84. EDITORIAL: RESTRAINTS/ISOLATION, TWP COMMENTARY ON 14TH AMENDMENT, AFTERMATH IV, PROF. N. RESPONDS, R.C. pt. XXIV & YOUR FAQ’S

MEMO TO “RONNIE S.”: We agree that the hammering of Texas by the antis is REALLY getting old. These people need to get a clue that most of America is NOT like San Francisco, California! As to otk paddling, that is not unheard of with the youngest children and, in fact, one of the kindergarten teachers at the elementary school does so with one or two swats at most.

EDITORIAL: RESTRAINTS/ISOLATION

When we at TWP first heard about a congressman named George Miller pushing a bill to outlaw the physical restraining of students in school as well as the banning of the use of isolation, we initially thought it was a joke. The image of a teacher TYING  a child to a desk sounded absurd to us. If a child is so out of control that a teacher is tempted to tie him to his desk, he/she needs to be REMOVED from that classroom pronto!

As to isolating students, the first thing we thought was of a padded room to lock a kid in who is going berserk -So he cannot hurt himself or anyone else. Well, our schools do not have any such facility for that purpose. Perhaps there are special schools for mentally handicapped students which might have such “rooms” but we do not have any such in our schools.

But on further review, we at TWP DO have concerns about this proposal. From what we have read about this bill making it’s way through Congress, it SOUNDS like a ban against tying children to desks and/or locking students in closets. If that is the purpose, then TWP supports such a law. However, the devil is in the language of the bill and we fear an overly broad law.

First, the use of physical force to restrain students from a harmful situation such as a fight or stepping in front of a bus or falling down some steps must NEVER be outlawed or curtailed. On the latter example, Michelle saved one of her kids from serious injury when she grabbed his arm to keep him from falling down some steps. Also, the use of “reasonable force or restraint” to remove a student from a classroom MUST never be banned because educators have a duty to control their classroom environments.

Second, we at TWP are unsure of the definition of “Isolation” in the context of this bill. We are certainly opposed to isolation in locked closets or shacks like in the movie classic “Cool-Handed Luke”. But how broad is the definition? We are concerned that it could be applied to In School Suspension or even sitting out recess in an empty classroom. We do not know the answer to these questions but do believe that precise and exact definitions must be a part of any such bill before it becomes law.

Our greatest concern is that the anti c.p. zealots are using this bill as a back-door means of eventually banning all school discipline (including c.p.) except “a talking to”. This is why we always have preferred MAXIMUM local school board control and MINIMUM state/federal oversight. Any citizen can go to a school board meeting and give their “two cents” on any topic. On the other hand, the average citizen has little or no voice in their state capital, much less Washington.

And our biggest concern: Who knows what could be slipped into the bill before final passage? Two things to remember: The Ohio C.P. BAN buried in a state budget bill AND the 2,000+ page Obamacare Health Reform bill that no one has yet completely understood.

TWP COMMENTARY ON THE 14TH AMENDMENT

Quote: No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. (U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights)

Citizen: A native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitledto its protection. A  n inhabitant of a city or town, esp. one entitled to its privileges or franchises. (Dictionary.Factmonster.com)

Dear readers, this commentary by TWP is not intended to be a “legal opinion” since only attorneys are allowed to do that. Rather, this is our attempt to dispel some myths that the anti c.p. zealots have long held. That is that school c.p. violated the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution’s “equal protection” clause.

You read that right, folks. Little junior is supposed to be “equal” to his adult teacher!

First, the anti c.p. zealots need to stop comparing children to adults because they are not equal. We, as adults, DO NOT treat or consider children as equal to adults for obvious reasons. For example, we do not allow 8 year olds to drive cars.The reason is NOT just that children are physically smaller than adults. They are intellectually and psychologically less mature as well. As a mom, I do not have the same type interactions with my child as I do with my husband or the other adult contributors of this blog. So, the foundation of the “equality” argument is in error because of an absurd comparison and equally misguided understanding of the differences between adults and children.

Second, the 14th amendment is focused on the rights and EQUALITY OF CITIZENS. A civil society can and does require of its citizens an allegiance to that society as well as obligations such as paying taxes. No society in the world places this burden on children -None. Yet, in the cause of abolishing school c.p., the zealots would make children “citizens” just like adults. Reckon we can dispense with the driving age, drinking age and juvenile court too, huh?

As much as they wish, the zealots are NOT going to be able to sell the “kiddie-citizenship” idea to the Federal Courts. Simply put, children are NOT adults and any legal attempt to change that will be rightfully laughed out of court on day one.

 

AFTERMATH IV

Dear Readers, this is the final segment of our Aftermath series in which each of the four of us at TWP reveal our feelings that we had after administering a merited paddling. Each of us have had different feelings ranging from empathy to sadness to tears of our own. These feelings are not positive in any way for us and are made even worse when the student cries. And remember, the paddlings we give are NOT abusive and are much more psychological than physical.

