controversial stories at http://www.detentionslip.org/search/label/corporal%20punishment

Aren’t we trying to end patterns of violence in schools?


November 21st, 2009
11:19 am

Atlanta schools stopped corporal punishment in the ’40s so I was never spanked (at school; home was ANOTHER subject).
DeKalb had corporal punishment while my kids were in school (the 70s-80s) and I didn’t like it. Which doesn’t mean I didn’t spank them, but it was an evolutionary thing. The oldest, a girl, got spanked more than the youngest girl, who hardly ever got spanked. Maybe never. The boy got quite a few.
Other things contributed to how they turned out but the youngest went to college and got a masters degree in special ed. The son, the middle child, graduated. The oldest dropped out in the 10th grade.
Like I said, other things–ADHD–contributed to the problems I had with the two oldest ones. And at that time hardly anything was known about THAT subject. I think the youngest looked to special ed because of the problems of her older siblings.
About as wishy-washy an answer as you can hope for. So, I’ll add a certainty–I NEVER spank my seven grandkids. I just love them and spoil them and I feel waaaaaay better about myself. I don’t see the shadow of the guy who taught me all about corporal punishment in myself.


November 21st, 2009
11:19 am

I would like to see the degree of support for classroom teachers that this blog indicates for misbehaving students.

I am not in favor of schools paddling, but I am also not in favor of us continuing to coddle misbehaving students. Give a student a child to make corrections through ISS ONCE. After that, suspend the child and require the child and parents to attend class at the courtroom during school hours. That would put a quick end to the misbehavior, because many parents want babysitting–they want to shuffle off their problems on the school system. It would also pre-empt the problem of kids home alone, enjoying their OSS. One or two days of educational programs at the courthouse would serve to enlist parental interest in solving the problem.

Until the parents of chronically misbehaving students suffer the kind of imposition their child’s behavior imposes on the other students and teachers in the school, there won’t be improvement very often. Unfortunately (as we have seen) there is no such thing as shame anymore.


November 21st, 2009
11:20 am

Give the student a CHANCE (sorry)


November 21st, 2009
11:26 am

@gamom, I don’t think I disagree with what you teach your children if you’re teaching them that teachers aren’t allowed to hit them or touch them in a sexual manner. If you’re teaching them that teachers can’t tell them to sit down and/or be quiet, etc., I have a problem with that. ;-)

I suspect that if you were in a district that allowed corporal punishment, you’d be one of the parents that opted out. Having lived and taught in such a district, I find it very hard to believe that the mother was surprised to find out that spanking was allowed there.

If the mother had signed a paper saying that her child could not be spanked, or had not signed the paper saying that he could (however the district’s policies work) I think she has a case. If the child was actually hit hard enough for it to be abusive, she probably has a case, although that might be harder to prove.

As far as not contacting the mother, I don’t know if it’s the case here, but you’d be absolutely amazed to find out how many parents do not have working telephone numbers on file with the school. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve gotten the “this number has been disconnected or is no longer in service” recording, I’d be out shopping.


November 21st, 2009
11:28 am

@Lee — Does respect mean you allow someone to hit you? I don’t think so. My kids very much respect their teachers, their administrators and do respect themselves too as do I. I am a very active parent. I teach my kids to behave and mind and have respect for authority. But in no way would I ever allow anyone – I don’t care who it is – even thier grandparents to hit them, because I don’t do it at home. What do you say to parents like me? That I am wrong? That my kids are brats? That they are thugs? They are kids that make mistakes and need proper equitable discipline which I give at home all the time without hitting them.


