85. THE ANTI’S REAL FEAR OF CAMERAS, REV. WADE/TWP Q/A, TWP SNEAK PREVIEW & R.C. pt. XXV

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OUTRAGEOUS ANNOUNCEMENT:

OUR LITTLE BLOG TEACHERSWHOPADDLE

ON 03-25-2010

ATTAINED 50,074 VIEWERS IN 1 1/2 YEARS ONLINE!

THANKS A MILLION, DEAR READERS!

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Hello Dear Readers: After a “relaxing” Spring Break, we at TWP got back to work in our teaching and (my) assistant principal jobs. Michelle and Richard went to Colorado, Jenny, Thomas and Tommy went backpacking camping on the Appalachian Trail, Wendy, James and baby Patrick visited family in south Alabama and my (Renee) family had a “staycation” at home. Well, I made the most of it and did some serious “spring cleaning”. That’s right: A working vacation with just Tyler and I working around the house. Well, actually it was me that did 99% of the work but Tyler did manage to straighten out his closet and toy collection. (My child’s toy collection gets bigger every year -Thanks in part to GRANDPARENTS!) But I nagged John to FINALLY fix a few things around the house as well so -A successful week off it was!

MEMO TO SAFEPASS “CHAIR”: The talking chair strikes again! We wondered when we would hear from you. First, the birth certificate establishes WHERE/WHEN you were born and by itself will never grant adulthood -Only age can. Need proof? Try and register an 8 year old to vote with his valid birth certificate. Women’s suffrage? Ending segregation? All ADULT issues…and DO NOT link the latter with “kiddie citizenship” and/or school c.p. when talking to an older Civil Right’s marcher -They will not appreciate it! As to the pledge, no child or adult can be forced to recite it -You should know that! Hey, we have laws against abusing animals but they will never be considered “citizens”. Children’s “citizenship” must therefore be connected to their residency. So neither junior nor rover will be voting anytime soon. And school c.p. has nothing to do with “equal protection”.

TWP’s Verdict: Just as in Ingraham v. Wright (1977), the U.S. Supreme Court WILL rule that the “equal protection” clause does not apply to school c.p. anymore than the 8th Amendment or the “due process” clause does. Advice: “Punt” on the Federal Court route because you antis are going to LOSE -The high court is MORE conservative than 33 years ago.

MEMO TO “rick”: Hey, we are ALL married and spoken for! As to your moronic rants: We’d put them in a joke file if we had one. Just do yourself a big favor and brush up on your spelling -Its awful!

A MICHELLE COMMENT

Dear Readers: I don’t know if y’all caught the story of the beauty pageant winner who, as a part of a “reality show”, mouthed off about “Feeling sorry for people who aren’t beautiful” and “Being spoiled by having Christmas every day in her home while growing up” -But I heard it and did not appreciate that “air-head” at all! I do come from a well to do family and my self-made CEO daddy made my siblings and me work for everything we got -Including through college with loans and work-study programs. If I had said what that blond no-brains said, my rear end would have had an appointment with my mom’s large wooden spatula. I won 5 tiaras while growing up but winning beauty pageants is the only thing besides hair color that I have in common with her.

THE ANTI’S REAL FEAR OF CAMERAS

When putting this segment together, I (Renee) saw a news story about a black female Wisconsin college student who caused a major classroom disturbance with obscenities and resisting arrest. What kept this from becoming a she said vs. he said was another student’s phone-cam. The WHOLE scene was recorded and the culprit-student had no idea. Whatcha wanna bet there is a “plea bargain” in this case when Ms. Foul-Mouth is presented with the recorded evidence?

Cameras are an increasing part of our lives and out in public -Everyone is fair game. While this new world may sound Orwellian, we at TWP feel that some uses of cameras may serve a public good. For example, dash-cams have helped police investigations AND ended the careers of police officers who cross the line into brutality. In reverse, those same cameras have squelched attempts by felons to falsely accuse police of wrongdoing.

