68. LESSONS FROM OHIO & LIKELY OUTCOMES, PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE week 13 & R.C. pt. XIII

😥 SAD NEWS: The University of Georgia mascot, Uga VII, suddenly passed away at his home after only two years service. Cause of death is unknown at this time. Funeral arrangements are being made by the athletic department and alumni association. Instead of flowers, the greater U.G.A. family request that monetary donations be made to an university scholarship fund.

MEMO TO “JESTIN”: We received your message and checked out the “forum” you referred us to. Interesting proposal for a debate. Our response is as follows: The contributors of TWP will debate the issue of school c.p. only if two conditions are met. 1) An apology from Paula Flowe for calling entire states with legal c.p. “Racist” 2) An apology from Paula Flowe to TWP’s Michelle for calling Michelle a “sexual molester” merely because she paddled a student. Both apologies must be submitted here at this blog.

MEMO TO “PROF. N.”: We got your emails and will answer your comments in our next post which will come out Wednesday night before our long Thanksgiving 4-day weekend. Note: I mentioned on a prior post a few weeks ago that the “Nashia” paddle was LESS than 1″ -That ” 1″ ” was my “bad”.

LESSONS FROM OHIO & LIKELY OUTCOMES

After corresponding with Colin Farrell of corpun.com, we at TWP have confirmed our suspicions that the state of Ohio has banned ALL corporal punishment in the public schools of that state. Actually, this was done through a “state budget” bill and the ban provision was buried in the bill itself. No wonder we never saw any large victory banners on any anti c.p. sites -Either they were unaware of their “victory” (Highly unlikely) or the anti c.p. zealots made the decision to not “sip too much champaign”, knowing how “underhanded” their victory really was.

Pre-1983

From what TWP has found out as to the history of the anti c.p. movement in Ohio, the use of c.p. in public schools was MANDATED by Ohio state law. In other words, individual school districts could NOT choose if to have or not not have c.p. in their schools. We at TWP feel that this was a BIG mistake on the part of Ohio many years ago. Just as a state ban law intrudes on local control of schools by locally elected school boards; any state law requiring that all public school districts have a c.p. policy is EQUALLY WRONG. Laws such as the latter came back to haunt the state this year.

Intermediate Period (1983-1999)

The anti c.p. zealots led by Nadine Block understood that radical change would never pass in a moderate, middle of the road state such as Ohio. Nadine and her ilk understood two things. First, in the early 1980’s, there was a large wave of retirements by older teachers and administrators occurring across the U.S. Second, there was a large generational turnover in the nation’s politics as WWII veterans retired and were replaced by their children -The baby boomers. You do not have to be a social scientist to guess what can happen when the most “paddle-friendly” generation is replaced with the “most paddled” generation in U.S. history. An anti-paddling proposal that would have been laughed out of Columbus, Ohio a few years earlier was embraced by younger up-and-coming politicos who were still mad about their being paddled in school and suffering from “control issues” in general.

It is said that the first move is the easiest if you do not “over reach” Nadine Block understood this and chose the path of least resistance first. Better to win a small victory than none at all. So, the zealots made the difficult decision to compromise and merely allow local school districts to decide if to drop or keep c.p. Over the years, most districts chose to drop c.p. -But it was THEIR choice to make.When a small number of districts did not follow suit, the “kid gloves” came off as the zealots made a change in strategy.

Up until the late 1990’s, the zealots truly believed that everyone thought like they did and the paddle districts would fall like dominoes. When that did NOT happen and the zealots lost face in a string of defeats at the local level; the decision was made to go over the heads of the people and work with the political insiders instead. In pushing for an absolute ban statewide, the zealots dropped all pretenses of “grassroots democracy” and sold their souls to political insiders inside the “smoke-filled rooms” behind closed doors.

March to “Victory” (1999-2009)

When dealing with politicians, you not only can lose your soul but also get messy in the process. Politicians love to make deals and that is only exceeded by used car salesmen. The 1999 Ohio state ban law was amended during its formation and the law that was passed ALLOWED individual districts to keep c.p. if the followed certain legal requirements. This was a major blow to the zealots and they would continue their fight through 2009. During this time, the political winds would shift in a radical direction due to an unpopular war and a stagnant statewide economy. Enter one of the most radical governors to be elected in any state, Ted Strickland, who actually had a state c.p. ban as one of his campaign planks. Add to that an electoral shift in Ohio state politics in the aftermath of the 2008 elections and you have the perfect storm.