November 21st, 2009
11:31 am

I became an advocate for children’s rights to be treated with human dignity and respect in our nation’s SCHOOLS (ABOLISH Physical/Corporal Punishment) in Feb. 2008 after my son was threatened with being hit with a WOODEN PADDLE by an administrator at his Middle School in a small, rural community, Houston County, TN, where we purchased a farm and relocated to in order to raise our children in a less congested environment. There are only 8,000 residents and one of each elementary, middle and high school with enrollments of around 300 students each. We did read our school district’s student handbook and were shocked to see that children could be subjected to Corporal Punishment, but in our complacency, we never dreamed that it would happen to any of our children, we signed and returned the adknowledgement. No opt our form is provided and it is incumbent upon parents/guardians to write a letter for each child, each year and give it to the principal, to request they be exempted from corporal punishment, then it is up to the discretion of the principal (I have since found out that Tennessee State Law does not require parental consent or notification for school employees to administer corporal punishment on children). We have never had a discipline problem with any of our 3 children at home or school. They are all intelligent, reasonable and well-behaved. One Friday at 2:30 p.m., I was on my way to the Middle School to pick up my son and two neighbor boys who ride with us, when my cell phone rang. It was the middle school assistant principal who informed me that she was about to administer a paddling to my son for “Going outside with his class when he was told to stay in.” THE ONLY REASON I RECEIVED A CALL IS BECAUSE I’VE TAUGHT MY 3 CHILDREN FROM A VERY EARLY AGE THAT “NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO TOUCH THEM, THEY CAN SAY “NO”, GET AWAY AND TELL SOMEONE” TO PROTECT THEM FROM SEXUAL ABUSE! My son told her they could not paddle him and they had to call his parents. I felt very intimidated and almost agreed to her form of punishment, then I had a moment of clarity and said “We don’t hit our children and we don’t want you to hit them”. She informed me that he still had to be “PUNISHED” and after discussion, an acceptable, non-violent form of “discipline” was agreed upon. My husband and I made an appointment to meet with the principal and assistant principal and the first thing they did was go to a filing cabinet and inform us that we had signed the acknowledgement from the student handbook. I immediately began researching the internet for state government officials to write in order to demand Physical/Corporal Punishment of Children in schools be prohibited. I came across a group called “Tennesseans for Non-Violent School Discipline” and when I read some of the stories from families in the news, and how helpless they were to protect their children from being hit with WOODEN PADDLES at school, resulting in severe deep bruising injuries and fear of school to their children, I cried and had to stop reading. I VOWED TO BE A COMMITTED VOICE FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES to stop government sanctioned child abuse in our nation’s schools. NO CHILD DESERVES TO BE TOUCHED BY ANY ADULT WHO IS ENTRUSTED WITH THEIR CARE AND EDUCATION, IT MUST BE HANDS-OFF! I have learned so much, the Federal and State Government officials leave the very serious matter that put school districts at risk for lawsuits for paddling injuries up to “individual local school districts”. My husband and I made a verbal/written presentation to members of our local school district governing board of education in April 2008, during “National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month” to demand they prohibit Physical/Corporal Punishment of children in our schools, and to date, 11/09, we have received NO RESPONSE, no letter, no phone call, they have IGNORED US! In other words, there is NO ACCOUNTABILITY! Meanwhile our children’s learning environment includes witnessing middle school teachers take wooden paddles out of their desk drawers to threaten students with physical pain for minor infractions such as not turning in homework, etc. Students are taken to the hallway, just outside of class, within earshot of classmates, where the teacher instructs them to “Bend over and grab your ankles”, while holding their pants belt loop and hits them with a wooden paddle. Then the battered student immediately faces classmated with red and tear-stained face when they return to their seat. This all takes place with NO PARENTAL CONSENT OR NOTIFICATION! My husband and I are VEHEMENTLY OPPOSED to our children’s learning environment including FEAR, ANXIETY, DREAD AND HUMILIATION! Physical/Corporal Punishment of Children in SCHOOLS is ILLEGAL in 30 STATES! It is OUTRAGEOUS that ALL of our nation’s children do not have EQUAL access to safe, healthy learning environments in 21st Century classrooms! Research indicates that Physical/Corporal Punishment is harmful to children and causes anti-social behavior and also lowers children’s IQ’s from stress caused by fear. Over 50 National Children’s Health and Education Organizations have issued official position statements OPPOSING Physical/Corporal Punishment of Children in SCHOOLS including The American Medical Association (AMA), The American Academy of Pediatricians, The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, The American Academy of Family Physicians, The American Bar Association, The American Humane Association, The American Psychiatric Assocation, The American Psychological Association, The American Public Health Association, The American School Counselors Association, The Association for childhood Education International, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), The National Mental Health Association, The Natioal Parent Teacher Association (PTA), The National Education Association (NEA) and Prevent Child Abuse America among others. Over a 5 year period this decade, since 2000, over 2,500 teachers have been punished for improper sexual relations with our nation’s school children. Spanking fetish websites number in the millions and the pornography and prostitution industries make big profits from exploiting spanking/severe beating of children.

