61. MORE READER’S COMMENTS/TWP’S RESPONSES, TEACHER FEATURE:JENNY/WENDY (AUBURN DUO), R.C. pt. VI, PROF. N COMMENTS/TWP RESPONDS & PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE week #7

MEMO TO ALL: We at TWP ARE not making this up. The San Francisco, California school district is showing a cartoon about a male “crossdresser” to middle and high school students. I (Renee) saw this with my own eyes in a news story on t.v. I’ve always known that folks out there were a little “different” but this demonstrates to me the problem with groups like P.T.A.V.E. wanting to run public schools.

MEMO TO “FACEBOOK-THEHITTINGSTOPSHERE COMMUNITY”: Are y’all SURE you want to associate with an organization that calls ENTIRE states with legal c.p. “RACIST STATES”, refers to anyone who disagrees with their positions as “white supremacist” and even had the nerve to “call out” President Obama for not “toeing the party line” on c.p.? Your “community” needs to look for better associations than Paula Flowe & Co.

MORE READER COMMENTS/TWP RESPONSES

..paddling schools have much higher dropout rates, lower graduation rates, lower GPA’s of students that DO graduate, much higher violence rates and disciplinary problem rates, higher teenage pregnancy rates, and, most important, lower morale with students…

Really? No kidding? I guess TWP had better tell all those urban school districts to stop paddling their students! (Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami, etc. )

😳 Oh! We forgot…Nearly ALL urban school systems have banned c.p. years ago. (And I hear that they are “islands of academic excellence” too!)

If any of you ever laid a hand on my children, even though I’m not a violent person, I’d be laying that same hand you laid on my children on…

First, if you do not wish for your child to be paddle eligible, ALL you have to do is say so in writing with a signed note (As per policy in our school district). Second, I think you know what would happen to YOU if you ever assaulted a school staff person: Jail time -At least where we are from. And stifle the retort -C.P. is LEGAL in our state!

I am also a mom of a child that has just started kindergarten. If she got paddled for hugging her teacher let me tell you- every newspaper, talk show, radio show, and the TODAY show would hear my story…

😛 REALLY! The “TODAY SHOW”! I hope those “t.v. journalists” read better than you. If you go back and re-read that segment, you will notice that the “hugging” was becoming harassment and occurred over a several week period. In addition, the parents were made well aware of the problem and Miguel was forewarned about the paddle on the same day Michelle finally ran out of options.

As a mom to a 5-year old and a member of the United States Air Force, I have been a member of the military for over 11 years and have been a leadership instructor for 4 years. I’m sure that if you taught adults like I do, you wouldn’t DARE hit them because they just might hit back.

Yeah…Right! Hey Ms. U.S. Air Force “Space Cadet” (or is that “Paper Airplane Cadet”?), there is a BIG difference between the U.S. Military and U.S. public schools. In the former, when a superior gives a lawful order -It must be obeyed or there will be likely imprisonment for insubordination. In time of war, the penalty can be death by firing squad. (I have many relatives who have honorably served our armed forces in war and peace -Including my father and all of my older siblings.} As to school discipline -All school discipline policies are outlined in student handbooks. If you don’t approve of c.p. -Then opt out your kid(s). Just do everyone else a favor and drop the invalid comparisons -Because they make you sound silly!

 

TEACHER FEATURE: JENNY/WENDY {AUBURN DUO)

This section is a close-up feature about TWP’s two Auburn alumni Jenny and Wendy. The setting for this is the end of the first week of Wendy’s teaching career. The topic: Like Michelle a year later, someone “presented” a newly made paddle to a rookie teacher who neither wanted nor expected one. And the “giver” was Jenny! I (Renee) was on my maternity leave at the time so this account is second-hand from Jenny and Wendy themselves.

It was a hot and muggy August Friday afternoon at about 4:30 p.m. when I (Jenny) strode into our new rookie 5th grade teacher Wendy’s room. All the kids were gone and we teachers would soon head out ourselves. Walking into the room, I nearly laughed out loud.

Why?

Because of what I saw. A young blond Wendy leaning back in her chair against the wall with her bare feet propped up on her desk. An electric mini-fan was blowing air at her feet. Her skirt had slid up her thigh as she held her grade record book in her lap. She was recording some grades while listening to her ipod -Oblivious to the world at that moment.

“Boo!” I blurted as Wendy seemed to almost jump straight up.

“Oh!…Its you…The Auburn Delta …. …. girl!…Whatsup?” Wendy replied.

“Better not let Mr. Smith catch you doing…What ARE YOU DOING?…AND WHAT IS THAT SMELL?” I asked.