But there is one area where some folks absolutely FEAR the camera: When school c.p. is involved. Paula Flowe, Jestin the Junior, Tony the Brain and “Southern Education” author Jeff Charles all agree that ANY use of cameras WHATSOEVER should be a capital offense punishable by death. Jeff even obsesses that in Alabama, there is a clandestine program doing exactly that.

We at TWP doth think they protest too much! And Mr. Charles, who is from Michigan, probably never set foot in any school in the southern U.S.

In this editorial, TWP has decided to “grab the bull by the horns” and advocate a restricted use of cameras when a school paddling is given according to school policy guidelines. (We just know alarm bells are going off at the offices of thehittingstopshere) We are certainly “going against the grain” as to this position so please, everyone: Hear us out!

First, any and all camera recording would NEVER be for general public viewing with criminal penalties for releasing such. Rather, the camera recordings would be a part of the “discipline report” turned in to the school office on the same day as the paddling. The recordings and reports would be held and accessible by only the principal of the school unless a court order does otherwise. The recording itself would have date/time with both the administrator and witness easily identifiable . The student’s face would be blocked out. At the end of the school year or one calender year, whichever comes last, both recordings and reports would be destroyed with a school board member witness signing with the principal an affidavit to that effect.

Second, this idea of ours is intended for one purpose: To end, one and for all, the false accusations of abuse leveled against educators who administer paddlings according to school policy. As things now stand, some of the zealots knowingly file false charges against educators while totally ignoring the fact that there was a witness to the paddling. This is called “legal intimidation” and has been used by anti- c.p. district attorneys who are also politically ambitious. And do not forget the $$$ hungry parent who, when finding out their child was swatted 3 times in school that day, takes said child home and beats them black and blue before taking photos of the bruises for a lawsuit.

Please understand, our idea would also eliminate Mr/Ms. Paddlehard because the camera does NOT lie. Therefore, the result would be the elimination of both bogus claims of abusive paddlings AND actual abusive paddlings themselves.

Just think of the “bogus” scenario. The $$$ hungry parent(s) will have to change from a civil litigation attorney to a criminal defense attorney when the District Attorney sees the recording.  Then those so-called parents will hear these famous words: You have the right to remain silent…

Unfortunately, the zealots will NEVER approve of this. Not because of any “privacy issue” but rather because this idea, along with parental opt-outs, would mean the end of the anti-c.p. movement outside of the bay area of San Francisco, California. But then again, the extreme zealots do not care about school kids or anyone else and will do or say anything to advance their narrow agenda -No matter who gets hurt in the process.

TWP did advocate, in a off-hand way, a t.v. show like Cops except with educators giving paddle swats to school kids. While the idea was only in jest, it was not received well by our loyal readers so we “drop-kicked” it.

It would be nice if the anti- c.p. zealots “drop-kicked” the sick references of teachers who use legal c.p. as prostitutes and porn stars. But we at TWP aren’t holding our breath.

 

TWP SNEAK PREVIEW

In this short segment, we at TWP would like to give you, our loyal readers, a “heads up” on new features which will be appearing on this blog in the near future.

RECOLLECTIONS: This will be similar to the RENEE CHRONICLES series but will be one time episodes by Jenny, Wendy and Michelle. These segments will give a heart-warming and touching look at the trio when they were growing up. (April 2010)

STUDENT TEACHING CHRONICLES OF RENEE: This series will give some of the ups and downs of a soon to graduate college senior trying to survive the final obstacle of a teaching internship at an elementary school near the University of Georgia campus. It will be informative, cute and even hilarious. Well worth the read! (April & May 2010)

WHAT I DO ON A TYPICAL WEEKEND: Written by Renee, this segment will be similar to the post A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A TWP TEACHER. A real life look at how, after a long work week, Renee and her family spend true quality time together. (May 2010)

