37. THE POWER AND MISUSE OF WORDS, JENNY RESPONDS, AND TWP’s POSITION ON JUDICIAL C.P.

MEMO TO “Bob T.”: Do you EVER read your own posts? Apparently not, judging by your comment on our FACT CHECK #3. FYI, we at TWP have never and will never attempt to do a “what if” as to suspension #’s versus paddling #’s in a hypothetical year. That would be ASSUMING and in our opinion, Mr. Bob T., YOU have already cornered the market on that!

Dear Readers: If any of you have followed the confrontation between Denise Drew and me (Renee), then you also know how I feel about the use of a word that should only be used in its correct context -Never as a linguistic “hand grenade.” That is the word for the violent crime we call RAPE! Having seen a dear friend of mine back in college go through the aftermath of RAPE only to recently read a pathetic blog post which compared corporal punishment to RAPE was too much for me to “let go.” I have emailed two rape victim’s advocacy groups about this post and the following below is my thoughts but are seconded by Jenny, Wendy, and Michelle.

THE POWER AND MISUSE OF WORDS

Words have meaning -As school children, we all learn that at an early age. But words have power as well. In human history, words have inspired the best in humanity such as the Holy Bible as well as the worst as in Mein Kampf. Words have brought liberty where tyranny prevailed such as “We the people…” or sent men to war as in “…a day that will live in infamy!” So it can be concluded that words are not just noises or visual markings but rather messages with real meanings. These meanings carry power and can uplift or destroy.

But with power comes responsibility -Something that the world of the internet is NOT know for. A case in point is the blogger Denise Drew and the RAPE word referenced above. While the internet gives maximum freedom to say whatever one wishes to, we ALL need to think about what we say before typing away. Denise did not and that post is not all. P.T.A.V.E. also misuses the power of words to advance a cause. In this case, the use of the words “lynching” and “pedophile” are not only out of context to the issue of c.p. in schools but also denigrates the real victims of lynching and molestation.

But why should the words of a few matter?

Because words DO MATTER! Having many relatives who served in various wars, I heard (too) many “was stories” during family reunions. One theme that stands out in my mind with the topic of the power of words is that of “hand grenades.” As a fire cracker freak, I loved stuff that made noises. (Too much as my Daddy-o would say!) Of course it was explained to me that grenades were hand held bombs meant to kill ANYONE within a certain radius. I remember hearing that with grenades, an American soldier had to be careful so that when it exploded, there would not be any friendly casualties.

That same principle applies to the power of words. First, the misuse of the word RAPE can be considered at least “crying wolf.” But with the fact that RAPE is a violent crime, any diminishing of the word WILL affect others beyond the intended target such as educators who use c.p. as an option in classroom discipline. For example, if the word RAPE loses its contextual “punch” as to sexual battery, will future juries be influenced by that when considering what penalty to impose on a rapist? What about non-lawyers catagerizing different types of RAPE with some types worse than other? These questions should be considered by all who believe that the misuse of words are justified by the “cause” or simply put: “The end suits the means.”

The casual use by some of the words “lynching” and “pedophile” are equally wrong. In the former, many black people in the history of the U.S. were victimized in the murderous crime of lynching. And for anti-c.p. zealots to hijack this word for their own narrow purpose is an insult and a slap in the face to survivors and decendants of lynching victims. We must all agree on this point: The many victims of lynching did not die in vain and the horrors they faced must NEVER be trivialized. As to “pedophiles,” all I can say is that there should be a very warm place in HELL reserved for those who molest children. I say this as a mother and TWP contributors Jenny (a mom), Wendy (a mom-to-be), and Michelle (someday?) all second that. And right next door in Hell should be those that diminish the word “pedophile” by misusing it in their “crusade” against c.p. in school. Consider the contradiction of implying that teachers, who are trained to watch out for signs of abuse in children, are somehow sexually abusing students when c.p. is used in school discipline. As in the misuse of the words “RAPE” and “LYNCHING,” the misuse of “PEDOPHILE” will adversely affect the victims of those who prey on our children. The reason for TWP’s stance goes beyond our role as parents -We fear that if a word like “pedophile” can be broadened to include educators who legally use c.p. in school discipline, then the meaning behind the word loses it’s power. In the last few years, we have heard of too many tragic child abductions by real monsters (aka pedophiles) to lightly dismiss the misuse of the word “pedophile.”

So there it is! My feelings and perspectives on the misuse of certain words as linguistic “hand grenades” by those who wish to advance a “cause” no matter who gets hurt as a result. Those that subscribe to this tactic must be made aware that “All is NOT fair” in advancing an agenda. Sometimes the blacklash can be severe -Just ask Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda.

 

Dear Readers: The following is Jenny’s responses to questions that TWP has received since our post HOW JENNY HANDLED A PARENT’S PADDLING COMPLAINT. An outline on Jenny’s background can be found on our post ABOUT US. If you think that the reason Jenny hasn’t been mentioned much is because she left us -That is wrong! Between her two jobs as teacher and mom, Jenny has been a great help in TWP’s “brainstorming sessions” every Sunday night. As the co-moms during our Sunday evening get-together, Jenny and I (Renee) take turns checking on our “boys” -Hubbies and kids alike. Only moms can really understand that!