“Oh!…(Giggle)…That’s my nail polish…And the little fan over here is to help dry the polish before I leave,” Wendy answered.

“Well, Miss Auburn Sigma …. …., it looks like you have big plans this weekend…with James, right? (Wendy’s future husband)…Tell me…Tell me…Tell me!” I quizzed.

“Yeah…Thats right!…James and I are going to that club in downtown Atlanta I told you about to dance the night away and tomorrow morning we head out to Auburn for the home opener,” Wendy answered. “And my party dress is hanging in the car -I’ll change in a few minutes so I can head straight out from here to Dunwoody to meet up with James…At least a 2 1/2 drive!”

“And then?” I pried.

“Not telling, Jenny!” Wendy shot back with her small town girl giggle.

“Well, before you meet up with loverboy James, I have something for you -From Renee who will be back next spring from maternity leave, Jean (the other 4th grade teacher) and me to our newest teacher…” I spoke while pulling a new 16″ x 3 1/2″ x 1/4″ paddle out of my briefcase.

“Jenny dear, I already have a paddle…My Sigma …. …. sorority paddle back home and don’t…” Wendy replied as she frowned at her “gift”.

I explained to Wendy that psychological theory would not always work and Mr. Smith (our principal), while supportive of his teachers, did not like to play the role of “school cop” everytime there was a discipline problem.

“Mr. Smith expects his teachers to take charge of their own classrooms and not to call on him…After all, sometimes he is away at the central office…” I emphasized.

“Jenny, I think my ‘kids’ are too old for that sort of thing!…Besides, I didn’t get into teaching for this…” Wendy dismissively pointed at the paddle.

“I hope you are right and couldn’t agree with you more, but lets put this in that bottom drawer just in case…Because there are a few kids…” I replied adding,”Lets see what you look like in that ‘party dress’…You have a long drive ahead of you!”

Wendy perked up on hearing that and dashed to her car to retrieve a dazzling sapphire blue strapless dress one would expect to see on “Dancing with the Stars” t.v. show. (Wendy must have done something right with James -He proposed later that year and she accepted!) As to the paddle, Wendy did use it later that year on a school bully that struck and hurt a smaller kid -For his ice cream money.

 

PROF. N COMMENTS/TWP RESPONDS

Hi Renee/Ladies,

Just a quick note to let you know I returned from a visit to the South a few days ago. Whilst I will write later with some ‘views from across the pond’ which I hope you will find interesting, I just wanted to write to say how impressed I was with the general politeness and courtesy of the kids I saw whilst there. I’m afraid the standard in that regard , put some of the schools here in the UK that I visit to shame. I also met and stayed with my Texan friend again , ( the retired Principal), and through her a number of interesting contacts.

Your community support for local schools seems very high and now I fully understand why you advocate ‘localism’; particularly when you see what some of your opponents want the Obama government to enact in terms of State control of the education system. To go down that road would be to reproduce the worst of the British system in the US ! When you have good schools which are well disciplined ,with good grades achieved, it is easy to support them and difficult for the anti’s to point the finger, because there is only effective practice not abuse!

Whilst writing, Renee’s recent piece on her first new school paddling shows one thing. You guys think hard and talk frankly before reaching for the paddle . Moreover you don’t see the punishment as the end in itself , just an unpleasant, if necessary moment in a genuine road of re education. I hope the girl appreciates what Renee is trying to do for her, but often thanks at the time are a commodity in short supply. Anyone calling that ‘abuse’ and/or ‘beating a child’ needs to attend remedial English classes in my view !

Best Wishes to you all,

Prof. N

Thanks for the kind words, Prof. N, it means a lot to us with some of the vile comments we’ve received as of late.

First point I would like to make is to emphasize the population size and diversity of the U.S. I am not sure of the population of the U.K. but the population of the U.S. is about 320 million with citizens origins traceable to every nation on earth (Although a majority is still European) With as large and diverse as the U.S. is, no wonder our school system is decentralized! In their wisdom, our founding forefathers left to the individual states and local communities the task of operating schools. We at TWP go one step further: The local communities should have maximum control over school management with individual state governments in a secondary and supporting role. Money from Washington should be supplementary with few “strings attached”.

However, the current trends are of concern to us. We are for upgrading classrooms, computers, supplies, etc. but draw the line when it comes to centralized control and policy-making. Ask yourself,”What makes Arnie Duncan (U.S. Secretary of Education) an authority on what an individual school district’s needs are?” Many in the Obama administration come from an “urban school” mindset. However, more Americans live in suburbs, exurbs and rural areas than urban (inner city) areas. So, we predict some “push back” when it comes to local control of schools.

