August 21, 2008

Crime and Punishment

I hate to dip into the ever-flowing river of news two days running but when I saw this headline, my ears perked up and my butt began to sting: "223,000 Schoolkids Spanked, Paddled." Human Rights Watch and the ACLU did a study and determined that more than a couple hundred thousand kids were subjected to corporal punishment in schools during the 2007-2008 school year.

When I was a kid, I went to a private Southern Baptist elementary school. They took punishment fairly seriously, deeming us filled with evil and sin by default. I have absolutely no recollection of what I did to deserve the first paddling I got. Maybe the baby Jesus helpfully erased that memory for me. But I remember the second time vividly. I was in second or third grade, watching an indoor hockey game (a really lame version of hockey played with plastic sticks on the gym floor). When the team I was rooting for gave up a goal, I turned to the kid next to me - his name was Jerry - and muttered shit. Jerry immediately left the bleachers and told the teacher exactly what I'd said. I was called over and taken in to a small dark room just off the gym. She asked me what I'd said. I told her. She took a small wooden paddle from the wall and told me what was going to happen and that it would happen twice - once for saying it to Jerry and once for repeating it to her. I might have been a little kid but even I knew how stupid that was. I argued but it became obvious that it wasn't going to change a thing. I bent over. She hit me. It hurt. She hit me again and again it hurt. It hurt so much that I quite proudly said shit. This caught her by surprise. She informed me that she'd have to hit me again. And she did. Again I cursed. And again I was hit. She asked me if I was done and, my ass hurting by this point, I said yes. I've never trusted anyone named Jerry since.

In junior high - a public school, having strongly requested that my parents get me the hell out of private school in the middle of fourth grade - there was actually a corporal punishment authorization form that parents had to fill out. My parents ever so politely declined the school system's offer of abuse but so did a lot of kids' parents and it became pretty obvious pretty quickly that no one in the school cared what the parents thought. Especially the coaches. I was in a special athletic program. I was a runner. We had gym class the last period of the day and we were required to wear uniforms. One day I forgot mine. I wasn't a trouble maker by any stretch of the imagination but I was immediately called into Coach Cain's office. He asked me where my uniform was and, no even waiting for an excuse, told me to drop my pants. He pulled one of his many paddles off the wall - each worthy of any upstanding fraternity and some with holes to cut down on wind resistance - and asked me to put my elbows on the desk in front of me. I told him my parents hadn't given their permission for this to go down. He called me a pussy then gave me a pretty brutal shot to the ass. I remember telling my parents what happened. They visited the school and there was some yelling but not a damn thing happened. Especially to that sick fuck Cain.

If you've never had the pleasure of having a wooden plank meet your ass at high velocity, it hurts. In fact, it burns with the heat of a thousand suns. And it keeps burning for a good day or two. It's also very loud, like a gunshot going off behind you. To this very day - and sitting here writing this certainly didn't help - I get anxious just thinking about it.

In my mind 230,000 kids being subjected to this kind of behavior - so called discipline - each year is unconscionable. It hurts. It's terrifying. And it has absolutely no value as a deterrent. And frankly, anyone who calls or considers themselves an educator and wields anything stronger than a pencil or a piece of chalk with a child needs to be distanced from the kids they're trying to help.

But maybe that's just me. Maybe I'm off-base. What do you think? Corporal punishment - for, against or indifferent?

Posted by Chris at August 21, 2008 6:36 AM

Very much AGAINST corporal punishment. I don't think I even need to explain why. It's just wrong.

Posted by: NancyJak at August 21, 2008 7:10 AM

I can't remember the exact number, but in something like 23 states corporal punishment is still legal in schools.

It's fucking ridiculous, if you ask me.

It's one thing is a parent chooses to spank their children and they're very much aware of the line between that sort of punishment and child abuse, and they know now to cross it, etc. But it's quite another for a school employee to perform that sort of punishment.

And don't get me started on paddles. Yikes.

Posted by: Caleal at August 21, 2008 7:28 AM

No to corporal and yes to capitol. Maybe then the kids would take school seriously!

Posted by: Jeff A at August 21, 2008 7:59 AM

Against, against, against. If someone laid a hand or a paddle on my son.... I'm not sure what I would do. But it wouldn't be pretty.