 

JENNY RESPONDS

Jenny, people want to know: What happened to the photo of Mike’s pink rear end?

Good grief! I thought we answered that months ago! Mike’s mom had one copy and I have no idea what she did with hers and…that’s her problem. As for the other copy, it was stapled to the Discipline report and turned into the office. Our principal, Mr. Smith, was made aware of the confrontation and secured the file on Mike until the end of the school year. All individual discipline reports are destroyed at the end of every school year -And that report was as well. (Editor’s Note: The only exceptions to this are suspensions and expulsionsAll other info retained is statistical only.)

So what do you say to people looking for the photo on TWP’s blog site?

One thing: They are SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK!…And the image was never “saved” on any computer file or disc -so there is no need to ask!

Everyone wants to know: Are you an environmental activist? Greenpeace member? Earth Liberation Front (ELF)?

(HA HA HA HA) No No, I haven’t the time for all that with my two “boys,” one grown and one growing, to take care of. I am concerned about what kind of world my little boy is going to grow up in. We ALL have to take better care of our environment because it is the only one we have. I was the teacher who really pushed the recycling program at our school and hopefully, we’ll get more energy efficient light fixtures soon.

Have you had any more complaints from parents?

As to c.p. -No, but I have used c.p. only once since the Mike episode. The biggest problem for me is turned-in-late homework for which the penalty is loss of recess time. It’s almost always the same two or three kids. One time, I didn’t take up an assignment on Friday but when Monday morning came, one of my students had not even started on it! And to top that, the parent wanted me to give an “extension!” Incredible, huh?

Any more problems with outdoor chemical lab demonstrations?

That boo-boo was my most embarrassing episode ever! Mr. Smith was ticked off for several days but no harm was done. The “odor” got into the air intakes on the AC system -But no problem! Since it was Spring, the school windows could be opened for a couple hours. I did learn my lesson though: All outdoor chemistry lab demos are done on the far side of the playground area.

Another reader asked: How are you doing as to your love for peanut butter snacks? Are you still mad about the salmonella outbreak and do you plan to “hunt” down the folks that ran that factory?

Our teacher’s lounge snack machine has been restocked with products from another supplier so no problem there. But am I mad at these #@*%*? Heck yeah! And if any of my family or students were hurt by “bad” peanut butter, I would have been sorely tempted to use my recently acquired marksmanship on a live target -scoundrels who poison children with their tainted products! (Editors Note: Since last year when Jenny’s husband Thomas enrolled her in a rifle range club, Jenny has become very good at Classic Clays Target shooting!)

Finally, do you ever plan to imitate Tina Faye imitating Sara Palin?

No fair, Renee! You promised “No Sara Palin questions!” (Editor’s Note: I have a devilish streak in me…I cannot help myself!)

(Giggle)

Hey Renee…Next week is my turn! I (Jenny) will have some really good questions for our ‘net crusader. Check back next week!

 

TWP’s POSITION ON JUDICIAL C.P.

The position of TWP on the issue of Judicial C.P. must be understood as solely the opinion of the contributors of this blog -Nothing more or less. We intended to do a write-up earlier as a response to a commentary from a reader about “Disciplinary Diversions” that he experienced in his youth years ago. Our opinion as to present day U.S. Judicial C.P. is a resounding “NO.”

We are sure the typical reader of our blog is wondering “Why?” First, check our link and several posts on Ingraham v. Wright (1977) for background. If you read the decision, it will be apparent that the U.S. Supreme Court OUTLAWED Judicial C.P. because the 8TH and 14TH Admendments to the U.S. Constitution applies to the criminal justice system -NOT SCHOOLS. The court made this distinction by noting the differences. A convicted criminal is incarcerated and does not go home at night. But children do and the court decided 5 to 4 that constitutional safeguards were neither needed or mandated for school children as to corporal punishment. In otherwords, the parents and schools were left to sort out how such policies would be implemented.

But in youth camps and other programs the issue is tricker and there is some grey areas. TWP errs on the side of caution and says NO because of the incarceration aspect of these “boot camps” and the potential for abuse. After all, the parents of “boot camp” kids may be unaware of abuse because they may not even see their kids for weeks at a time. An example of this was in a story a week ago in which the state of Florida opened an investigation into some serious abuse allegations that go back over 50 years. The investigation centers around a facility called the “White House” which was a reform school.

We believe that any use of c.p. outside the school and home is on shaky legal ground and must NOT be an option as to U.S. Juvenile law. As far as Malaysia or Singapore, their laws are their business so when in foreign countries -Obey their laws!

As to the U.S.A., schoolkids in some states and children in the home in every state are legally subject to reasonable and non-abusive c.p. The U.S. is not Singapore but is not likely to ever become Sweden either. What the U.S. does become will be determined by WE THE PEOPLE! And that is the way it should be!

SPECIAL NOTE: Due to time constraints, the READER RESPONSES will be moved to next week.

 

COMING NEXT: RENEE RESPONDS (AT LENGTH)

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READER RESPONSES

 

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