As to the Miranda episode -That was exceptional because of her being a former student of mine and the fact that her mom knew and trusted me. With Miranda, I feel that I am helping to break a downward cycle -But Miranda will be the one to make the initial u-turn a long term reality. She is smart (I keep reminding her) and I think she is headed in the right direction.

Finally, as to the loons (aka anti-c.p. zealots), they are the cross we at TWP must bear. Actually, we give as good as we get as you probably know by now. I think the zealot’s “calling out” of President Obama for his sin of not “toeing the line” on c.p. may backfire.

RENEE CHRONICLES pt. VI

The “Home” Front

I have been asked many times about my personal c.p. experiences in school -As to the receiving end. Let me make this as clear as I can: I would have certainly opted myself “in” had that option been available to me the two times I got in trouble in school. (The third time will be in another post) Why “opt in”? Simply put…My librarian-mom -Thats why.

My three older brothers and I had very good behavior records in school. The reason is clear as daylight: With mom as an elementary school librarian and daddy as a high school teacher/coach, there was NO hiding “trouble in school” from the home front. Simply put: Trouble in school meant WORSE trouble at home. My parents were not extreme but any “trouble in school” reports resulted in severe consequences at home -And that was not just a “talking to”.

I found out the hard way as a third grader myself. At the time, I probably felt I was “different” because MY MOM was the school librarian. Different as in “Nah Nah -I’ll do/say as I please!” In other words, I developed a “mouthy-mouth” syndrome. But that would be cured and NOT by my teacher.

I mouthed off about something to my teacher while in the lunch line and my mom was in ear shot right behind me! Well, I thought mom was getting me out of trouble as she and my teacher conferred. I actually sighed in relief as nothing happened and mom headed back to the library.

Riding home afterschool with mom, I talked typical small talk but mom was unusually quiet. As we pulled in the driveway, mom asked my older brothers to stay outside a while because as she put it: Renee and I have some business to tend to. Suddenly, any appetite for after school snacks instantly evaporated. Momma then ordered -like a marine drill instructor: Get upstairs to your bedroom…NOW!…I’ll be up there in a few minutes!

That was the longest few minutes I can ever remember. When mom came up, she had a 16″ strap with her! I will spare you readers the details but least anyone think my momma was squeamish about “home-style” c.p. -Let me be frank. What happened that afternoon in my smallish bedroom was a “bun roasting” that I would have begged to be paddled in school instead. But no such luck and I ended up eating dinner while laying on my stomach on the bed. Later that night, momma hugged me before tucking me in my bed. She told me that she had hoped never to use that strap but would if she ever heard me sassing my teachers ever again.

That did happen one other time and I pleaded with my 4th grade teacher to not tell my mom and for her to punish me herself. No such luck. Momma was a woman of her word and I got a second dose of the strap. From then on, I was totally cured of my “mouthy mouth” problem.

To this day, while I am opinionated; I am also respectful of others and their opinions. I fear that that is lacking or decreasing in our society at large as shown by some reader comments posted recently. Give and take debate is good but the hateful tone in the “c.p. wars” have completely gotten out of hand. As a mom myself, I have not decided to what extent I will use c.p. although perhaps a little more moderately than a leather strap. But one thing is for sure: My little Tyler had better NOT misbehave as badly as some kids I’ve dealt with! And thats a PROMISE!

 

PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE week #7

There is not much to tell you that is out of the ordinary. The school is settling into a (somewhat) normal routine in which 90% of the kids do o.k. and the rest spend time mostly in afterschool detention. There are a few harder cases which spend time in I.S.S. But I have not needed to use O.S.S. but a few times and resorted to the paddle only once -Miranda!

As to Miranda, she has definitely stayed out of my office as far as discipline referrals go. But for the time being, I am insisting that she “park it” at a secretary’s desk afterschool and “hit the books” until her grades reflect her true potential. Miranda does plead, “I’m good for it later tonight…Let me catch the bus home.” Of course, I simply reply,”As your mom and I agreed -Study time will come FIRST, then she will pick you up from here and drop you off at home before going to her 2nd job.” Miranda always rolls her eyes when hearing that but that is the way its going to be for at least a while.

The one reprieve for Miranda is the student council meetings Wednesday afterschool. She seems to be immersing herself in a new circle of friends. That’s what I had hoped to achieve by my one-time appointment of Miranda to the group. These kids are an administrator’s dream: They stay out of trouble and are a positive influence on their peers. Last, the latest is that Miranda is on the Halloween Dance commitee. If anything new happens, I will post it.

 

COMING NEXT: PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE week #8,

R.C. pt. VII

&

READER’S (SILLY) QUESTIONS FOR JENNY/WENDY

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