WHAT ALL NEW TEACHERS NEED TO KNOW: This segment which is still being researched, deals with what new teachers need to know that colleges do NOT teach. This will cover topics such as classroom management/school policy, mentor/protege relationships and friendships among teachers. (Summer 2010)

SCHOOL C.P. AND LEGAL TROUBLE: This is not “legal advice” but rather, some common sense tips on what to do and not do when a legal matter arises out of a school c.p. incident. This is written FOR the classroom teacher and/or principal who followed ALL school policies in administering legal school c.p. (Summer 2010)

 

REV. WADE/TWP Q/A

The following segment is a Q/A feature in which Rev. Wade posed some thoughtful questions to TWP concerning school c.p. We at TWP only wish the anti- c.p. zealots were as civil as Rev. Wade.

Do you really believe if we start spanking students in inner city schools, things will get better for them?

We at TWP have never said that school c.p. is the “magic bullet” that will solve all the problems of the inner city schools. In fact, we have criticized the Memphis School of Health Science for their over the top usage of school c.p. in student assemblies. However, we also point out that the total absence of school c.p. has NOT caused any improvement in the academics or behavior of urban school students. The reasons for those failings are complex and have their roots in the home environment the kids come from. We at TWP do believe that  no-nonsense discipline policies at the elementary level, including c.p. as a last resort, would result in long term improvement in behavior later in the teenage grade levels. We feel that the opposite is what now exists and that has hurt inner city schools in the long term, both in academics and behavior.

I would really like to know more about IHMO schools. It says very little about it online. Is that like a charter school?

Oh no! 😳 (Giggle) IMHO is not any particular school at all. It is just a short cut for “In My Honest Opinion”. Sorry for the confusion -I thought everyone knew what it meant.

I went to elementary school, middle school and high school in Alabama. They spanked kids constantly in those schools. Every year I was in  school, discipline problems seemed to get worse and worse.

As stated earlier, we do NOT believe school c.p. to be the “cure-all” for all discipline problems. Every school is different and every child is different. A one size fits all approach either using c.p. exclusively or totally banning it is wrong on both accounts. You could say we are “middle of the road” on this but leaning in the “pro” camp. Check our post MISSION STATEMENT August 2008 to get a more detailed perspective of our philosophy.

Do you think corporal punishment is going to save the schools? Many states where it is still legal have some of the poorest functioning schools districts in America.

We at TWP believe that school c.p. policy will neither save nor hurt schools. There is NO cause and effect relationship between school c.p. policy and lower or higher academic performance and/or student behavior. Look at inner city schools: No school c.p. and they are FAILING. Many rural district schools with school c.p. are not doing much better. We conclude then that factors other than school c.p. are the cause: Poverty, Parental Education Level and Social-Economic Demographics or a combination of the three.

Just 26 percent say grade-school teachers should be allowed to spank kids at school; 72 percent say it shouldn’t be permitted, including eight in 10 parents of grade-schoolers.

First, we would point out that the poll was a national one -30 states have state-wide c.p. bans in effect. If you polled  just the 20 legal c.p. states, we believe the numbers would be about even. Second, we believe parents MUST have the right to opt their kids out of school c.p. without precondition if they choose to do so. Finally, we believe the decision on having a school c.p. policy MUST be made at the local elected school board level, not behind closed doors by politicos in state capitals.

You should debate this on TV.

HA HA HA -No, we at TWP are not doing a t.v. debate. There are plenty of others who can do that -We have families are careers of our own. It is our hope that this blog has helped to start a honest debate about our schools and the discipline that schools must have to succeed because the success of our “kids” is why we chose to become teachers in the first place.

 

RENEE CHRONICLES pt. XXV

Standing Up After The Prom

Looking back on my youth, I can honestly say that I was NOT  a perfect angel by any means. I had the typical number of groundings, school detentions and one I.S.S. episode recounted in an earlier chronicle. Despite all that, my appointments with momma’s strap were only a few which should indicate its effectiveness in deterring serious misbehavior. I bring that up because some people I grew up with had fewer limits on their behavior and sometimes paid a bigger price later.

