64. TWP SPECIAL: A MEMPHIS “MELTDOWN”, PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE week #10 (RENEE PADDLES AGAIN!), TEACHER FEATURE: MICHELLE’S FIRST WEEK & R.C. pt. IX

MEMO TO “PROF. N.”: The short answer to your question is a resounding YES! We at TWP definitely believe that the consequence for an offense must occur ASAP after the guilty party is determined. Our next post will cover this as a part of a commentary we will be drafting soon. Stay tuned!

A READER’S CRITIQUE/WENDY’S REPLY

…the Mike case “Wendy’s Worst Paddling”. What happened – he used the word “ass” which is regarded as a bad word in the USA not necessarily so in English English.

First, the word “ass” IS considered vulgar as per student conduct policy. However, Mike was NOT paddled for saying it. I believed the word to be borderline and sought to get Mike out of serious trouble when conferring with Mr. Smith, our principal. We agreed to have Mike “sit in” for recess a few days instead of a paddling only if Mike “owned up.” But he did NOT and was paddled for repeatedly LYING, not for using the “ass word”.

Immediately one of the girls in the group (which seems to have been a group of four (all girls??) along with Mike says that Mike said a “ bad word” – a nice class mate to have – a tattle tale and a sneak.

What would you have us do -Allow our students to have a “we versus the teachers” mentality? Students informing on other students has saved lives in our nation’s schools. Also, I HEARD the “ass word” before several students (boys and girls) fingered Mike.

Does Wendy readily make students panicky and trembling? She does say students say she is a hard paddler.

No more than a police car coming up behind a speeder who is also a wanted fugitive. As to “hard paddler”: I dunno but Renee tells me that shes heard students get into arguments over who paddles the hardest! If my reputation as a “hard paddler” means I do not have to paddle but rarely -So be it! But even then, I do NOT bruise. How do I know? Mike’s mom asked me about her son’s RED (but unbruised) rear! She and I are on the same page as to discipline but I did manage to keep Mike out of more trouble at home.

Wendy is giving the description for this paddling unlike for Shad’s we cannot know if she broke the rules as to angle of paddling or whether all smacks were very hard but this last seems so from her description.

Maybe I should have made it clearer that our principal, Mr. Smith, was the “witness” for Mike’s paddling. All rules were followed and Mr. Smith told me the paddling was just like he would have done.

The surface lower part of the buttocks in only about 3 inches or less from the genitals in a young boy. Just in front of the buttocks in the body cavity are two accessory sex glands, the seminal vesicles and the prostate. Electrical stimulation in the rectal area has been used in some types of infertility. I would conclude that the buttocks ARE a sexually related area.

Not having a background in anatomy, I will not dispute your anatomical descriptions. But the only thing a few swats on the blue jean clad gluteus maximus has with your anatomy lesson is proximity.

…this was on Mike and HE HAD TO OWN UP. “Do you have anything to say for yourself, Michael?” I asked ” He was presented with a stark choice – own up or his butt would probably be on the line again – if not that day then the next.

Huh? What are you talking about? There was NO threat of more paddling. But I did feel strongly that Mike HAD to own up to his continual lying -Which he did. This is important because I wanted him to understand that the reason for the paddling was LYING, not the “ass word.”

Why does Wendy say such boys are too old to paddle – is it because she knows they are pubertal?

Actually, I feel that kids aged 10/11 should be old enough to know better than to misbehave to the point that the paddle may be used: stealing, repeated lying, bullying and so forth. (Heck, I’ve only used the paddle 6 times in my career!)

Hey, Mr. Thomas S.K. -The tone of your two long rants was simply anti- c.p. Thats o.k. and we can agree to disagree but some of your assumptions were way off.

1) The evidence provided by Max on the chalk was worthless.

We educators are not required to be detectives and find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt as in a court of law.

2) “…pregnancy and its associated changes – morning sickness, huge changes in hormone levels, massive increase in blood volume…”

YOU HAVE A LOT OF NERVE!

Because of what happened with Shad, all of us will be more careful than before and will only use c.p. for an offense we actually see or hear. I will always hurt a little after the Shad episode but he forgave me so I must try to forgive myself.

But the cruel remarks directed at me only make me more determined to be the best teacher (and mom) I can be.

