Corporal punishment: Why are we still hitting students in schools?

As a former writer on family issues, I was always taken aback when parents and schools espoused a multi-vitamin view of physical punishment, telling me that children needed a whack now and then to grow up big and strong.

I’ve been a longtime advocate of barring schools from using corporal punishment. With all the attention around the abuse of children , it stuns me that we allow adults to legally strike students.

Only 20 states, including Georgia, still permit paddling in their schools, but that is changing.

Some dedicated parents in Georgia are attempting to impose a ban here, but the Legislature has adopted a hands-off attitude,  enabling local school districts to decide for themselves whether to paddle. Most metro districts eschew physical discipline, but it does go on, especially in rural Georgia.

While there are obvious educational, moral and psychological problems with paddles that ought to compel districts to retire them, there’s also the threat of lawsuits.  It’s surprising that school systems would continue a practice that is such a legal minefield.

I am on several e-mail lists and get a lot of  daily updates on the national effort to end corporal punishment, which is most common in Southern schools. I am happy to report that the campaign is gaining momentum even in states that have revered the paddle.

The New York Times took up the topic this week.

Among the comments in the story:

When Tyler Anastopoulos got in trouble for skipping detention at his high school recently, he received the same punishment that students in parts of rural Texas have been getting for generations.

Tyler, an 11th grader from Wichita Falls, was sent to the assistant principal and given three swift swats to the backside with a paddle, recalled Angie Herring, his mother. The blows were so severe that they caused deep bruises, and Tyler wound up in the hospital, Ms. Herring said.

While the image of the high school principal patrolling the halls with paddle in hand is largely of the past, corporal punishment is still alive in 20 states, according to the Center for Effective Discipline, which tracks its use in schools around the country and encourages its end. Most of those states are in the South, where paddling remains ingrained in the social and family fabric of some communities.

Each year, prodded by child safety advocates, state legislatures debate whether corporal punishment amounts to an archaic form of child abuse or an effective means of discipline.

This month, Tyler, who attends City View Junior/Senior High School, told his story to lawmakers in Texas, which is considering a ban on corporal punishment. The same week, legislators in New Mexico voted to end the practice there.

Texas schools, Ms. Herring fumed, appear to have free rein in disciplining a student, “as long as you don’t kill him.”

“If I did that to my son,” she said, “I’d go to jail.”

Up until about 25 years ago, corporal punishment in public schools could be found in all but a handful of states, said Nadine Block, the founder of the Center for Effective Discipline. Prompted by the threat of lawsuits and research that questioned its effectiveness, states gradually started banning the practice.

According to estimates by the federal Department of Education, 223,190 children were subjected to corporal punishment in the 2005-6 school year. That was a nearly 20 percent drop from a few years earlier, Ms. Block said.

In Texas, at least 27 of about 1,000 school districts still use corporal punishment, said Jimmy Dunne, the founder and president of another group that is against the practice, People Opposed to Paddling Students.

In New Mexico — where more than a third of the school districts permit corporal punishment, according to a local children’s legal services group — legislators approved a paddling ban this month. Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican, has not indicated whether she will sign the bill.

Opponents of the measure, like State Senator Vernon D. Asbill, worried that a ban would tie teachers’ hands and make it harder for them to control students. “With parental supervision and parental approval, I believe it’s appropriate,” said Mr. Asbill, a Republican and a longtime teacher and school administrator from Carlsbad. “The threat of it keeps many of our kids in line so they can learn.”

But State Senator Cynthia Nava, a Democrat and a school superintendent from Las Cruces who supports the ban, said schools were no place for violence of any sort. “It’s shocking to me that people got up on the floor and argued passionately to preserve it,” she said of corporal punishment. “We should be educating kids that they can’t solve problems with violence.”

Calls to end corporal punishment have gotten louder of late, even in states unlikely to pass a ban. In Mississippi, the family of a teenager who was paddled in school has filed a federal lawsuit. The suit, filed against the Tate County School District, claims that corporal punishment is unconstitutional because it is applied disproportionately to boys.