In a previous chronicle, I recounted how I worked weekends as a babysitter to make $$$ for a new prom dress. Well, I got the prom dress I wanted so badly and everything worked out great! As we had done many times, Angie (my #1 girl-pal) and I double dated for the senior prom. Each of our dresses were custom made with their own set of accessories -Perfecto! Our boyfriends both wore tuxedos in which Angie and I teased, ” You guys ALWAYS wear the same type tuxedo: All black with a white shirt -Ever try a different color?”  They grumbled a bit but so what? Women rule, right?

This episode concerns not the prom itself, which was supervised by school faculty members, but rather the “After Prom” party. These parties were more informal and held in smaller groups at the homes of various students. In our case Angie and I with our dates were invited to a lakefront house party for the “After Prom” party hosted by a friend of Angie whom I barely knew. My parents were o.k. about it as long as adults were in charge. But as we later found out, that was a BIG lie! The parents of this classmate owned this lakefront home as a summer cottage and told my folks “We are ‘in charge’ of this party.”

Yeah…right! The only thing  these “nitwits” were in charge of was unlocking the main gate and ordering catered snacks. I unknowingly walked into an “illegal” party. To this day, I do not know what “free spirit” Angie knew about the party but I was in for a surprise.

Understand, I had been to school “parties” before and did drink some beer (But only a small cup). This happens all across America and has ben going on for generations. My parents had one rule: If you or anyone with you has even 1 alcoholic drink -Absolutely NO driving! In my family, there was beer in the frig and we did not have “hangups” about it. However, my parents had no use for drunks though and I did break up with a boyfriend on that issue.

But as Angie and I with our dates walked into the festivities, I saw something I had not seen before -At least not so openly. Right there on a lounge table on the back sun deck (next to 2 kegs of beer) overlooking the moonlighted lake were rows of hand-rolled marijuana joints as well as tiny packs of what looked like white powder. (Guess what that was…) This  was definitely NOT the snack table.

“Help yourselves, ladies…Its all ‘on the house’,” Charlie (the kid host) said.

“Uh, Charlie…You know this is illegal, don’t you?” I nervously replied.

“Oh stop being such a ‘straight arrow nerd’,Renee…Live it up a little!” Angie retorted as she picked up a marijuana joint.

Well, I am a fun-loving person but as a member of Students Taking A Right Stand (S.T.A.R.S.), I just could not participate in a “tradition” like this. I then went into the house and searched for a phone to call home. Fun is fun but that “party” was not my style.

I was the only person to be picked up by parents and my dad told me, ” You don’t have to tell me why you wish to leave the party but I’m proud of you for calling.”

Out of concern for my classmates, I did “snitch” to my dad on the condition that he would not call the police. He wanted to, but instead called Charlie’s parents at their other house and verbally unloaded on them. He told them, ” You have 20 minutes to close down that so-called ‘party’ before I call the cops…So get moving!” As a coach, daddy had a way of moving people and the “After Prom” party was ended pronto.

Until a few weeks later when I graduated, I got a “goody two shoes” reputation but looking back, I am glad I did what I did. A member of my high school graduating class could have been killed in an auto accident as has happened too many times across our country.

As a parent myself, I know that “gray hairs” are in store for me when Tyler gets into his teen years. I just hope to keep open channels of communication with him with two MAJOR RULES. If you do drink anything like beer anywhere away from home -Do NOT drive or ride with anyone who has. If he EVER needs to be picked up by John or me -We are 1 phone call away with no questions asked.

Of course, illegal drugs are VERBOTEN. Period!!

 

COMING NEXT: “GOOD NEWS” FROM ALEXIS,

RECOLLECTIONS BY JENNY

&

STUDENT TEACHING CHRONICLES

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