The paddle swung briskly through the air from a 90 degree angle and connected with the denim jean covered bottom of Billy with a loud pop. “Oww” Billy yelped and pleaded ” Please… no more!” as his left hand started to reach back while his right held to the wooden chair seat in a vise-like grip. Miss Smith, only out of college a few months and feeling about as bad as Billy, replied, “I hate doing this but I lost count of the number of times that you were warned about throwing paper airplanes in class just TODAY!” ” I won’t do it again…please!” Billy pleaded. Miss Smith calmly replied “I’m going to give you just one more-that will make three instead of the five I could have given you.” The paddle found its target once more with another loud pop and then …silence with only the sound of a sniffling 10 year old filling the teacher’s lounge. When Billy stood up and turned around to look up to Miss Smith, a tear rolled down one cheek. With a lump building in her own throat, Miss Smith, who never thought about paddling students during her college years, looked into Billy’s red eyes and said “We are done with this and I just want a fresh start beginning now… with no hard feelings…ok?” Billy, without a word, put his arms around a startled Miss Smith’s waist. Patting Billy’s head, Miss Smith spoke softly, “Billy, lets get back to the class so you can get started working on your fractions and decimals.”
The story above is, of course fiction, but is probably closer to a real life school paddling than the hate-filled drivel of the anti-corporal punishment web sites which, until now, were the ONLY voice in the so called “debate” on the matter. The intent of this blog is to be “fair and balanced” because we at TWP are teachers ourselves and are not what the “anti’s” portray us to be. We see ourselves not as “rigid old school” or “extremist-abolitionist” but rather as sensible, clear headed, reform-minded moderates which the ‘debate” sorely needs.
HOW WE STARTED
This blog started with a chance discovery, then a shock, followed by a notion, then an idea, and finally- a blog after several starts, fits, and re-starts. It started one afternoon during a typical planning period for me, your chief blogger, and three teaching colleagues who are also contributors to the blog.
Renee(me):What up on the laptop, Jenny?
Jenny:I was googling “sting” instead of “stinging” while researching insects for my biology lesson plan and- check out this weird story on salon.com by this Ted Gup fellow recalling a paddling 50 years ago he received.
Me: HA HA HA! Must ohave been some real fireworks that day for him to recall it,huh?
Jenny: Yeah- he remembers a 3 foot long paddle, his “welted ” butt and yet he says that he did not cry at all.
Michelle: Three feet! Gimme a break- I have seen paddles over at the high school and they cannot be more than 18 inches…either the writer had bad eyesight, the teacher bad aim, or we have a case of really pathetic memory.
Wendy: Unbelievable! Total b.s.- especially the part about a welted
bottom… from a paddle?…and he did not even cry?…I know what causes welts and the paddle does not…
Me: I know where welts come from but the diatribe.. it is not “National Hate Your Old Teacher Week” is it?
Michelle: No, but the article mentions another recent paddling of a girl who was bruised for days- that prompted the salon story by Mr. Gup.
Wendy: That is awful…lets see if we can find out the whole story to this…it happened only about 200 miles from here so lets meet after school and google this story.
We all agreed and did meet later and tried unsucessfully to find out more until we found http://www.corpun.com which was a treasure trove of info on corporal punishment news articles. Also, we discovered that, aside from corpun, all web sites on c.p. in school was not just negative- but pathologically hate-filled negative which seemed a little threatening to us because we all four have paddled a few of our pupils when it was warranted, although never abusively.
Because we had never abused our students by bruising or welting them when giving a paddling, that salon article shocked us and we were very disappointed that no web site or blog existed to give the teacher’s side of the issue in a unbiased manner. Instead, teachers who paddle were portrayed as sadist,perverts, pedophiles, and worst of all: rapist! (A dear friend of mine was the victim of date-rape back in college so this hits below the belt as far as I was concerned.)
All four of us decided to make our own web site to balance out the debate but had no idea what the expenses or complex tech requirements were. To our dismay, we found out the hard way the high tech sites were very costly to build and the anti-c.p. sites are funded by large tax exempt foundations with very DEEP pockets. As public school teachers, we did not have that advantage but pressed on. Not being tech savvy, it took a lot of trial and error, but here we are…thanks to wordpress.com.
A FEW RULES
DO give your positive feedback on your experiences as a principal, teacher, or even a student. DO give your recollections some depth by telling a little about yourself:interests, talents, and so forth-in other words-humanize yourself.
DO give us at TWP your positive suggestions as to how this blog can be improved.
DO NOT give us a whinney story about how mean or unfair your teacher was-there are two sides to every story and besides, you have to move on in life!
DO NOT send any comments which call teachers names like sadist, perverts, ect. (This includes anything that is vulgar or overtly sexual.)
DO NOT bother to send us an anti-paddling rant-we will not post it just like the anti-paddling sites would not post our comments.
COMING NEXT: MISSION STATEMENT & OTHER THINGS