The teenager’s lawyer, Joe Murray, is also representing the family of another student who was paddled at the same high school this month. In that case, the boy was struck so hard that he passed out and broke his jaw, Mr. Murray said.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

197 comments Add your comment

APS Teacher

March 30th, 2011
9:02 am

Maureen,

This doesn’t just go on in “rural Georgia.” In the lowest income APS schools, hitting, pinching, taping mouths shut, flicking children on the forehead, etc. are all COMMON discipline practices. The rational is always that this is the way their parents discipline them so it is how we have to discipline them too. It is outrageous.

Dr NO

March 30th, 2011
9:06 am

I agree with corporal punishment. This molly-coddling, everyone is good, enabling mentality, positive reinforcement crapola doesnt work. If a child is aware of certain consequences then more often than not they will shy away from actions that might bring on such consequences.

Of course this only works in say 6th grade and below.

Tokyo Toto

March 30th, 2011
9:36 am

Hmmmm. Could there be a connection ?

“Caning in Singapore:
Caning is also a legal form of punishment for delinquent male members of the military (Singapore Armed Forces — SAF) and this is administered in the SAF Detention Barracks. Caning is also an official punishment in reform schools and as a prison disciplinary measure.
In a milder form, caning is used to punish male youths in many Singaporean schools for serious misbehaviour.
A much smaller cane or other implement is also used by some parents as punishment for their children of either sex. This is not outlawed in Singapore.”

“Study Rates Singapore Best In Math, Science”
http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/rvp/pubaf/chronicle/v5/N27/timss.html

ScienceTeacher671

March 30th, 2011
9:39 am

“Why are we still hitting children in schools?” Apparently it’s that pesky “local control” thing.

My district doesn’t spank, and hasn’t for somewhere near 20 years.

Regardless, I’ve had several parents urge me to whack their children if said children misbehaved in my class. I have NOT taken them up on the offer. I do not want to spank a teenager, mine or anyone else’s. Period.

TinaTeach

March 30th, 2011
9:41 am

Ditto Dr. NO. Corporal punishment has a place in the discipline scheme of any elementary school. It should be used sparingly and in conjunction with other punishments like detention.

Exteacher

March 30th, 2011
9:41 am

The biggest reason to rid schools of this form of discipline is abuse of power. I remember and if you are over 50, you do too, those teachers who seemed to enjoy dishing out this sort of punishment, sometimes for the most menial of problems, like basketball tossing a ball of paper trash. I remember a fifth grade teacher who at one point paddled his whole class for failing a test! Texas is famous for this sort of thing. Add to that that spanking can be a very sexual and power/dominant experience- do you know how many spanking websites there are? Just the presence of these is enough to give pause to encouraging this practice. Most of the folks on these sites/blogs/groups got their start in school, and a remarkable number come from Texas, the paddling kingdom of the US. Not that consenting adults can’t engage in this practice, but you can bet some of them are practicing on kids at school and probably at home too. Brutalizing students or your kids is not civilized.

Gertie T. Wilbanks, III

March 30th, 2011
9:43 am

Because it works and is not cruel. Next question…

Gail

March 30th, 2011
9:53 am

I have mixed feelings on this. I did not spank my children. However, I do think that some of the reason for the difference in the # of discipline problems in schools today vs the discipline problems we had when I was in school is that back then, students knew that if they disrupted the class they would be sent to the principal for a little “whacking.” I do think that paddlings as severe as mentioned above are wrong.

Tokyo Toto

March 30th, 2011
10:03 am

If a two-year-old sticks his finger in the fire, what happens?
I guess we should outlaw fire!

Bob Brown

March 30th, 2011
10:03 am

Why are we still hitting students?

Because they’re allowed to run wild at home? Because their parents have taught them that there are no consequences to any actions?

Consider the kid in the New York Times story: three licks for skipping detention. He had already gotten into trouble, but decided the penalty didn’t apply to him. Do you suppose double detention would have worked?

Corporal punishment should not cause injury, just some bright and sudden pain. There’s not enough information in the story to evaluate whether the child was injured. “Ended up in the hospital” could mean a real injury, but it could also mean she took the little brat to the already overloaded emergency department for no reason other than perhaps to set up a lawsuit.