It is not the place of the school to tell anyone to "drop their pants." That fucker needed to go to jail and I am so angry on your behalf right now I can't see straight.

Corporal punishment must be stopped. It is cruelty and nothing less.

Posted by: picturefool at August 21, 2008 8:02 AM


It's not punishment, it's abuse.

Posted by: Missy at August 21, 2008 8:11 AM


I went to Catholic school for 12 years. When I was in the third grade, Brother Noel thought I was passing notes and decided I deserved a paddling. The type of paddling you received depended on the infraction. Five paddles to the palms of my hands. I could barely hold my pencil for days. I never told my mother because I didn't think she would care. I still get very anxious and nervous (for days/weeks) when/if someone accuses me of something I didn't do.

Posted by: Maria at August 21, 2008 8:12 AM

Against. I can't believe it is still legal in your country. But then isn't the USA one of only two countries in the world who haven't signed up to the United Nations Children's Rights charter/thing?

Posted by: Katherine at August 21, 2008 8:15 AM


It's wrong. It doesn't work.

Posted by: sunshine at August 21, 2008 8:35 AM

Very much against.

Posted by: Gwen at August 21, 2008 8:35 AM

Well, ya know, I was spanked as a child, and I turned out fine, BUT...

That's just not how I want to discipline my kids. I want them to obey and follow directions out of respect for me and for rules, not out of fear.

A friend of mine DOES spank and her kids seem happy and fine and well behaved, and so maybe it works for them. I'm not judging. But me? I can't do it and I won't.

Posted by: Sarah at August 21, 2008 8:42 AM

I don't think giving that sort of power to an educator is appropriate. If the school wants a corporal punishment plan, the parent should be called in to administer it. And woe to the kid of mine who uses two hours of my vacation time to deal with that. Two lectures, one to the kid and a second to the school about why I'm not smacking my kid around on their say so. I've actually had to do this. First grade. They called me first to get my permission to paddle my kid. The angelic one! I said no way, so they made me come pick him up and suspended him for two days. The woman was a petty tyrant. Besides that, I think the most effective punishment tool is electronics banishment.

And making a kid drop his pants? Sick bastard.

Posted by: OS at August 21, 2008 8:43 AM

AGAINST. This entire entry almost made me cry, Chris! I can't imagine going through what you did and being surrounded by people that think it's okay!

I was never spanked as a kid, but I was punished. The death look from my mother would be enough to scare the crap out of the worst offending child in a class of 20. And if anything at all physical happened, it was that spot on my elbow and a couple of her fingers applying strategic pressure. Enough pressure to control my direction -- direction right to my room.

I just don't see the point in hitting kids. Doesn't it just teach them to hit back?

Posted by: Pocklock at August 21, 2008 8:46 AM

I am against corporal punishment in schools. HOWEVER, I do think the schools need to take back control. Our schools no longer have control and it's become out of control. They are so afraid of being sued by "well meaning parents" they don't break up fights, they don't interfere at all and it's in my opinion a really bad trend for the youth of today. You can't put kids in detention if they don't have a ride home from school if they take the bus, they don't break up fights because they are afraid that the teachers will be sued for "touching" their precious babies. It's out of control. The School district does have to have some disciplinary control while those children are in their care. When I was in school if I screwed up, my parents didn't whine to the school they said to me, well take your lumps go to detention and take your lumps, they weren't in the principals office whining that it would hurt my chances at college and blah blah blah. Our self indulgent whiney poor me society, is making our youth the same and we need to stop it. I don't believe it comes from corporal punishment, but the schools do need to be able to have SOME control while the kids are in their care. You can't take away everything from the administration and then wonder why they did nothing when little Johnny gets in a fight and nobody helped.

Posted by: Dee at August 21, 2008 8:53 AM

OMG! I had no idea that sort of thing was legal or carried on in schools over there.

Speaking as a newly qualified teacher in the British educational system I find that TOTALLY appalling, and the number quoted more than a little shocking.

Personally I don't believe a parent has the right to treat their kid that way, let alone a teacher. And I'm sorry that you had that experience too. It hasn't been legal in schools over here for at least thirty years I'm sure. Madness.