Proof of that is when we have same student sit out recess: They ALWAYS plead with us to let them play. The reason for our doing so is that if student falls on rear end during recess, their bottom might bruise easier. All that should demonstrate our true feelings and concern for our “kids”.

This last segment by Michelle will show her emotions about the one part of our job we dislike the most.

Hi everybody, this is Michelle the ex-Alabama cheerleader turned 4th grade teacher. I have been dreading this for weeks but now that it is my turn, I’ll give you, our loyal readers, my feelings about the first paddling I ever gave.

Like Renee, Jenny and Wendy, I got into education to TEACH, not paddle. I have a natural cherry and sunny personality and try to bring that into the classroom. Despite the unwanted gift I got from the others (see post INTRODUCING A “ROOKIE” TO THE PADDLE), I resisted the idea of using a paddle in the belief that only “mean teachers” did that. Well, I was able to avoid resorting to the paddle until one day during morning recess. (See post MICHELLE GIVES HER FIRST PADDLING)

Ricky, one of my students, had pushed a girl off a swing and she fell. The girl only had a few scraped and no serious injuries but what Ricky did was unacceptable. It was a long walk back to the classroom for both Ricky and me. I knew what would come next and was not happy about it. Renee was the author of the two posts mentioned above as well as the witness.

I wanted to be ANYWHERE but in the conference room where I was to give a truly deserved paddling. Why was this? As I got ready to administer the paddling, my mind flashed back to my own discipline as a child from my mother. Before anyone screams “Mommy Dearest”, let me just say that my parents certainly were strict but not abusive.  Still, when growing up, momma’s large spatula connected with my three older sisters, my baby brother and my backside on enough occasions to remember it well.

And then, as I held the paddle in my right hand, I felt the same feelings that I had when I was about to be punished. Then a second emotion swept over me as I looked at Ricky: The feelings of empathy I had for my baby brother when I heard him “getting it” from mom. It was almost too much for me to bear.

I knew Ricky was in serious trouble and understood that a paddling was the lesser of two options -A three day suspension out of school being the other. The sound of the first two swats startled both Ricky and me. Those were NOT hard swats and as Ricky told me later, “The ‘bark’ was a lot worse than the ‘bite’.” But as Renee signaled to me “One more”, the emotions of my own experiences nearly overwhelmed me. My hands were trembling and I would have dropped the paddle had it not been for the wrist strap. (And that strap was not decorative but rather because the handle is so small.) I then bit my lip as I swung the paddle one last time.

I know that last one stung Ricky because of the way he flinched and yelped. And me? I nearly had a meltdown! Softly speaking while wiping a tear from one eye, I said, “Ricky, turn around and look at me.” A flushed-faced Ricky looked up as his eyes welled up with tears. “Ricky, I had hoped to never use a paddle but I cannot let you get away with pushing other kids around during recess…understand?”

A tearful Ricky mumbled, “I’m sorry…please don’t paddle me any more!”

“Ricky, we are finished and your punishment is over- but no more shoving other people, o.k.?” When Ricky nodded, I patted him on the shoulder and said, “No hard feelings,Ricky? Put this behind us?”

Then Ricky stepped forward and threw his arms around my waist, which startled and surprised me. “I’ll be good…I promise!” Ricky proclaimed as Renee took him back to his classroom while I tried to recompose myself. But just as Renee shed tears -So did I. But my mind flashed back to when I once saw my baby brother walking to his room in tears after a session with momma’s spatula. My feelings of empathy for my baby brother AND Ricky started to mix together and nearly caused me to break down.

Renee managed to reassure me and after a short while, I had recovered enough to reapply some makeup and mascara before my class came in from recess. While it is not encouraged, I did talk to the class about what Ricky had done and the consequence for his actions. I made clear my dislike of the paddle but also made it clear that it was an option. The kids seemed to understand everything I explained to them.

But that was a hard day for me. Even at lunch, the other teachers probably took note that Miss Sunshine was “cloudy and overcast”. I am just glad that no one pestered me about why I seemed sad that day. As to Ricky, he certainly seemed o.k. with that mischievous grin of his. But I felt that a one-on-one chat with Ricky was the best way to put the paddling behind us.

At first, Ricky thought he was in trouble or being penalized extra by missing afternoon recess. But I reassured him that he was not in trouble but that I just wanted to talk to him about what had happened that morning. It was then that Ricky told me about his crush on me and his fear of my not “liking” him anymore! (The other teachers had all warned me about this happening) I told Ricky that I understood but that he was not alone in that regard. As Ricky beamed his mischievous grin, I explained that as his teacher, there would not be any “teacher pets” and he, along with the rest of the class, would be expected to behave. Finally, I told Ricky, “You don’t have to be afraid of getting a paddling from me…Just promise me you won’t do anything like what happened this morning.”

Ricky promised and crossed his heart.