I know in my heart that if I had allowed a school employee to hit my child with a wooden paddle, it would have caused irreperable damage our mother/child bond of love and trust that I have spent his lifetime working to establish, from giving birth to him, nursing him and raising him to the best of my ability, never condoning violence, instead teaching my children to get away and tell someone. He would have resented me for the rest of his life and mine for allowing him to experience the physical, emotional and psychological pain, suffering and humiliation of being hit with a WOODEN PADDLE by a school employee withinin earshot of his peers during the formative teenage period of his identity struggling for acceptance by his peers and establishing his independence.

The Cost to ABOLISH Physical/Corporal Punishment of ALL Children in ALL SCHOOLS is $0.


November 21st, 2009
11:35 am

YES, they should be paddled. This is what is wrong with this country today. All is “time-out” stuff is BS. Get back to teaching a child that if he/she does something wrong, they will be punished. Paddle them until they can’t sit down and send them home for more!


November 21st, 2009
11:38 am

@ATL mike – it doesn’t work though!


November 21st, 2009
11:47 am

I grew up in the 50’s and early 60’s. Paddling was the norm and happened to somebody on a daily basis. From first grade on it was normal. I was paddled so many times in different grades, I can’t even get close to remembering what the number would be. As many as 5 to 10 swips. Thick paddles made in wood shop with drilled holes in them to make it hurt more. 9th grade was my last paddling. My wife and I raised our son who is now 22 without a hitting him with anything. We disciplined him in other ways. I also experienced physical abuse at home. My mother and father beat me with a belt when they were mad about my behavior.I was bullied at school and in the neighborhodd by older boys. I was the neighborhood punching bag. I never fought back until the 8th grade then I finally said enough. An older boy was beating on me and I put in the emergency room with both eyes swollen shut. I regret doing that. During this period of growing up, our society accrepted children being abused. Was it wrong? Hell yes.


November 21st, 2009
12:03 pm

I think corporal punishment is effective in helping some students. As all forms of discipline, it is not a be all or end all.


November 21st, 2009
12:14 pm

I made it easy for everyone – here’s a list of the Georgia State House Education Committee – how about phone calls and writing them?

Brooks Coleman brooks.coleman@house.ga.gov; 404 656 9210
Tommy Benton tommy.benton@house.ga.gov; 404 656 0177
Fran Millar fran_millar@wellsfargois.com 404 656 5064
Rep Kathy Ashe Kathy.ashe@house.ga.gov 404 656 0116
Rep Amy Carter amy.carter@house.ga.gov; Rejenia.ford@house.ga.gov; 404 656 0325
Rep Melvin Everson mjeverson@bellsouth.net 404 656 0188
Penny Houston penny.houston@house.ga.gov; talmadge.james@house.ga.gov; 404 656 0202
Margaret Kaiser mkaiser2@comcast.net; 404 656 0265
Howard Maxwell howard.maxwell@house.ga.gov; 404 656 5143
Randy Nix randy.nix@house.ga.gov; 404 656 0177
Bobby Reese bobby.reese@house.ga.gov; 404 656 0254
Brian Thomas bwthomas@bellsouth.net 404 656 0325
Rick Austin Rick.austin@house.ga.gov; 404 656 0287
David Casas david.casas@house.ga.gov; 404 656 0254
Hugh Floyd hughfloyd@mindspring.com;
Jan Jones jan.jones@house.ga.gov; 404 656 5024
Mike Keown mike.keown@house.ga.gov; debra.miller@house.ga.gov;
Rahn Mayo rahnmayo@gmail.com; 404 656 6372
Allen Peake allen@allenpeake.com 404 656 7146
Rashad Taylor rashadjtaylor@gmail.com; 404 656 0220
Edward Lindsey Edward.lindsey@house.ga.gov; 404 463 2247
Alisha Morgan Alisha@alishamorgan.com 404 656 0109
Barbara Massey Reece Barbara.reece@house.ga.gov; 404 656 7859
Ed Setzler ed.setzler@house.ga.gov; 404 656 0177
Rep. Teilhet Rteilhet@yahoo.com 404 656 0298
Tony Sellier reptonysellier135@msn.com