Posted by: starrynite at August 21, 2008 8:57 AM

Strongly against. I can't separate it from hitting. I'm not sure how effective my argument against doing anything is bolstered when it's administered with fear and pain.

Posted by: tulip at August 21, 2008 9:06 AM

Totally against. Teachers should not be handing out discipline of that nature. I was spanked a few times in school. Each time was terrifying and way more painful than it should have been.

But hell they're letting teachers carry guns now so what's the harm in a little corporal punishment, right?

Posted by: Jennifer at August 21, 2008 9:09 AM

It's just insane to think that any school district would practice this, in this day and age. My heart hurts for you, Chris. I remember as a child, just KNOWING that you COULD get paddled - it scared me. (And I was not the kind of kid who needed to be scared into good behavior!) When I was older my parents told me that it was made clear to whoever my teachers were that I was not to be spanked - but I didn't know that, then.

Posted by: Sam at August 21, 2008 9:10 AM

I cringed just reading that; I think it's totally f'd up that that many kids are subjected to it. I would NOT want that going on in a school my children attended.

We've all heard the "spare the rod, spoil the child", but I think you can drive home a message without using paddles or spankings of any kind.

Posted by: Claire at August 21, 2008 9:20 AM

You are not at all off-base. I am incredibly angry that this goes on and that people think it's okay to hit children as a means of discipline. I do not believe children learn anything from that except fear of the person who hits them. We cannot say, "don't hit"...and then hit.
My parents never spanked/hit me and I still learned right from wrong.

Posted by: diane at August 21, 2008 9:20 AM

I'm not your mom (which ... I think you already knew) but I totally want to go paddle that coach's ass for what he did to you. Because I can guarantee that would've been MY mother's response. And I can guarantee that I would respond similarly if something like that were to happen to my (hypothetical) child.

And I'm not against spanking kids either (which I know is controversial now) but that's for the parents to do, especially if they have specifically NOT given permission for school officials to do so. And using a goddamn PADDLE is really fucking unnecessary.

Also, Jerry was a little asshole. Okay, rant over.

Posted by: Fraulein N at August 21, 2008 9:21 AM

MAN, THAT IS SCARY! I really hope that this changes some time soon. I don't think that this is the case here in Australia but now I feel compelled to see what the deal really is. I didn't even think to ask about the school's stand on corporal punishment when we were looking into schools for our kids.

Now to be completely unrelated - I love this blog! I have nominated you for an award, and if you would like to have a look I have written a post on it over at my blog.

Posted by: del at August 21, 2008 9:29 AM

Overall, it's a tough issue. I don't think kids should be paddled - although I've met a few that more than deserve it. Discipline is so difficult these days because I think we have created a society of adults who are afraid to discipline kids at all. After college, I was working as a cashier and actually heard one bratty kid in the store tell his mom to shut up when she told him to behave. And then he said "And you can't do a thing or I'll call the cops on you."

This kid was maybe 9 or 10 years old. It's sad.

Posted by: Traci at August 21, 2008 9:32 AM

Corporal punishment teaches kids that hitting is an acceptable way to solve problems. Do that to another kid, and you get in trouble. Do it as an adult, and get an assault charge.

I won't spank my kids. And if some other person raises a hand to them, I will go apeshit (in a non violent manner, of course.)

I'll be very interested to see if you get any pro responses. I don't get that mindset and I would like to hear it explained.

Posted by: bad penguin at August 21, 2008 9:57 AM

Gosh! I was holding my breath reading this. I was not even aware that corporal punishment is carried out in schools in this country and I am absolutely shocked to hear this!

Posted by: NM at August 21, 2008 10:03 AM

I also read that news article yesterday and find it beyond appalling.

So it's NOT ok for kids to hug in school but it IS ok for adults to tell a kid to drop their pants and beat the crap out of them?


Posted by: jessica at August 21, 2008 10:12 AM

I too went to private school and they allowed the paddle as well only it was done publicly in front of the class. As much as I don't agree with it and don't condone it, school was much different back such thing as talking back and kids acted differently too. Fear is a powerful motivator, too bad we can't figure out a different way to use that. for mother has worked in our high school for 25 years. She almost lost her job last year because she enforced the fines owed on a library book overdue.The kid didnt think that was fair and took it to the pricipal and superintendent.....bullshit I say. Rules are rules and that is where schools are missing the boat. they shouldnt back down because a kid does that teach a kid about the real world. I'd love to call my credit card company and cry cause I got a late the guy that processed the fine wouldnt have his job on the line. just saying....