As per our policy, I did make Ricky sit out recess at the bottom of the outside steps. He would have sat next to me at the top of the steps had I let him but only Jenny and I sit there -Our only time to sit down except for lunch!

In closing, let me just say I too was “blue” that day just as Renee was on her first paddling. When the school day ended, I headed straight back to my apartment and skipped my aerobics class. There was no “pleasure” or “enjoyment” for me that evening and that first paddling still bothers me to this day. But I also know Ricky had done something seriously wrong that day and I had to  give the consequences for his actions. I was glad when Ricky told me “It wasn’t that bad” because the last thing I ever want to do is to hurt one of my “kids”..

I’ve been asked what I would do if, during a visit to the University of Alabama, I someday run into a college student -Ricky. My answer: Ricky would get a BIG HUG and who cares what his girlfriend thinks!

 

RENEE CHRONICLES pt. XXIV

Chores

That scourge of childhood that we all know as “chores” was probably invented before child labor laws but has remained a constant in family life for generations. (Who knows, maybe they outlawed chores in California!) Every “normal” child has had to do them starting with putting their toys up and advancing to bathroom cleanup duty. And no amount of whining about your chores made any difference -Especially when I was growing up.

In our household, my mom and dad had a great system for making sure one’s assigned chores got done: The Checklist. It worked very well as each of my three older brothers and I were to “check” on each others work to see that it was done properly. And if that assigned chore was not done or poorly done and was “checked” by a sibling -The slacker would get grounded AND have to do the checker’s chores the next week.

Talk about using the “white gloves behind the toilet” routine: We were MUCH worse than any inspection by a military D.I. At family reunions, we four siblings still joke about how mom and dad never had to worry about hounding us about chores because we did it for them! And that was our parent’s secret tactic to ensure that chores DID get done.

 

PROF. N. RESPONDS

It was clear to any teacher that ‘Sue’ was bogus. The whole story was redolent of a fantasist not a teacher. No decent teacher would want to reduce very young kids to tears, and if they do its tears of embarrassment not pain. If Sue is part of Paula’s crew , get real, understand what really goes on in elementary school. There may be some hard paddlings in the upper years of High School, and real tears of remorse there, but that is a different playing field (I know we have a difference in emphasis on this Renee , although not ultimate goals)

By the way, Sue, a paddle doesn’t have to be ‘awesome’ to get the job done. Hopefully the shame of being paddled by a teacher you respect, and a few minutes ‘sting’ will do the job just as well.

We at TWP couldn’t of said it any better than you did. The “Sue story” had to be fake and we think whoever sent it is just a sicko. If anyone has read our AFTERMATH series, they will be aware of our feelings about school c.p. There is NOTHING “fun” about it.

Hope you get through your difficulties and keep working on your rehabilitation with the prostheses.

Best Wishes and a Speedy Recovery,

Renee, Jenny, Wendy and Michelle

YOUR FAQ’S

What kind of paddles do the other teachers at your elementary school use?

As far as we know, the other teachers at the elementary school use the small oval-shaped paddleball paddle that has been described in many of our posts. The “Michelle Paddle” that is used in the 4th and 5th grade levels is a thin but longer paddle measured at 16″ x 3 1/2″ x 1/4″ but “bites” no worse than the paddleball paddle. (I just KNOW Michelle is going to deck me for this -Renee)

Why not just let the parents spank their children? Why do you insist on doing what only a parent should legally be allowed to do?

First, the line “Let the parents…” is an anti c.p. argument of last resort when they are losing the debate. Children in school are under the care and authority of the teachers and administrators during school hours. That is called in loco parentis or “in place of the parent”. It has been our experience that parents who insist that they be the only ones who discipline their children almost never do so.

Second, we at TWP do not “insist” on using school c.p. if a parent doesn’t want us to. All the parent has to do is request in writing that their child be opted out of school c.p. and we will comply. The last thing we want to do is go against the parent’s wishes.

Just keep in mind, those pro-parent anti school c.p. zealots wish to ultimately outlaw ALL corporal punishment EVERYWHERE -Including in the home!

Did the four of you only paddle 7 students all of last year or is that number only what you reported? Do you have to turn in discipline forms each time you paddle?

That was our number for the 2008-2009 school year. We are proud that the number is so low and this proves our point that, if used Judiciously, Moderately, and Rarely, school c.p. can work as a last resort when the other options fail. Hey, those “other options” must be working pretty well because the 4 of us paddled only 7 out of nearly 100 total students.

As to discipline forms, we turn those in everytime a paddling is given. Those forms are destroyed at the end of every school year although the total numbers are recorded district-wide for statistical purposes only.

 

 

 

COMING NEXT: REV. WADE/TWP Q&A,

TWP COMMENTARY; REAL REASON THE “ANTIS”

FEAR CAMERAS,

TWP SNEAK PREVIEW

&

R.C. pt XXV

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