Saturday, October 11, 2008

Spanking in Schools

Jen over at The Story of Us recently wrote a very objective post regarding Spanking in Schools, I am not sure I can be so objective!

According to a CNN report:
"More than 200,000 children were spanked or paddled in U.S. schools during the past school year, human rights groups reported Wednesday."

"The punishment is disproportionately applied to black students, according to the organizations."

"In addition, special education students with mental or physical disabilities were more likely to receive corporal punishment, according to the ACLU and Human Rights Watch."
As I was writing this my thirteen year old daughter, Caitlyn came in and asked what I was doing. I explained and read the articles to her. Here is her first reaction, in a very appalled (13 year old sassy) tone of voice:
"What are they thinking? They give us all these courses in school about anti violence and not hitting other people and you get in huge trouble if you hit anyone in school but then they turn around and as punishment you get hit. That is just canceling out everything they just told you about not hitting people."
Honestly, I think she has said it all, and as I am so appalled myself that I am having difficulties putting words together, I will only add this ... What the heck are we thinking? As a society we wonder why children and adults turn so quickly to violence to solve their problems. Well what the heck are we teaching them?

For another great post on 'spanking' stop over to Shout!


Tricia said...

Spanking is abhorrent. Period. Study after study have shown it's not effective and whether in the home or in the school, I wish we'd all aspire to a higher level that doesn't include physical violence and where children are always cherished. Our most lofty goal should be to teach our children with patience and love, not to smack them into compliance.

HeatherPride said...

All I know is that if someone dared to hit my kid at school I don't think they would hear the end of it for a long, long time. Yes, I know he can be a challenge and he frustrates me on a daily basis, but every child has their moments! I would expect the people who work with children for a living should be able to deal with them a little better than that!

veganbaby said...

Thanks for posting this on your blog! I have started a facebook group and hope to put this law in moratorium. You can see the link on Jen's post.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for speaking out against spanking/corporal punishment. "Family values", being a good parent, religious upbringing does not involve domestic violence, and thats what hitting/spanking is.
Just because a child is small, has no voice and no defense, does not minimize what hitting him/her does to the long term emotional balance.

Brian said...

I read this post last night and did not realize that my local Florida schools allowed corporal punishment. This is a letter that I sent today to the school board.


As an eight-year resident of ******* County I was appalled to read the the current ******** County School District Student Code of Conduct and to discover that corporal punishment is still an option in ******** County schools. I realize that the parents must approve and I do understand that discipline is needed with children, but paddling children in school is always wrong. For every administrator, teacher, parent and even child who feels that moderate corporal punishment is harmless and can be positive, there are numerous cases every year of injuries, abuse and trauma inflicted on school children by adults. There is a fine line between discipline and abuse and it is reprehensible that actions resulting in parents arrests for spanking their children at home are fine with the legal system if done in the school by school administrators.

There cannot be enough safeguards or witnesses to protect the child when the goal is to inflict physical pain upon the child. Every month you can read media articles and lawsuits against school districts for allowing children to be abused. Coaches and teachers rape children constantly in this country and yet school districts have followed the path of the church and covered up many of the assaults. What school boards are failing to realize is that spanking, paddling, caning, strapping and other forms of corporal punishment are considered to be sexual amongst consenting adults. Many adult females who practice spanking as adults commonly relive parental and/or school punishments and admit to being sexual aroused during those childhood punishments. Spanking is sex among adults and allowing adults to spank children can be construed as sexual by both the adult and child. Is that the perception that you and the ******** County School District intend from allowing corporal punishment in schools?

In the policy it does not state that male cannot paddle female or that female cannot paddle male. Even so no matter with the best of intentions and the best written policy there cannot be adequate protection for the child as nearly every court case has shown. Even if the parent has not given permission to paddle their child and even if a paddling results in injuries and hospitalization the parent and child will lose in court even if they take the case all the way to the Supreme Court. That is unacceptable in 2008 when coaches, teachers and administrators cannot be held liable for actions that a parent would wind up in jail for duplicating. I do not have children but I assure you that I would never allow a strange adult to physical assault my child. Corporal punishment in schools is a barbaric practice that perpetuates the myth that beaten children are happy children. That is a flat out lie.

Amy said...

Thank you all for stopping by and supporting this topic! I really appreciate all your thoughts.

Brian: Thank you for taking another step and addressing this issue locally!