Posted by: becky at August 21, 2008 10:29 AM

No school official should be allowed to lay a hand on a child except in defense of themselves or another person. Paddling is sadistic, should be illegal in all public schools (it is in CA), and I'm sorry it happened to you.

I do agree with your readers who are concerned about violence in the schools. A teacher can't stand helplessly by for fear of reprisal. That's not the same thing as a calculated beating.

So much for the schools; however, we seem to have drifted over to parents and corporal punishment. Do I think an impromptu swat on the butt or hand from a parent's hand or a yank on an arm is child abuse? No I don't and I've done it very rarely in cases of danger. I could very well be wrong but my reasoning back then was better a live child than one hit by a car, burned by a gas stove or electrocuted. It's a protective instinct kicking in and it doesn't make me a child abuser even though there were probably better ways of handling things. Possibly, if I were your generation, I would have figured out an alternative.

Planned corporal punishment, even from a parent, bothers me. It's the calculation and deliberate nature involved. My former MIL used to make her boys go out to the yard and cut their own switch. They knew better than cut one too small - it increased the punishment. Looking back, I can't see she accomplished a thing. Was it child abuse? I don't know but I'm very glad we've moved away from that type of thinking for the most part.

As for the Bible (or any other religious tome), we are all guilty of making up our own minds first and then scouring the Scriptures (cherry picking) for a single verse to support us. With some parents, it's "spare the rod". I lean more toward "train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it" or "suffer the little children to come unto Me". Neither of the last two mention spanking and there are many more.

Then, of course, there's "beat your swords into plowshares and study war no more" or "love thy neighbor as thyself" but they seem to have missed those. I digress. We liberal Christians tend to do that a lot.

The fundamentalists have used and still use the Bible to defend practices which make me cringe.

By the way, apropos of absolutely nothing except the strange ways religions interpret things, did you know the early Puritans in New England didn't allow their ministers to perform wedding ceremonies? They were considered to fall under civil jurisdiction and not the concern of the church. Makes up a little for the witch trials, the stocks, and the dunking stools.

Have a wonderful weekend if I don't get back to you before then.

Posted by: Ann Adams at August 21, 2008 10:31 AM

I'm with you -- I don't think anyone should be allowed to hurt children. And honestly, I think a whole lot less of parents and teachers who ignore the results of pretty much every study done on the effects of corporal punishment and use it anyway.

Posted by: Laura GF at August 21, 2008 10:32 AM

I think you know how I feel about this. Hitting a child in order to instill a sense of right and wrong is ridiculously stupid, at school or home. People tell me I shouldn't say that because it offends parents. So be it. I find the very idea of an adult hitting a child to be offensive. It's unnecessary, it doesn't work and it can have lifelong effects. As for all the people who tell me they were spanked and turned out okay, well, thank goodness for that. Not all children are so lucky.

Posted by: patricia at August 21, 2008 10:43 AM

Many years ago, my husband and I had to have a talk with a set of our parents and explicitly tell them that spanking was not aloud. They had to go respect our way of disciplining our children or the kids would not visit.

They still have corporal punishment in our school system. We sign the forms saying that we do not authorize it for our children. I would be so pissed if someone did it anyway. It hadn't even occurred to me that they might. Wow, it makes me mad just thinking about it.

Posted by: anna at August 21, 2008 10:46 AM

wrong. it's just wrong. makes me sick just thinking about it.

Posted by: k8 at August 21, 2008 10:57 AM

Absolutely against corporal punishment in the schools. These people are educators - not punishers.


Posted by: cassie-b at August 21, 2008 11:39 AM

See, here's my thing: I don't spank my child, so I don't think anyone else should be able to do it either.

That being said, my kid's never been in any kind of trouble. If he were to do something that required that level of punishment, I would prefer that the school call me & let me handle it. To plagerize what's been said by others way before me: I'd make him WISH he'd been paddled.