Even then, the anti c.p. zealots had to wrap their ban in a state budget appropriations bill. Interestingly, the news about this has been buried for months. We assumed that a check on the front pages of P.T.A.V.E. would show in giant letters “OHIO BAN PASSES” if the budget bill made it out of committee and was passed. But that never happened.

After more than 25 years of literally making the Ohio State Senate and House a second home, Nadine and company seem quieter than one would expect. And there are good reasons. The zealots KNOW that their “victory” was not by consensus but rather by an ideal political alignment. Problem is -We in the U.S. have ELECTIONS and there is NO guarantee that things will stay the same in 2010. Old saying: Be nice to folks on your way up because you will certainly see them when on your way down. Hint: While no state ban bill has ever been repealed, there is always a first time. Add to that that no c.p. ban ever had to be hidden in a budget bill either.

LIKELY OUTCOMES

Lets start by understanding one thing: Kids are kids and regardless of the “paddle status” of a state; kids are pretty much predisposed to act the same. That is, kids really are no different in California than they are in Alabama or Ohio. The weather is different but kids are kids wherever. Nadine knows this but could care less -Her and the zealots objective is done in Ohio. We at TWP expect Nadine Block and the anti c.p. zealots to move on to another state soon.

As to Ohio students, the same behavior as last school year will prevail this school year. The only difference is that the “Big Consequences” for major offenses state-wide will be suspension/expulsion only. A “talking to” or 1 hour detention is not appropriate for bullying or fighting, for example. And we wonder if suspensions will increase for major offenses. The other and worse trend is to lessen standards of behavior which will result in greater behavior problems. One thing is for certain: If you do NOT have consequences for bad actions, then you WILL have more bad actions.

Nadine Block knows this but does not care. Ditto for school bullying despite claims to the contrary. One day a child will come home with a black eye caused by a school bully. When asked why he didn’t tell a teacher, the child will say,”Mom, the teachers can’t do anything and the worst thing that can happen to the bully is 3 days vacation from school!” We at TWP hope that, if Nadine has kids or grandkids, they are not in a public school in Ohio.

I (Renee) might go broke paying for private schooling if I lived up north -Because my Tyler would NEVER go to a public school up there! As a mom myself, I expect schools to protect my child from bullies. Ohio teachers will not be able to fullfill this duty -In my opinion.

 

JESTIN’S COMMENTS/TWP’S RESPONSES

To further demonstrate our willingness to allow other points of view on a difficult issue, we have posted some comments and our replies below. FYI: Jestin is the “host” of PUBLIC SCHOOL SPANKING 101, a blogradio show.

A principal in Washington about Miguel’s story: “If anyone did that here, whether corporal punishment is legal or not, she’d be fired on the spot.”

Dear Jestin, I understand that you are anti c.p. but do yourself a favor and stop making things up. Michelle and the rest of us follow school policy in all student disciplinary matters. In the Miguel case, everyone -including Miguel himself- was aware of the possibility of the use of the paddle if Miguel’s behavior towards Michelle did NOT change. As to Washington state (which is a non-paddling state), we at TWP are teaching in a southeastern U.S. state where paddling IS legal. But Washington is a beautiful state -I (Renee) have passed through it by way of Amtrak.

…where you learned and came up with the, “90 degree angle,” of how to your hold your paddle. You responded that it was just common sense. First of all, this throws out your credibility because no other child development expert agrees with this at all. On this same point, you make it seem like it is even honored in major institutions of learning, but it is not. The educated world just frowns on this practice.

Hey Jestin -Why don’t YOU use some “common sense” because what you said has NONE! As to “creditability”, we think you give way too much to non-educators. Child development experts (aka child psychologists) are not concerned about education or even behavioral management in a classroom setting. To them, everything is internal as to the Id, Ego and Superego. That has its place but we are charged as teachers to “control” the classroom environment for the benefit of the education of our “kids”.

As to our educational background, NOTHING that we have said indicates that the colleges we attended had anything to do with the fact that we, on rare occasions, have used the paddle in school discipline. The 90 degree angle was my (Renee) idea alone.

There is no proper way to hit (abuse) a child. So many injuries have been documented from this form of, “loving discipline.”

You have the right to state an opinion but do realize that everyone does NOT share that opinion. A few swats from a paddle is NOT automatically abusive. Jenny, Wendy and I (Renee) are moms ourselves and we would NEVER abuse any child -Our own or at school. See our post MISSION STATEMENT and read our rules as to school c.p. This blog has strongly condemned abusive paddlings on numerous occasions but we still believe that all paddlings are NOT necessarily abusive.