November 21st, 2009
12:16 pm

To those who would advocate “…childrens’ rights…”, understand that the overprotective nature of your concerns is, in itself, child abuse of the highest order. In allowing your kid to escape the undeniable message, weilded through the use of the paddle, that he is in violation of standard norms of behavior, you are all-but-guaranteeing him an adult life of disappointment and disallusionment. Granted, the paddle should be the absolute last means of “sending the message”…most kids, as with adults, should exhibit favorable behavior modification with far-less corrective measures.

Ever had a speeding ticket? Maybe two, three, or more. At the prerogative of the officer, the offender may initially receive a verbal warning. Follow-on offenses would warrant monetery fines of escalating amounts. At some point in time, (normal) people, in the face of “monetery pops on the six”, will respond favorably. Any reasonable person would agree that repeated warnings from the officer would have little-to-zero chance of affecting a change in behavior behind the wheel.

The blinded parent who would claim that “the cost to abolish physical/corporal punishment of all children in all schools is $0″ either can’t be serious, or is greately in need of reality awareness. The social costs, amply though sadly demonstrated through the ever-escalating numbers of wayward youth shuffling through the penal systems of America, should serve as undeniable indication that the costs of abolishing the paddle are immense!


November 21st, 2009
12:17 pm

Not every punishment is going to be 100% effective. The results of a punishment will vary from student to student. Some students are deathly afraid of the thought of detention, ISS or OSS. While others may see OSS as free time and ISS as another place to see peers.


November 21st, 2009
12:25 pm

Paddling definitely does work for most students. It should be on the books that all schools have corporal punishment as one means of discipline in the school. I am amazed now, at how different schools are from when I was in school. Paddling worked on me and also on my brothers. ISS works to an extent, but, kids will just get demerits to go home for OSS. THere will always be the kids who will not behave at all. THey really don’t belong in school at all. THey need to be at a trade school.
Discipline at home would help. Not the”honey, don’t do that”. But honest to goodness discipline! No means no, and you will get it if you misbehave!
THe school I taught at last year needed corporal punishment, but it wasn’t allowed. THose students will move on to disrupt middle school and high school. It is not fair to the students that behave and want to work.
Fortunately, I am at a school now that has great parents and great students. But it would still be nice to have the Paddle option.


November 21st, 2009
12:30 pm

Perhaps the problem here is that children are NOT a dog, pony, dolphin, or even a rat in a maze. Repeated procedures to “classically condition” kids is only part of the education setting. However, educators and parents need to remember that children, and yes adolescents, have genetic, biological, and possibly nuerological influences that cause unwarranted behaviors. Perhaps a good example is the discipline measures used years ago, including but not limited to hitting or striking a child and isolation JUST because he/she used their left hand instead of their right hand. Today, we think, how outrageous, but it was the status quo to be right handed. Children have one year to achieve each level of education and it involves their brain…. not just a reward like other mamals who will perform if they get a doggie treat, a sugar cube or carrot, a fish tossed their way, or even a piece of cheese.
From the objective view: Spanking has NOT been found to increase high stakes test scores, and isn’t that what education is all about these days?