I understand why teachers feel the need to exert some sort of punishment over real troublemakers. I don't what the answer is for them. I know I don't envy them and that we don't pay them NEARLY enough to deal w/ all that. But that's kind of another topic altogher.

Posted by: kalisa at August 21, 2008 11:41 AM

I wrote about this yesterday as I too was shocked. To call it an outrage is an understatement. We don't spank our kids and the thought of a school system doing it for me literally shocks my system. I was a camp director for two years in college and then a high school English teacher for 6 years. It never even crossed my mind to spank a kid (I would have been fired on the spot, anyway). There is no evidence to support spanking as an effective deterent. It stops the behavior then, but that is all. There are far more effective ways (time out, loss of priv., redirection) to modify behavior over time. Only dated, barbaric educators and the relic of institutions that employ them would advocate this as appropriate discipline. It is truly appalling that this is allowed in our country!

Posted by: sarah at August 21, 2008 11:46 AM

I heard an interview on NPR the other day with a superintendent of a North Texas school who was lobbying to allow his teachers to carry concealed weapons. You know, because guns in the hands of teachers makes perfect sense.

It was one of the more frightening things I have ever heard.

Posted by: Elaine at August 21, 2008 12:04 PM

I'm a teacher. I deal with kids all day. I'm also a parent. I see no value in corporal punishment in school. I do not see it producing better behaviour or more obedience and it can only remove respect between teacher and student. Corporal punishment produces humiliation and shame. That is not the way to encourage better behaviour and respect for the rules of the classroom.

It is illegal here in Canada, and also Australia where I grew up.

Posted by: Jacqueline at August 21, 2008 12:06 PM

Nope, not off-base. Had this same conversation with my boyfriend's mom yesterday and we were both shocked and horrified that ANY state considers this a legal form of discipline. TWENTY-ONE states consider this legal, which is twenty-one too many.

Posted by: Poppy at August 21, 2008 12:07 PM

I agree with everyone Corporal punishment is not the way to go. I do feel though that there is a lack of disipline in schools today. The teachers are scared that they are either going to get sued or beat up or worse, shot at.

Posted by: Nadine at August 21, 2008 12:23 PM

1) If your English teacher had called you a "pussy" there'd definitely be repercussions. However, coaches are the demi-gods of the school system in Texas and rules don't apply to much the same way that this administration ignores the Constitution. In fact, it's exactly like that.

2)I can see being tempted to smack a kid (though I wouldn't) who had endangered the life of another kid. Or who was a repeat offender where respect for your elders/following the rules is concerned.

3) There's no point in having parents sign such a waiver if it's just going to be ignored.


5)My kids are living proof that you don't have to beat the living shit out of children in order for them to grow into productive/respectful people.

6) A Civil Suit would have been just the thing for Herr Cain, I'm thinking.

Posted by: apathy lounge at August 21, 2008 12:30 PM

Seriously Chris, I was horrified by your story! I work in schools and no, no, no way do I support corporal punishment. There is a huge difference between a parent giving a three year old a smack on the bum for running into the street and a coach smacking a teenager. HUGE.

Where I live that coach would be charged with assault and lose his job.

I understand the concern of other readers about violence in high schools, but I have worked in high schools...and the brattiest kids of all? They are the upper middle class ones that feel that they are entitled to get whatever they want, and the parents support that. It's damn hard for a teacher to get control when they have no support from the parents.

Posted by: Scattered Mom at August 21, 2008 12:50 PM

I felt sick to my stomach yesterday when I saw that headline and read the story. How can any teacher/school/state/country think that this sort of discipline is appropriate? I'm astounded that TWENTY-ONE states deem this acceptable. Also, I was shocked that this was even an issue as I felt that corporal punishment was something that disappeared from schools long before I was born (I'm 3 years older than you, Chris). So discovering that wasn't the case by reading your post today made me disappointed with society. I'm so sorry that you had those experiences.

Posted by: Carmen at August 21, 2008 12:51 PM

If any school figure ever paddles my child, I swear to God they better call the cops because they are about to have a crazed 5'7" mother coming after them with a paddle . . . and while I'm not a litigious person, at all, I can pretty much guaranty that in this instance, I'd sue.

Knowing you went to a Southern Baptist elementary school explains SO much . . . I was raised Southern Baptist . . .