My show is open to my listeners to call in and ask their questions, even though it doesn’t agree with my view.

We at TWP have heard your “show” and it really does lack “creditability”. Hint: Instead of an “echo chamber”, you might want to consider having an actual debate. Hey, your ratings could shoot straight up!

 

PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE week #13

Miranda Update

On the “Miranda Front”, the latest that I am aware is that she MADE the girls varsity basketball team. Coach Kaye, the girls basketball team coach, did not “pet” Miranda and made her earn a spot on the team. If Miranda needed any exercise (She is somewhat tall and lanky), she got it during the week of tryouts. While Coach Kaye can be demanding as a coach, she is also a great teacher -Both on the basketball court as well as in the classroom. Miranda will not be a starter but I am told she will see enough playing time to make it worthwhile.

Principal Kathy Update

We at TWP have received inquiries about the principal featured last week. I (Renee) followed up on those questions and this is Kathy’s responses.

How could you be so mean and cruel as to bruise a poor child? He has been damaged for life.

Kathy: I am beginning to understand the c*** the you at TWP have to deal with. Andy, who I paddled, had 2 blemishes on his buttocks from 2 pennies in his back pockets. No one in his/her right mind would ever do that on purpose. It was an accident and both Andy and his mother understood that.

Why didn’t the mother press charges against the b**** principal who beat/abused her child?

Kathy: A “very reasonable and rational” question there. Look, for those who do not travel much; school c.p. is LEGAL in some states. The paddling I gave was mild and had it not been for two coins, there would have been NO marks at all. The mother understood this and was moved by the way I handled the situation. I guess that can be attributed to “cultural differences” between our region of the U.S. and California, for example. And also -Andy will NOT be paddled ever again as long as I am principal of the school because of what happened -I placed him on my “opt out” list. That should show what kind of person I really am.

 

RENEE CHRONICLES pt.

Thanksgiving and an Empty Chair

When growing up, my family observed lots of traditions which were handed down to my parents from their parents going back generations. The usual holiday traditions of July 4th cookouts, summertime family reunions and New Year’s Slumber Sleepovers (me) or Camping Trips (my brothers) were a given in our household. Of course, the religious observances of Advent, Lent, Easter and Christmas Eve were kept without fail.

One holiday I didn’t mention was Thanksgiving Day. I wanted to give you, our readers, a different perspective of that holiday in light of the Fort Hood Horror and the fact that this Thanksgiving -like too many in recent years- will be different for many families. That difference will be profound: An empty chair.

And for some families, that chair will NOT be filled ever again.

For one Thanksgiving Day in 1990, an empty chair was a stark reminder to an 11 year old red haired tomboy -Me! Like all previous Thanksgivings, I looked forward to mom’s big dinner with anticipation. As mom’s little helper, I helped to set the table as always but with a couple of extra plates for our visiting relatives. But one thing was different.

My oldest brother had joined the U.S. Army out of high school and was on his way to a country called Saudi Arabia. Why? I was told by daddy that a country nearby called Kuwait had been invaded by a third country called Iraq. At 11, I didn’t care about “geopolitics” -I just missed my brother!

It was strange to me to see the empty place where my oldest brother always sat while trying to comprehend that he was on the other side of the world preparing for what we now call The Gulf War I. The Thanksgiving Dinner just was not the same that year and I missed him -Even though on previous Thanksgivings I had argued with him over silly things like the last drumstick or piece of pecan pie.

I remember thinking “…, hurry and get back safe” when we locked hands together for grace before sitting down to eat. Late that night we got a long distance phone call from my big brother turned soldier. And what did he have to say to my other two brothers? “Bug lil’ carrot-head for me until I get back!”

Spoken like a true big brother…and pain in the you know what!

My big brother made it back just fine -And I raced ahead of his fiancee and mom for the first hug when his Army Division got back.

Since then, my other two brothers have also served in the U.S. Army with my youngest serving several tours of duty in Iraq until his discharge a couple of years ago. But my family, like so many, has had empty chairs during the holidays because of those among us who choose to serve their county.

And some do not come back.

Something to think about this Thanksgiving week as we give thanks for all the blessings we enjoy and prayers for the safe return of our service men and women.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to the length of this post, the segment “WENDY’S FIRST PADDLING” will be published next week on Wednesday. It will be worth the wait -WE PROMISE!

 

COMING NEXT: WENDY’S FIRST PADDLING,

Q/A ON “NASHIA’S PADDLING”

&

I AM THANKFUL FOR…

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