Ashley

March 30th, 2011
10:14 am

The hypocrisy of some school systems galls me to no end. You say you want to bring education into the 21st century , with all your bells and whistles. You cry foul to anyone who wants their kids taught the old-fashion. Their cell-phones and computers are more a part of the student norm than homework, but yet you still practice corporal punishment. Doesn’t sound like you’re moving forward to me. I’ve seen some of these 15 and 16 years who have been charged with adult crimes; lets just say teenagers did not look like adults 30 years ago, some are very intimidating nowadays. Oh and by the way , parents would be arrested for some of the very things you implement in schools.

Inman Park Boy

March 30th, 2011
10:16 am

Quiet day in the newsroom, eh? As far as I know, no rational teacher has struck a child in years. Systems that still do this are asking for a lawsuit.

Batgirl

March 30th, 2011
10:17 am

Administrators in my system still paddle but must have the parents’ permission. Many kids will opt for a paddling rather than sit in ISS for several days. Teachers who were around when they were allowed to paddle say that they only had to give 1-2 paddlings early in the year, and that would take care of most discipline problems for the year. It is swift and gets the problem over with so that everyone can go back to work rather than dragging the situation out for several days with the student missing class while he/she sits in ISS.

I am not opposed to ending corporal punishment, but those who want it ended must find something that works as well or better to take its place.

I have agreed with Dr. NO two days in a row. This must be a sign of the apocalypse!

Maureen Downey

March 30th, 2011
10:23 am

@Inman, Have you look at DOE stats on corporal punishment? You would be surprised how often it is used.
Maureen

Me

March 30th, 2011
10:25 am

The idea of caning a kid doesn’t feel warm n fuzzy rolling around in my head, but let’s ask another question.

Little Johnny is a current day 12 year old that has grown up so far in this “generation of entitlement” and is now behaving in the manner that suits. Talking back, destroying property, bullying others are just a few of his offenses. He’s had “restriction” at home, detention at school and feel good family and individual therapy, none have made a dent in Johnny’s baditude. What gets his attention?

Does he get written off at school as a bad kid since the parents haven’t been able to reach him? Coddling to death is just as cruel as a good old fashioned spanking. And the spanked kids *hopefully* won’t go through life believing that he is untouchable as most thugs do now.

Spanking isn’t always appropriate and certainly isn’t the ONLY answer, and it shouldn’t be the first action, but we have to stop treating our kids like little adults with all the rights and privileges that go with adulthood, b/c that’s certainly NOT working for us now!

William Casey

March 30th, 2011
10:33 am

I don’t believe that corporal punishment is effective with most teens, but I’ll tell you something that is: In-School Suspension. Not the glorified “study hall” that ISS has become today, but rather the well-conceived behavior modification program that Boyd Morley and I piloted at Pebblebrook HS back in the ’70’s and similar programs I administered at Crestwood in the ’80’s and Chattahoochee in the ’90’s.

It is too detailed to discuss here but its original name gives you the idea: “On-Campus Isolation..” There are some teens for whom this doesn’t work because they prefer being isolated from human contact. For most, though, it does.

Ashley

March 30th, 2011
10:35 am

@Maureen. read somewhere that they tried to paddle a young lady because they did’nt like the cut of her prom dress; I think it was in Anniston,Alabama. She was a high-school senior for God sake! Striking 17- 18 year olds…..well you be the judge.

Jack

March 30th, 2011
10:45 am

Mother Nature, in her wisdom, gave us a wonderful behavior-control device. It’s called “pain.” If we do something and it causes us pain, we learn not to do it again. That said, some don’t respond to pain the way we would like … and others tend to go overboard on the infliction of such.

All I know is … whenever I did something that got me a paddling/spanking, I never did it again.