Sincerely, Wendy (AUBURN ’05)

 

 

TWP SPECIAL: A MEMPHIS “MELTDOWN”

A while back, I (Renee) ran across a story on the corpun.com website (file #21229) about “mass paddlings” given in front of the entire student body at a Memphis city charter school. The Memphis city schools abolished paddling a few years ago but this school operates independently from the city district. (One of the better school systems in the state of Tennessee is the suburban county district that DOES use c.p. -Shelby County, Tennessee)

…members of a California based “anti-corporal punishment” group stood outside the Memphis Academy of Health Sciences. They handed out flyers and talked to parents about paddling, which the group calls legalized child abuse. The group is called “The Hitting Stops Here.”…But many parents don’t mind.
…the school incorporated corporal punishment and says behavior problems have diminished significantly. Faculty members also stress to myEyewitnessNews.com that Memphis Academy of Health Sciences is a charter school. Parents choose to enroll their children there and before they do, they know about the disciplinary procedures.

So, let me get this straight: Someone whines about c.p. in a charter school that kids have to apply to get in or are on waiting lists for openings. Then dear Paula Flowe and companion fly cross country to do a two-person protest in front of the school. And to top it off -Many parents APPROVE of the school policy.

Hummmm…

Well, I guess Paula had some frequent flyer mileage to “use or lose”.

Hint to Ms. Paula Flowe: Your “movement” is in a MELTDOWN mode!

2nd Hint: Tennesee is NOT California! So, wise up!

3rd Hint: Paula dear, just because your “organization of 2” shows up doesn’t mean people will gravitate to YOUR way of thinking.

IMHO -I think thehittingstopshere is beginning to look like the Titanic, except the latter HAD paddles.

 

PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE week #10

(RENEE PADDLES AGAIN!)

This week was another ho-hum week of detention rosters and I.S.S. referrals but Wednesday was a big exception.

Yep -Another “Renee Paddling.”

But this was different in that I was called over to the high school next door.

The reason: A “girl fight”!

Because the only lady teacher who paddles was on personal leave for this month, I was placed on “stand by” just in case. I was told it could happen but not likely.

Wrong!

So, after a five minute walk -I come into the front office and lo -A petite former student of mine with a black eye, busted lip, and a bruised cheek. The other was a much larger black girl (A highly recruited basketball player) sporting a slightly swollen lower lip.

Mrs. (Renee) …., these two were in a “cat fight” dispute over a boy earlier this morning…School policy calls for BOTH to be paddled, so…” said Mr. Roberts, the high school principal.

“Catfight?” I questioned. “Looks more like a mugging outcome you’d expect to see on the Live At 6 local newscast!”

I talked Mr. Roberts into allowing me to take complete charge of the matter -Which he agreed. Then, I took both ladies from the front office to the vice principal’s office in back of the building. After calling the librarian by intercom for the purpose of a (female) witness, I then turned towards Nashia who must be the biggest (and meanest I’ve heard) high school girl basketball player around.

“Nashia, if it were up to me -I’d just call the sheriff and have you arrested for assault…And you could wave bye bye to ANY future college basketball scholarship!”

Nashia looked at me wide eyed and pleaded,”Look, Mrs. …., I just ‘lost it’ when I saw Amy getting too ‘chatty’ with my boyfriend…Please…Just paddle me!…If I don’t get that scholarship…”

Amy interrupted,”Steve’s locker is next to mine!…I was not flirting …”

“Amy dear, calm down and have a seat…Nashia, come with me into the conference room with Ms. B (Librarian).

Holding a rather heavy 20″ x 4″ x 1” double handled paddle, I informed Nashia that she would get 5 swats and to bend over with hands against the wall.

I then proceeded to deliver 5 hard swats to the thin looking dress slack covered rear end of Nashia. And I did not hold back as I usually do and held the paddle with both hands -Nashia REALLY deserved this one!

SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK

Even behind closed doors, anyone in the hallways outside the office would have heard it! And Nashia, the roughest girl in the school was reduced to tears and clutching her rear as she was sent back to her class.

Amy, waiting outside, had a look of sheer terror and started to plead.

“No, Amy…I’m NOT going to paddle you…You need to get medical attention…So call your mom or dad…I’ll sign your dismissal form,” I responded.

Ms. B started to say something but I cut her off saying,” No, I don’t care what Mr. Roberts says about it taking TWO for there to be a ‘fight’ because poor Amy was NOT in a ‘fight’ but rather a real life ‘beating’!”

A relieved and grateful Amy hugged me and then proceeded to call her dad who arrived a short time later to pick her up.

I do not believe Nashia will be getting in any more trouble like this week and if my “paddling reputation” causes the high school girls to act more like ladies and not thugs -That will be for the better!

And for those who would try to make this a RACIAL issue -FORGETABOUTIT!

If Amy had been black and Nashia white -The paddling would have been exactly the same!

