58. A TWP COMMENTARY, R.C. pt. III & PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE week #4

MEMO TO “HOWARD”: You are a TEACHER? Really? I always thought teachers checked all the facts before “ranting” but you proved me wrong! As to your questions on abusive c.p., legal issues, and why TEACHERSWHOPADDLE exists -Please refer to the following posts: MISSION STATEMENT, LEGAL ISSUES and IMPLEMENTS AND TECHNIQUES. Finally, as to your respect for us -Respect has nothing to do with it! You just don’t accept opinions that are different than your own! DEAL WITH IT!

MEMO TO “CLAY B.”: Just like “Howard” above, you simply cannot handle an opinion that contradicts your own. On your invalid comparisons, we refer you to our post P.T.A.V.E.’S BELATED RESPONSE and P.T.A.V.E.’S QUESTIONS/TWP’S RESPONSE.

Dear Readers: As we finish the Labor Day weekend and look forward to the cooler days and nights of autumn, we also leave behind the summertime memories of picnics, BBQ’s, swimming pools, and vacation trips. In our school district, classes have just finished their 4th week -But many other districts around the U.S. just started this past week on Tuesday. With a new year comes new challenges for teachers and administrators alike -Like yours truly (Renee) trying to learn a new job as Assistant Principal of a middle school! In this new school year with an improved TEACHERSWHOPADDLE Weblog, all the contributors of this blog promise to you -our loyal readers- that we will continue to confront and question the dubious assertions of the fanatical anti-c.p. zealots.

A TWP COMMENTARY

In a recent comment from a “Geri,” it was said that her state abolished c.p. nearly 40 years ago. As a veteran teacher, “Geri” stated that student behavior had deteriorated over the years since the ban took effect. It is TWP’s guess that the “liberal” state “Geri” referred to was Massachusetts which banned c.p. in 1971. While TWP is of the opinion that local school boards should decide on the banning of c.p., it is also our opinion that the social and cultural climate of the Northeastern U.S. has NEVER regarded school c.p. favorably. After all, 1971 was 6 years BEFORE the Ingraham v. Wright (1977) decision. So, one could argue that Massachusetts “jumped the gun” or was “ahead of the curve” -Depending on your perspective.

But the comment about “40 years ago” caused me (Renee) to remember reading about a poll/survey which indicated that the most anti-c.p. age group was the 40ish AND UNDER cohorts! When I first saw this, I didn’t pay too much attention to it and did not bookmark it. I wish I had because this “poll/survey” sounds as dubious as a Republican party poll on President Obama’s favorability rating. In other words -It “smelled” like 3 day old rotten fish!

First, lets take the 40 year olds as the high range with folks born in 1969. That means they started school around 1974 -Three years Before the Ingraham decision. Only a few states banned c.p. by that year: New Jersey (1867), Massachusetts (1971), and Hawaii (1973). The only other states to do bans in the 1970s were Maine (1975) and Washington D.C./Rhode Island in 1977.

So the oldest of this 40ish cohort encountered a very pro c.p. U.S. school environment. But the 1980s were another story. A 1969 cohort had 4 more states added to total 1o c.p. ban states by their high school graduation year in 1987. But by the start of the 1990s, that number had already doubled to 20 c.p. ban states. In the early 1990s, 8 more states were added to the total and only 2 more in the new century. As such, an increasing number of today’s 30 somethings experienced a rapid decline in c.p. usage the further down the age scale you go.

Facts are facts and while someone aged 40 had a higher probability of receiving c.p. in early grade levels, that probability dropped sharply for their younger cohorts from 1988 to 1995. And the youngest cohorts, those in their early to mid 20s, tell a very different story from their 40ish counterparts. At 20, the very youngest were born in 1989 -Right at the time the anti-c.p. movement was gaining full strength. By the time they started school around 1994, half of the states had already banned c.p. A good illustration of this is a chart on the corpun.com website that shows the dramatic plunge in c.p. numbers -Especially the late 70s and early 80s! In other words, the story of the 20 to 40 cohort group is one of vast change in how school children were disciplined in school -For better or worse!

What to make of these FACTS above?

First, the anti-c.p. opinions of the 20 to 40 something cohort is NOT experiential. Rather, it is more likely based on “horror stories” fed them by the parents of today’s young adults. We at TWP maintain that the most paddled generation in U.S. history is also the most militantly anti-c.p. cohort ever -The post WWII “baby-boomers.

Second, today’s young adults get most of their information (apart from parents/friends) from the internet. And until the TEACHERSWHOPADDLE Weblog started in August of 2008, the ONLY opinion on school c.p. in the U.S. was that of the extreme anti-c.p. sites. For example, one site called P.T.A.V.E. compares teachers to prostitutes/porn stars and legal c.p. in school to the crime of RAPE!

So, is it any wonder why young adults today have misinformed opinions about the entire issue of school c.p.? That is why this blog exists -To give fair and balanced commentary of a very difficult issue from the classroom teacher’s perspective.