Edjukatid in jawja

March 30th, 2011
10:50 am

So this is your big concern huh.A kid gets a bruise on his butt in texas and you are up in arms. It is beyond my comprehension how anyone could waste good print on such dribble when we have morons graduating high school. They dont even have basic writing skills and your worried about a paddle.What local school did you graduate from . And let me guess , you went to UGA

td

March 30th, 2011
11:06 am

Public humiliation is a strong deterrent and as such public spanking is still one of the best behavior modification tools a school can have. It does not and should not be abusive but spanking a child in front of his or her peers for disrespecting a teacher or being disruptive is a classroom will in a huge majority of the cases modify that behavior and that child will think twice before repeating the offence.

I am a believer in the Singapore canning principal for adults doing stupid things. They have less petty crime and less % of the population serving jail time of any democratic nation in the world.

PTC DAWG

March 30th, 2011
11:07 am

I say bring back paddling, etc. There was MUCH less violence in my school in the late 70’s toward teachers/students when there was actually a FEAR of punishment.

td

March 30th, 2011
11:12 am

William Casey

March 30th, 2011
10:33 am

I served some days in OCI in Cobb county in the early 80’s and it sure did stink and made me not want to ever go back. Two rows of the old time desk with a teacher (football coach) sitting at the front. You could not sleep (another day), could not talk (another day) and could not get out unitl all your work was complete. If your teachers did not send enough work then you starting with the letter A in a dictionary and started copying definitions.

Great program until the libs had to modify it because it was to “harsh”.

Earl of Ft. Liquordale

March 30th, 2011
11:32 am

Mr. Herschel T. Smith must have paddled me at least 20 times while I was a student at Atlanta’s Roosevelt High. I deserved everyone of those paddlings. These paddlings kept me in line. Otherwise, I would have dropped out of school. If I had gotten suspended every time I crossed the line (and I crossed many a line!), heck, I would have given up and quit school. Mr. Smith was like a daddy to us Roosevelt Boys. If we skipped classes to go down to the store down the hill on Glenwood, Mr. Smith would sometimes go hunting for us, bring us back to school, line us up and paddle us. If we cut up too much in Miss Taylor’s English class and frustrated her to no end, she would send us to Mr. Smith, and he would give us a tune-up. Heck, that’s how Miss Taylor kept us in line. If she threatened to send us to see Mr. Smith, we straightened up…for the time being. But, that’s all the relief that Miss Taylor needed at the moment. She was trying to teach conjugations!

Paddling was a rite of passage for us teenagers. We would stand outside Mr. Smith’s door and listen as he paddled our friends as we were waiting on our paddlings. We would giggle as we heard Bo Bo Turpin starting to whimper like a little girl every time he got paddled. We would rib the heck out of Bo Bo. He didn’t care. He had every girl in the school fawning over him. He was the pretty boy of Roosevelt, but he couldn’t take a good paddling.

A good paddling (and the threat of another) is what many of these kids need today. The kids are running the show. I have a nephew who still teaches in Clayton County (will complete his 30 years in 2015), and he says the ISS is a complete joke where the students laugh and cut up. Mr. William Casey, it’s nothing like the type of In-School Suspension that you ran at Pebblebrook High. Yes, this strict ISS will work too…total isolation. The students hate this isolation, but they don’t run ISS like this anymore. It’s just play time. This is true. Play time. The problem with the kids today? No discipline. No consequences for bad behavior. No pain. Yes, no pain. If we could not feel pain in our bodies, then our bodies would end up mangled and burned. Paddling inflicts some pain. Paddling should not be abused. Only administrators should employ it — and always with an adult witness. And, if a parent refuses to give his or her blessings to paddling, then let the parent know that your hands are then tied. The next time the kid is sent to the office for misconduct, send the student home for a few days to let mommie and daddy take care of him or her. This changes things immediately.

