To me, this is a no brainer: whacking kids to learn ’em right doesn’t seem very learned at all. And yet, apparently, there is a heck of a lot of butt smashing going on in our classrooms today.
(More than I ever suspected. Something like a quarter million kids were paddled last year in American classrooms according to the ACLU and Human Rights Watch.)
And so I ask, does anyone really believe that in this day and age, the use of the paddle is actually a defensible educational instructional tool?
I know I don’t… but I am open to hearing from the ass-smashers.
So aside from the data that says students with disabilities are far more likely to get paddled than kids in the general population, aside from the fact that kids can become emotionally (if not physically) scarred from the trauma of being paddled, aren’t we being a bit hypocritical if we condone paddling? For example, what’s one of the things that might get a student paddled? Fighting, of course. This means we are teaching kids not to hit by hitting them.
And in reading about the history of “juvenile justice” while doing research for a new YA novel I am writing, I came across this stat:
The legal paradox (of why we are allowed to paddle in schools) can be traced to a 1977 Supreme Court ruling that found the Eighth Amendment only protects convicted criminals from cruel and unusual punishment — not students confined to a classroom.
As with so many things I blog about, you just can’t make this stuff up. Essentially, convicted juvenile criminals in lock-up have rights that non-felonious teens in school don’t similarly enjoy.
For all the paddlers out there, doesn’t this seem a bit flipped? I mean, if you believe in hitting kids — which I do not — shouldn’t you be pounding the kids who have actually been convicted in a court of law? The paddling we allow today is basically at the whim of the teacher/educator.
And isn’t it mostly done out of anger? I mean is there any real educational application to smashing a kid other than instilling fear or exacting revenge?
Can someone please intelligently defend the use of paddling as a worthwhile discipline policy in our schools in the year 2009 — cause, no offense, but it seems really backwater to me.
And why do I have a feeling that if some kid catches a teacher/administrator paddling a student on camera and posts it on YouTube, it’s not going to be long before CNN and all the other media types get ahold of the clip and start labeling the teacher, principal, school district and so on barbaric. Just seems like a lawsuit and media mess waiting to happen.
And if happens at a school with low tests scores, Lord help them!