Posted by: Mindy at August 21, 2008 12:58 PM

Sure, I grew up in a 3rd world country so my view is going to be different.

I'm not arguing the point or anything. I just want to share that corporal punishment in school worked for me. I turned out okay. I wasn't scarred or traumatized. Pissed, yes. Hurt, absolutely. Did I learn from it, hell yes.

Sure, it hurt as hell, but I learned and never to do whatever it was again. Was it embarrassing? I don't really recall because it wasn't such a unique thing. We get punished at home too, so it was more like a norm. Everyone gets them at some point.

But then again, we also get punished at home. Everyone expected it at school.

I did get corporal punishment at school when we were younger. For the physical punishment, it was no paddle to the butt. Usually ruler to the hand. And one innovative 4th grade teacher had us punish ourselves by rapping our knuckles to the wooden desk.

Once we got to 5th grade, now that you are old enough to be reasoned with, the physical punishment stopped. We would get the verbal treatment of long "lecture", extra turn at cleaning the classroom after school, extra homework, stand through class, etc. Worst punishment, a threat to call your parents. My god, did THAT work!

The problem with American's way of punishment is that it's different at home and at school. With us, we get spanked at home as well as at school, so the parents and teachers are all the same line there. Consistency in punishment. Oh, and when you asked your friends, their families were the same way too.

With America, you could be getting spanked at school and come home to irate parents. Or vice versa. It seems to be confusing the kids. With new generations of Thai parents--a more western educated population--now we are encountering the same problems there too.

Posted by: oakley at August 21, 2008 1:26 PM

I'm for it, but I agree what the coach did.

Posted by: sw at August 21, 2008 1:30 PM

Against. Now saying that I have spanked my kids a couple of times but I felt so bad afterwards that I haven't done it since.

My mother started her teaching career in Dallas in the early 60's and she was issued a paddle o her first day in the elementary school. She never used it and never spanked my brother and I at home. My grandmother used to beat the crap out of her growing up(with anything available) and she couldn't do that to anyone else.

That coach sounds like a sadist who just enjoyed beating someone smaller than him.

Posted by: kali at August 21, 2008 1:53 PM

Hi! I'm new to your blog, love your writing. Anyway, I wanted to say that I am 100% against corporal punishment of any kind. I have 2 kids, and maybe it's because I'm young and I can vividly remember being spanked by my parents and it was awful, it took me a long time to forgive them for that. Now that I'm married and have children I would never hit them.

Posted by: La Petite Belle at August 21, 2008 1:56 PM

At the middle school I worked at two years ago, parents could sign a form saying it was OK to use the paddle on their child. Not many parents signed it, but some who didn't sent back their own note telling administration to call them and THEY would come and paddle their child. We had several parents who brought their own paddle to the school and "administered discipline" in the presence of our principal or our football coach.

I reported every one of them to the authorities.

I think that it is absolutely abhorrent to use corporal punishment on a child. I can't believe we live in a society where it is apparently still so common. Absolutely ridiculous.

Posted by: Kate at August 21, 2008 2:53 PM

I am shocked this happens at schools in your country! I don't think it exists here (at schools.)
I am wholeheartedly against corporate punishment.

Posted by: Nadine at August 21, 2008 2:58 PM

I'm all for corporal punishment, but only if it's coupled with a pair of handcuffs and a riding crop :-)

Posted by: GreenCanary at August 21, 2008 3:18 PM

That is totally inhumane! And they called themselves Christians! Bah!!!

Posted by: Maribeth at August 21, 2008 3:27 PM

That is abhorent. IN this day and age too.

I think the same study found that black girls were more likely to get physical punishment than other groups.

I'd hate to see the fucker who laid a hand on my son. Schools are scary places for your kids it seems. Very scary places.

Posted by: Nat at August 21, 2008 4:24 PM

Against! I think it's completely rediculous that it's allowed. I would get pissed if someone spanked my dog, much less my kid.

Posted by: Jenn Benn at August 21, 2008 5:47 PM

I'm for parents raising their kids right so the school system doesn't have to try to do it for them. Seriously, it starts at home.