By the way, we still drop by to see Mr. Smith (very old now) when the Mrs. and I return to Atlanta. The Mrs. is still bemused that I could respect, admire, and cherish the friendship of a man who paddled me so much in school. I tell her, “Heck, that’s how we Roosevelt Boys knew that he cared for us.” Every now and then, I round up Bo Bo Turpin and Preston McElhenny, and we go the nursing home to visit Mr. Smith. We sit around and regale about our glorious days at Roosevelt and Cabbagetown. We laugh about how Bo Bo Turpin couldn’t take a paddling. We laughed so hard at Mr. Smith describing how Bo Bo looked when Mr. Smith caught all of us smoking behind Little Grocery in Cabbagetown. This was before we played Brown that night in basketball. He gave us a choice…five licks with a paddle or tell Coach Cartwright (and not get to play that night). We all chose the paddling. He took us back to the hill (Roosevelt was up on that glorious hill). He paddled us. Bo Bo still whimpered like a little girl, but that night, we beat Brown High for the City Championship. Bo Bo sank the two winning free throws with one second on the clocks and Pall Mall cigarette smoke still on his breath. We owe that City Championship to Mr. Smith’s “Board of Education.”

catlady

March 30th, 2011
11:42 am

I have mixed feelings on this. I agree with Batgirl, however. In the old days, used immediately and sparingly, a paddling did tend to dial it down for the rest of the year. Typically, not only did the offending child straighten up, but the rest of the class did, as well. Right now, with our repeat offenders, they have a feeling of power–THEY are in charge! Submitting to a paddling disrupts that worldview.

I also recall three kids whose parents were adamant that they not be paddled, for various reasons. All three have served time in jail. A coincidence? I don’t think so.

One of our current problems is children who have been raised to think they are “cock of the walk.” I’d love ideas to modify that behavior, before they either become victimizers or bums. As the behavior is positively reinforced, they take the rest of the class with them.

Stooge

March 30th, 2011
11:47 am

Why? Because it works for some students(I can hear the liberal yuppies already screaming) and disclipine in the schools quickly went to hell as soon as it was stopped.

Kim

March 30th, 2011
11:52 am

How about a glass detention room where all the other students could see you as they are changing classes? The embarrassment of that might be a deterrent.

Dr. John Trotter

March 30th, 2011
11:59 am

I see that my cousin Earl has already addressed the paddling issue. I couldn’t have said it better. Hey Earl, we’ll be down in Boca the last week of April. We will be monitoring the NAWWA Convention. NAWWA? Oh, that’s the National Association of Wimpy & Weasel Administrators. I hear that they break into sessions and hold hands, singing, “Kum Ba Ya.” They have “tear sessions” about the cruel and barbaric administrators who still use the paddle to keep some incorrigibles in line. The keynote speaker this year is Dr. Godfey G. Heinsfeld of the Sensitivity Training Center of Brooklyn. His topic this year: “The Positive Reinforcement of Giving Lollypops to Students Sent to the Office for Miscreant Conduct.” We will be picketing him. “Heinsfeld Must Go!” “Send Heinsfeld Back to Brooklyn!” “Give Heinsfeld a Lollypop…to His Ass!” “Heinsfeld Needs a Good Spanking!” “Heinsfeld Should Have Been Paddled…as a Kid!” Oh well, this ought to get the conventioneers all riled up! They will be spittin’ nickels on the sidewalks. The police will come. They will huff and puff. We will not be moved. But, Boca will never be the same!

David Sims

March 30th, 2011
12:02 pm

Pain is nature’s own learning motivator. Our ability to feel pain is what teaches us avoid hot objects, animals that bite, and jumping from high places. In non-injurious doses, it works as well for teaching small children to do right and to avoid doing wrong, as judged by their presumably wiser parents.

At some point, though, older children catch on to the game and gain the ability to rebel through any mild degree of corporal punishment. Teenagers are hard to frighten enough that they will change their behavior. You almost do have to break some bones or injure them enough to put them into a hospital. What continuing mild corporal punishment will do is harden the teenager’s personality, such that he becomes a criminal prepared to defy anything authority is willing to do to him. Once he is past his 18th birthday, there is no limit to how badly authority would hurt him, but he hasn’t come to appreciate that yet.

So it is best to use enough corporal punishment on young children that they don’t need much higher doses of it later in their lives.

sissyuga

March 30th, 2011
12:04 pm

223,000 students? Really? That is hardly a blip. Let’s blame the school system instead of looking at how disrespectful Tyler’s actions were. I bet he is a model child with a polite disposition about him. ;) We are too focus on raising self esteem than true consequences (which are absent from home these days).