 

TEACHER FEATURE: MICHELLE’S FIRST WEEK

Hello everybody from TWP’s very own ex-Alabama cheerleader. The following is a recollection from my first week as a 4th grade school teacher in Fall 2006. The diary I kept that year is the source for this “lookback.”

Tuesday: The first day! Yay! After 4 years, countless hours of studying on top of cheerleading, sorority officershipps, and other activities -Finally doing what I always wanted to do: Teach.

There was quite a stir among the kids this morning about their “new teacher.” A bunch of boys from Jenny’s class across the hall attempted to join MY CLASS! Jenny and I managed to sort out who goes where. HA HA! Ienny said the same thing happened last year with Wendy on her first day. Is this an omen?

Setting up classroom routine and distributing textbooks went as expected -With some chaos but nothing I couldn’t handle!

Wednesday: First real challenge: It seems that the boys are almost jousting for front row seats. Wendy warned me about this -So assigned seating is now an early morning routine. After all, the books and supplies for each child stays in an assigned desk.

Thursday: Today was class group picture day and of course, Ms. Photogenic (me) was decked out in her best dress. (Mr. Smith said that was not necessary but hey -So what if I’m a teacher -I have my own standards to keep up when in front of a camera! The kids certainly didn’t mind -Although getting them to pay attention to the lesson plans instead of just watching me is a major challenge! HA HA!

On down side, the photographer tried to “hit me up” for a date! Good grief! I would turn that creep in but I have a class to teach.

Friday: My first week is drawing to a close. Afternoon bus duty has been interesting with kids pointing me out that are picked up by parents. We will see how long my “popularity” will last when I have parent-teacher conferences in about a month. Also, kids are whining about homework -ALREADY! And YES -I do give homework on weekends as does every other teacher. “Headaches” are not too many this week -Both the forehead kind as well as the type that sit in the desks in my classroom. As to “down the road”, I can only hope and pray that the “gift” Renee, Jenny and Wendy gave me a week ago is never used. I hope not!

 

RENEE CHRONICLES PT. IX

Acceptance

All young people want to “fit in” and peer pressure to do so can cause teens to do things they would not otherwise do. In a prior chronicle, I recounted my smoking trouble and the close call with a certain leather strap my own rear end knew all too well. That episode centered around my first year of high school (aka 9th grade). But that was not my first attempt to join what I thought was a “cool crowd.”

At the start of middle school, I thought I had arrived in the new social world of “teen land”! As a newbie, I decided to “aim high” and attempted to mingle with the cheerleaders the week before tryouts for the 6th grade unit of the school’s cheerleading team. So, I walked up to the cheerleader’s table during lunch to try and sit with the older 7th and 8th grade members.

The effort flopped.

Girls can be soooo mean to each other. TWP’s Michelle tells me her mom was dead set against that type of fickleness and would have torched her daughter’s hiney for doing such. Michelle is so sweet natured and accepting of others, it is easy to forget she was a state Miss Teen Finalist one year. But those middle school social queens I tried to fit in with were definitely not related to Michelle. There attitude was of a de facto sorority which would vote you in if they thought you “fit in their club.”

Being rebuffed at in the cafeteria should have indicated to me that this clique was a poor social match for me. But “quit” has never been a word used in my growing up years so I insisted on signing up for cheerleader tryouts. Hey, I had taken some ballet and was good on my toes so how hard could cheerleading be?

Well, to put it bluntly -It wasn’t what you could do but rather -Who you knew! You see, that cheerleading team WAS a de facto sorority. I cheered and danced my heart out but got a “Better luck next year” from the teacher-sponsor when the new members were announced. To say I bawled my eyes out on the way home would be an understatement. Mom, Dad and my older brothers tried to console me but daddy said the best words of all : “Renee dear, you will ALWAYS be my little cheerleader and if those snots cannot see your abilities -That is a reflection on them and not you!” (Daddies are SO awesome, aren’t they?)

Of course I did make REAL friends and participated in a number of activities ranging from volleyball (shortest member of team but was the best at serving), Tennis, softball, and marching band during high school. The latter was one reason I was able to attend University of Georgia with a partial scholarship. So things did work out for me after all in the longer run.

Today, as an assistant principal, I understand what young people go through because their ups and downs were mine too -Although the century was different! HA HA!

And “de facto sororities”? I have changed cheerleader try outs at the current middle school to a merit based over a vote based system.

 

COMING NEXT: A TWP COMMENTARY,

PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE week 11,

R.C. pt X

&

YOUR FAQ’s

 

 

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