 

RENEE CHRONICLES pt. III

As summertime ends, I am reminded that everyone has a story to tell about their own youth. This is my story about growing up in a small town in a midsized populated county in the southern U.S. I hope everyone enjoys my look back.

Glory Days and Softball

My favorite early childhood memories revolve around softball. Well, I wasn’t gifted athletically but my parents encouraged my siblings and me to at least try something. My three big brother played a lot of sports but followed daddy’s example as football linemen -And did very well! Me? I was the little red head “petite” of the family and as everyone knows -Football for girls is NOT an option.

So, for me, it was summertime girl’s softball on my church’s youth team. Unlike that famous Bruce Springsteen hit song “Glory Days,” I did NOT have much of a “fast ball” but did o.k. when I got to pitch. (Think petite pony-tailed freckled faced red headed tomboy) Unfortunately for me, my most embarrassing summertime memory was as a softball pitcher. The reason: I liked to chew Gatoraide gum when playing softball. The problem: Chewing gum is sticky…VERY STICKY! While playing softball, I got into the habit of blowing bubbles with my gum. That’s o.k. until you are getting ready to wind up and throw a pitch. My problem: I held the ball too close TO MY MOUTH when blowing a bubble and…You get the picture?…A DISASTER! Softballs with chewing gum on them are NOT good for throwing…OR ANYTHING ELSE! Both teams were rolling in laughter as I tried to clean up the ball but only made a bigger mess. I was almost in tears and felt like crawling in a hole! Only the umpire was unamused and it took pleading from our coach to prevent my ejection! Lucky for me, there was a spare glove to replace my gum sticky one and my folks agreed to buy a replacement ball. For a looonnng time afterwards until I graduated from high school, friends(?) would ask me about the proper technique for the “chewing gum” ball.

The “Renee Toss”

Another summer memory was instigated by my three brothers. As in prior posts, I make the point that being the baby of the family can be difficult. Especially when each of your older siblings are at least twice your size…and a whole lot stronger! Specifically speaking: I got “volunteered” to test the temperature of the community’s pool water. How? Keep reading. After a softball game, all the kids got to use the community swimming pool at a group discount. Sometimes, that water was COLD! So, to test the water, my dear brother(?) invented the “Renee Toss.” And NOBODY asked me! (I preferred to get in GRADUALLY but big brothers had other ideas!) No matter what evasive maneuvers I took, the result was the same: I checked out how cold the water was regardless of my own preference. Of course, daddy always encouraged my brothers to “be careful” when tossing their kid sister in the pool. (Thanks, daddy)

From these memories, I learned teamwork, sportsmanship, and a good sense of humor. (Little me was never able to push them into the pool -Hey, I tried but…)

 

PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE week #4

MONDAY: Labor Day. No School! (Yipee!) My family and I (Renee) spent Labor Day at the lake w/ a cookout and watched the fireworks Monday night. Great way to end the summer.

TUESDAY: Back to the typical school routine: Tardiness, misbehavior on buses, shoving in hallways, etc. which results mostly in afterschool detentions and a few I.S.S. erollments. I wonder what some students are thinking: The school discipline code did NOT expire over the holiday weekend!

WEDNESDAY: I (Renee) started a new policy with the Physical Education classes: All P.E. classes are to leave and return to the locker rooms as a group WITH their teacher/coaches. I believe this will help prevent “rough horse-play” in the locker rooms that has lead to a number of fights and scuffles this year. That means NO “snack machine” breaks for Coach B or other teacher/coaches but some of them need to lose a few pounds anyway. (Coach B griped but that’s just tough…Because I am the Assistant Principal and have the backing of Mr. Jones, our Head Principal!)

THURSDAY: My concerns have grown about the H1N1 virus (aka Swine Flu). Our school’s absentee rate is increasing over same time last year. Our school district has installed hand sanitizers in all schools -Hopefully, the school kids will USE them! As for me, I’m using my own handi-wipes every time I return from the hallways to my office. Chatted with Wendy briefly by phone. With the Swine Flu outbreak, Wendy is SO thankful to be on her maternity leave. We will have a VERYhard time getting her back to teaching 5th grade. She admitted to me,”I LOVE being the ‘Protective Super-Mommy’ WAY TOO MUCH to be a teacher this year!” I reckon Wendy’s hubby James’ law practice is doing well too…HA HA HA!

FRIDAY: Well, it looks like a new sport has been introduced to our middle school. Rubber Band Flipping. How? Simple. Just take a rubber band and use it with your index and forefinger to create a sling shot. Ammo: Anything including other rubber bands. Sheeesh! What we educators have to deal with sometimes! I don’t care WHO started this trend -It WILL stop because someone will be hit in the eye if “new sport” is allowed to continue. Several students will start next week in I.S.S. and I’m sorely tempted to call for c.p. or Out of School Suspension if problem persists.

 

COMING NEXT: A READER COMMENTS/TWP’S RESPONSE,

TEACHER FEATURE DOUBLE: WENDY and MICHELLE RESPONSES,

PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE week #5

&

R.C. pt. IV

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