Garry Owen

November 21st, 2009
12:47 pm

I am a retire school administrator. I have former students come up to me and tell me the reason they behaived in school was because they knew I would paddle them from continued disruptions and other out of line behavior. Most of these students are successful in their jobs and community. To often parents use the excuse of not allow discipline by the school as an excuse to cover the fact that the student actually runs the home! This leaves the school with one option. Suspension or explusion Many time I see former students names in the local paper police blotter who have no disipline at home and the school is not allowed to disipline the student. With massive government in our schools and God and discipline gone our schools are failing.


November 21st, 2009
12:53 pm

Paddling is the best discipline method for most children in my experience. A parent who refuses to dscipline her child in a manner that reaches the child and deters future incidents is a bad parent.


November 21st, 2009
1:00 pm

@coach and retired administrator – where is the study and data that says it works in an education setting. I seem to recall back in the day in the school i went to, it was always the same kids getting paddled, doing the same things over and over, getting into trouble. Please justify hitting with a wooden board if the child has an undetermined medical condition – such as a bleeding disorder, neurological disorder or a pregnant girl – are you going to justify it then to?


November 21st, 2009
1:14 pm

Paddling has been used in schools since schools began, at least in this country. There was paddling in schools when “the Greatest Generation” attended, when their parents attended, and when their children, the “Baby Boomers,” were in school.

It was rarely my punishment of choice for my own children, but to suggest that a spanking (as opposed to a beating) will cause lasting physical or psychological harm is rather ludicrous.


November 21st, 2009
1:21 pm

@science teacher – Please name one college of education that teaches educators this.


November 21st, 2009
2:24 pm

I’ve been teaching for almost 40 years. In the early years (until about 1990, anyway) if I paddled a child their parents wanted to know–AFTER the fact. That’s because they would get a spanking again when they got home. No parent wanted their child to dishonor them by misbehaving.

Now, it is the teacher who gets in trouble for the child misbehaving–both from the parents and from the administrators, who blame the teacher. Amazing!

Did anyone see the vent from the grandparent who went on a field trip with their second grade grandchild this week and commented that, from what they saw then, teachers are grossly underpaid? I am willing to bet if parents would observe in the classroom, they would come away with a whole different understanding of what education is today!

A couple of times, years ago, I had a student who would go home and complain about how rough school was. I invited the parents to spend the day, or part of it, with us. Those who did left saying, “If you have any problem outta him, you let me know. That boy has nothing to complain about!”


November 21st, 2009
2:57 pm

@catlady I have a couple of questions for you since you are a seasoned educator of 40 years and that takes guts. Beleive me when I say this, I couldn’t be an educator. Not for me. I respect teachers wholeheartedly because it is a nobel profession that can shape our future generations for years to come. What do you say if a child has been possibly abused or neglected at home – should they be paddled? Sometimes you educators are the ones that pick up on this and after all you are mandated reporters correct? How is it possible then that anyone in the education system can equate discipline with hitting. I have read a multitude of reports on Positive Behavior Supports. Why are schools in Georgia not embracing this to help with school climate and disciplinary issues. Do schools have to be weaned off the bad habit of paddling? It seems so profoundly ridiculous at this point that this is even being discussed in 2009. Surely the other 30 states have just as many disciplinary issues as we do here in Georgia, and they educate just fine without the paddle. Many of those states student achievement indicators are above ours here in Georgia. Discipline means ‘to teach’ last I checked. All kids are not perfect angels and test boundaries all the time. . What do you think about PBIS? http://www.pbis.org for more information. Incidentally, the Dignity in Schools Organization has a national initiative to call on lawmakers around the country to stop school pushout and school corporal punishment. Maybe you might want to check it out. This is 2009, at least 50 % of parents polled now, would want to know prior and not ‘after the fact’ as you said and at least 50% of parents polled would be opposed. It is not acceptable anymore nor appropriate IMHO

Michael Goldfield

November 21st, 2009
3:16 pm

Teachers and school administrators who paddle or “hit” in any way children are sadists posing as educators. They are sick people who should be kept away from children.