Georgia Coach

March 30th, 2011
12:13 pm

John T. Standing with a sign. Is that the sum total of your societal contribution? Oh, that and screwing MACE members out of $40 a month!

catlady

March 30th, 2011
12:18 pm

Lost comment @ about 11:50

Dr NO

March 30th, 2011
12:25 pm

Batgirl: “I have agreed with Dr. NO two days in a row. This must be a sign of the apocalypse!”

Everybody duck and cover… ;)

Dr. John Trotter

March 30th, 2011
12:50 pm

@ Georgia Coach (and all of your other monikers): Oh, how those signs work! Ha! And you loved them too when you were a MACE member. In fact, you begged for those signs. Should I name the schools? Ha! You and I both know that we hardly ever close the MACE Office until 11:00 PM each week night (and sometimes at midnight) — and here lately even on Friday nights! Yeah, we must be doing one or two things well, wouldn’t you say? The membership applications keep coming in each week. You can’t hide success. I am sorry that things didn’t work out for you with MACE, but we refuse to allow someone like you to pimp MACE for your own selfish reasons. I was reading recently how bitterness, resentment, and jealousy can really affect your health. I encourage you to to take care of your health, OK? Now I have to run to meet with a teacher whom I’ll represent in a grievance hearing before a school board tomorrow morning.

http://www.theteachersadvocate.com

South Georgia Teacher

March 30th, 2011
12:53 pm

Attendance is the secondary indicator for AYP, so suspension for misbehavior is a last resort. Students cannot spend more that 10 days in ISS (in-school suspension) and the parents don’t want to come to the school to deal with their children. Paddling works well for us.

APS teacher

March 30th, 2011
1:07 pm

Dr. T,
What happened with GA coach? Did he loose his non-renewal hearing?

gamom

March 30th, 2011
1:23 pm

Another injury was just reported in South Georgia – in http://www.thepostsearchlight.com

Inman Boy – you are sadly mistaken, this goes on way way too often. As the DOE for the stats and see for yourself. I forgot how many thousands of parents have to seek medical attention for their battered kids – at the hands of educators, and there is not much a parent can do. So parents – make sure to give them NO permission and expressly tell them in writing every single year – because oddly enough those opt out forms can get lost. For all those who trust an educator to whack a kid with the purest of hearts – you are absolutely nuts. No educator is trained in how to do it ‘properly’ whatever that is. There is no course on it. No regulation of the apparatus used – no mandate on size and weight of the paddler or for that matter what force is appropriate. HOW ABOUT NONE? When is the Georgia Legislature going to fix this? Even special needs kids are whacked – is that right? our most vulnerable children in the state of Georgia are subject to physical punishment. Shame on Us. And I am calling on the Georgia House Education Committee too fix this problem. The minute you sign any form to give the educators permission to smack your kid – you give up your rights. – because they are immune. SHAMEFUL

Joyce Meadows

March 30th, 2011
1:23 pm

BECAUSE THEY NEED IT!!! REMEMBER THEY ARE THE CHILDREN, TEACHERS ARE THE ADULTS AND ALSO SCHOOLED IN CHILD PSYCHOLOGY. A GRANDMOTHER OF FOUR.

gamom

March 30th, 2011
1:25 pm

Joyce – you would give permission to someone to whack your grandkids? Maybe you don’t realize that if the kid is injured you have no recourse. THINK!

Georgia Coach

March 30th, 2011
1:39 pm

Georgia Coach only has one moniker as Maureen could attest. He is a happilly employed educator who would never join Trotter’s collection of low performing dues payers.

Name whatever school you want because I am not who you think I am, Johhny boy!!

gamom

March 30th, 2011
1:56 pm

Is Hall County considered metro?

gamom

March 30th, 2011
2:12 pm

@ ExTeacher – TX already has a bill in the works introduced by Rep Alma Allen – Now we’ve got TX moving ahead of Georgia.. Go figure

drew (former teacher)

March 30th, 2011
2:23 pm

Why are we still hitting students in school?