Posted by: coolchick at August 21, 2008 7:56 PM

I have to say I have been paddled at school before. The teacher who did it was a woman and she had a wooden plank paddle with a name painted on it and holes drilled into to for better velocity. (Alabama, 5th grade, I am 30 now.)

Let me just say this... you only stepped out of line once in her class and it would never happen again.

Corporal Punishment in schools? I dont have children and plan on not ever, so my oppinion is out of place.

Posted by: Kelly M. at August 21, 2008 8:01 PM

I have totally mixed feelings about parents and spanking, but in schools? Totally out of line.

Posted by: Heather at August 21, 2008 8:17 PM

oh, man have I head those stories before. I grew up in the same sort of Baptist schooling (only I was made to graduate from it). I was spanked on two occassions and the rule was, whatever I got at school I got double at home.

On the second occurance, the principle, after whipping me soundly, put me on the phone with my father to explain what I had done. Honestly, I had no clue as to why and I burst out balling as I talked to my Dad. He left work and was in the school office in like 5 minutes.

Soon he stepped out with the Principle who apologized to me. That was the end of any and all corporal punishment for my school from then on. There were no more at home either.

I don't believe in it and I don't use that method for my own kids.

Posted by: CK Lunchbox at August 21, 2008 8:36 PM

That kind of punishment does not belong in the school system. Cleaning the chalkboard should suffice.

Posted by: just rambling at August 21, 2008 9:37 PM

I have a really hard time with the thought of spanking my own kids. And now that you force me to think about it I'm sort of flying into a bit of a rage thinking about someone else hitting my kid - for any reason.

As a teacher, I sure as hell will never be using corporal punishment even if it's allowed. There are better and more effective ways that aren't demeaning to kids.

I really hope that Coach Cain fellow is having a good time with all his shitty charma.

Posted by: Jen at August 21, 2008 11:10 PM

At my school, teachers would paddle kids in front of the whole class, adding public humiliation to the mix. I thought it was SICK and sort of thought that paddling was rare these days until the recent news stories. GROSS. Gross, gross, gross.

Posted by: Librarian Girl at August 21, 2008 11:18 PM

abso-fucking-lutely against!

Posted by: Jennifer at August 22, 2008 1:49 AM

Against. Not because kids aren't tough enough for it, but because it doesn't change kid brains. Kid brains say "shit" without thinking because it gets stuck there. Kid brains forget their uniforms now and then (so do adults). Paddling doesn't change that.

Also, the people dishing it out are usually more stupid than the receivers. That kind of power should not be handed out to just anyone.

This is another one of those "they did WHAT!?" moments that's going to happen in 100 years as we reflect on times past.

Posted by: Brad at August 22, 2008 8:29 AM

Do I think schools should paddle children? No. Do I think they should inform parents of what their child did in school so they can spank their child at home? Yes. I know I am going against the grain here, but I was spanked by my parents as a child. Not very often, but they were memorable. I was a very stubborn and undisciplined child for whom time outs and all that otther stuff parents say is proper disciplining did not work.

Do I believe that you deserved the punishment you got at school, no. I never saw anything that arbitrary when I was in school and I went to Catholic Schools where by attending you were authorized to spank. But it was rarely done, because the threat was enough.

I remember one time my parents and I were in a grocery store and I was acting up and my mother told me to stop, and then she tried something else and that did not work either. So she swatted me a couple of times which got my attention and made me behave. A woman in the store had the nerve to tell my mother she was going to call the police to have her arrested for child abuse for spanking me.

Now I am sorry, but that woman in the store was out of line. I think there is a large difference between spanking your kid to assist getting behavor modification and abuse. I am not for letting a school, especially a public school touch my child, but I reserve the right to do it in my own home.

Posted by: goodsnake at August 22, 2008 12:04 PM

Yeah, that would be a big no for me. Throughout school I was faced with a lot of teachers who very obviously didn't like children. It's a wonder they got into that profession at all. Or maybe that was WHY. Who knows. Regardless, I can't imagine giving the power of physical punishment to those kinds of people, and chances are, those are the ONLY types of people who would use (abuse) it.

Posted by: Tink at August 26, 2008 12:05 PM

Wow...I had no idea that so many kids still go through that at school! Pretty wild. I thought there were laws against that...

Posted by: Zandria at August 27, 2008 12:03 PM