There is NEVER any legitimate reason for any adult to hit a child. Those who choose to do so are emotionally sick and need counseling.

Hitting children is always abusive. Assaulting children is just as criminal as assaulting an adult.

People who assault children should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

The United States needs to enact legislation to protect children from assault. Children are entitled to the same protections provided to adults by our Constitution.


Concerned parent.

November 21st, 2009
3:35 pm

catlady :I have been on countless fieldtrips with my kids in the past 22 years (yes..have had kids in public schools that long) On every field trip, the teachers sat together, facing forward, talking to each other all day long and left the control of the kids almost entirely to the poor, hapless parents!

Terry- you might as welll give up. People who want to beat their kids will continue to do so and rationalize it in the same old tired ways forever. It makes no difference at all to them that it is wrong, proven to be unnecessary and counterproductive..it makes them feel good! So what if you and I and millions of other parents have raised respectful, productive, loving kids without hitting them…they will never change their ways.

Concerned parent.

November 21st, 2009
3:42 pm

Oh, catlady- PLEASE I do not mean to imply that teachers do not deserve raises…you do not deserve raises..you deserve an entirely different payscale….in line with sports personalities!


November 21st, 2009
4:01 pm

Concerned Parent, you come on here every time with the same spiel. Seriously, do what you do. If it works…great. I use corporal punishment because I WANT to and I CAN. I am the parent. I make the rules. I am not touchy-feely, and won’t raise my kids that way. I don’t knock those that do, so stop handing me the same story about alternative discipline.

My husband has been a juvie probation officer, and adult probation officer, and now a teacher. He’s seen enough to know what forms of discipline are most effective, and that everything won’t work for every child. Period.

Science Guy

November 21st, 2009
4:20 pm

Paddling is not hitting! A hit is a punch or a slap, not a well-placed swat on the backside with an appropriate piece of lumber. I teach, I paddle, and it works. We are nearing the halfway point in this school term, and I have only needed to paddle twice this year. Parents may opt out if desired, but few do. Suspension doesn’t work (the kids don’t want to be at school anyway), in-school suspension is a joke, and heart-to-heart talks with administrators get zero results. I promise you that there is no better attitude adjuster than 2-3 swats from one who knows how to do it well.


November 21st, 2009
4:24 pm

@science guy – Do you know anything or have read anything at all about PBIS?

Science Guy

November 21st, 2009
4:39 pm

I am very familiar with PBIS. Most of it is common sense and most teachers do it informally every day. Sadly, not every kid responds to anything positive.

Again, I paddle, but I don’t have to do it frequently for it to be effective. In 21 years, I’ve probably never had to do it more than five times in a given year. I only do it when all else has failed, and I have never had to paddle the same kid twice. I’ve also never had any further discipline problems with a kid after a paddling.


November 21st, 2009
4:46 pm

OK then let me ask an honest question then and this is hypothetical cuz I don’t know you or your students. What if a single one of those children are getting abused or neglected at home OR what if one of those children have a medical issue that has not been disclosed to you by the parent or what if the child has a learning disability and his or her behavior is related to that BUT hasn’t been identified as of yet. Then what? Honest answers then. Are you aware of the many lawsuits that have been filed on this issue? If a behavior is that bad, what about calling in your support staff and ask for proper assessments and interventions then?


November 21st, 2009
4:53 pm

One of my favorite punishments I have seen used is “After School Work”. Instead of sitting in ISS or detention our school has kids pick of litter on the school campus. This is heald twice a week for two hours and has two teachers supervising. Kids do not like it.

Concerned parent.

November 21st, 2009
5:11 pm

ScienceGuy- Ditto Michael Goldberg… and don’t you DARE go near my kid!!! She would never do anything deserving punishment-that is her nature, but the stress of knowing you might hit her would cause her absolute terror and nightmares. You need help!!!