Because with some students it works! And by “works”, I mean it causes some students to change their behavior for the better. And as long as the parents signed-off on it, there’s no reason for anyone to get their panties in a wad over it.

Julie Worley

March 30th, 2011
2:24 pm

3/25/2011 the NLGA (National Lieutenant Governors Association) passed the Corporal Punishment resolution without discussion, “encouraging state and territorial governments to consider the elimination of corporal punishment in our schools…”

Pain as Punishment of schoolchildren has no place in America’s schools!

Governor Martinez Must Sign Legislation to End School Paddling of Schoolchildren in New Mexico Shools as approved by both the House HB 172 and the Senate SB 319.

Governor Perry Must Abolish Pain as Punishment of Texas Schoolchildren Now by Enacting TX HB 916! Banned in Texas Capitol City of Austin, Illegal in Schools in 30 states and Prohibited by Federal Law against convicted Felons in Prisons!

According to the latest data collection of the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights 2006, approximately 50,000 students are in paddled annually in Texas schools.

Truth is that schoolchildren of all ages are injured by school paddling, putting school districts of lawsuits and that several “School Paddling States” have “Teacher Immunity Laws” to protect school employees from criminal/civil action leaving families no legal redress.

All schoolchildren must be treated with human dignity and respect and deserve equal access to safe and healthy learning environments. The very same act, a person hitting another person or animal with a wooden board, if done in public, rather than within the walls of a tax payer funded school building, will result in the arrest and imprisonment of the paddle weilder for criminal assault, be they a Policeman, Lawmaker or U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Get the Facts, search and read “A Violent Education” by Human Rights Watch and The ACLU for more information, then add your voice to defend our nation’s schoolchildren’s constitutional right not to be assualted by those paid our tax dollars to be entrusted with their care and education at UnlimitedJustice.com National Campaign to End School Paddling of Children.

Please invest in children’s rights organizations to improve living conditions for all. Although the United States has made progress in the last century by guaranteeing young people legal rights, some attitudes have remained stagnantly in favor of the conventional hierarchy. If America wants to remain the leader of the free world, all citizens should be protected and allowed to grow up in the absence of violence.

@ Earl

March 30th, 2011
2:37 pm

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

I remember the boys getting paddled in school and as adults we sit around and they will tell you that they deserved it and that they never felt disrespect for the teacher or principal administering the punishment, as they see now that the “punishment” that their children receive is non-existent.

gamom

March 30th, 2011
2:38 pm

drew – it is a problem because people are unaware they are signing away their rights as parents when giving permission. You as a parent must be the protector ofyour child, not giving away your rights to a potential abuser. THINK!

td

March 30th, 2011
2:40 pm

I have a better idea. Instead of spanking these precious unruly children lets spank their parents for not making them behave in the classroom. If some one want to present that as a bill and do away with spanking the children at the same time then I will be more than happy to support the measure.

gamom

March 30th, 2011
2:43 pm

It’s a sad day when educators – who are supposed to be leading our youth to success- and are supposed to role models – that any of you advocate for hitting children. There is a difference between discipline and punishment. Maybe you all need to go back to school and take some advanced child psychology classes. NONE of them purport that hitting children is a good thing at any measure. In fact they emphasize the opposite – that physically punishing children can be detremental, that some kids may become more aggressive. And to boot – let’s just ignore the fact that major medical, nursing, psychology, and even professional teacher organizations are demanding the laws be changed so no one can legally hit a child in a school. Go to the National Association of School Nurses website, or the national PTA. Come on!

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

March 30th, 2011
3:11 pm

I was lucky that neither the Sisters of Mercy nor the Marist Brothers had a no-corporal-punishment policy.

What's best for kids

March 30th, 2011
3:23 pm

I think that parents should be the ones to administer discipline. I will absolutely spank my kids if needed. No need for the school to do it. I want for them to really stew about the consequences of their actions; I assure you, the school’s punishment will pale in comparison to mine,

What's best for kids

March 30th, 2011
3:25 pm

Dr. Spinks,
I remember my father talking about Marist Boys’ School~ he said that he would rather talk about his experiences in Veitnam than to discuss the punishments he received at Marist.