40. YOUR FAQ’s & P.T.A.V.E.’s NO-ANSWER

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🙂 WENDY IS A NEW MOM-A BABY BOY! 🙂

🙂 MOTHER, CHILD, & JAMES ARE FINE! 🙂

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MEMO TO “WILLIE C.”: Thank you for the encouraging words. We at TWP are an informational blog of facts, informed opinions, and real life experiences of real teachers in real classrooms. As to the “sucker-puncher,” we have dealt with that same problem in our school as well. Regardless of the parents occupation, all of our students are under the same rules. If parents want to “opt” their kids out of c.p., they can but our district does not use a “consent” policy per se. ALL OF THE PARENTS ARE MADE AWARE OF THIS. As to the young boy you mentioned, if something is not changed -SOONER RATHER THAN LATER- The consequences will be harsher in the juvenile criminal justice system.

MEMO TO “THE TRUTH”: We at TWP have a suggestion for you: Stop embarrassing yourself, Ms. Child Psychologist! If any of us had turned in an assignment like your email, we would have received a well-deserved “F” because of the grammatical and spelling errors!

YOUR FAQ’s

Why do you hit children for tardyness, chewing gum, cell phone usage, or just “acting like children?”

With questions like that, we at TWP wonder what people are reading! Sometimes we just feel like screaming “What’s the use!…Some folks on the ‘net can’t even read!”

Anyone who reads our posts knows the answer. But for those who don’t -Here’s our reply.

We do NOT use c.p. as a first resort but rather as a LAST resort. Among the four of us, we paddled six students all of last year out of a total of about 90+/- students. Believe us, if we paddled for the trivial reasons that some think we do -We would being doing so every day! Fact is, we do NOT and are proud to say “If a child gets paddled by us, it was for a SERIOUS reason such as “sucker-punching” (See above), profanity, throwing dangerous objects at others -NOT cell phone usage, tardiness, or chewing gum. There are penalties for the last three but c.p. is not one of them. Also, in our class -A child is warned about their unacceptable behavior and the paddle before it becomes an option.

What can I do to keep my child from being hit by teachers like you in school?

The Easter Bunny strikes again! Look, we have answered this too many times already and this time IS THE LAST!

If you do NOT want your child “paddle-eligible,” then all you have to do is make your wishes known in writing to the principal and teacher(s) -Because educators are not in the business of going against parental requests. Keep a principal-signed copy for yourself and that’s that. Do understand that your request does NOT pertain to suspension -A likely alternative. There is NO “opt-out” for that. And if the principal will not listen to you, just remind him/her that any “Shield Law” in effect probably will NOT cover the disregard of parental “opt-outs.”

Why not give up c.p. in school since the non-paddling states are so advanced academically than the paddlind states?

First, you may want to read our post SURPRISE NEWS ON GRADUATION RATES. In it, we listed the top 10 % graduation gains by state for 2002-2006 as well as the bottom 10 % loss by state. In the study by the John Hopkins University’s Everyone Graduates Center, the paddling states DOMINATED the top 10 and non paddling states the bottom ten.

Second, keep in mind that there is no way to ascertain a causual relationship between c.p. and graduation rates between states, counties, or districts. A more likely cause of higher dropout rates may be social-economic demographic problems such as poverty rates, income levels, education level of parents, ect. Also, remember that there are urban inner-city districts in paddling states that abolished c.p. years ago and have the worst dropout rates in their states.

Why do you write erotic stories like the “experiment” mentioned in RENEE RESPONDS (AT LENGTH)? Why not take swats at the school from another teacher?

I was expecting questions like this, so…here goes.

First, the intent of the “experiment” was made clear from the start. While another post last year demonstrated that the paddlings we mete out are non-abusive, I still was not 100% convinced. Hence, the “experiment” and if anyone sees anything erotic about it…GET HELP FAST…YOU NEED IT! In no way is that post or any other post by TWP meant to be “erotic” whatsoever!

Second, as to the suggestion of my having the “experiment” done at school -FORGETABOUTIT! Please understand, dear readers, we at TWP do this blog on our own time -Not school time. On the rare occasion that a student is paddled by one of us, we must follow a strict protocol which includes witnesses, discipline forms, and the use of the conference room. All four of us have tenure and job security. Why would we risk our jobs over an “experiment?” I do not want to even imagine the explaining that would be required if Mr. Smith, our principal, walked in on two us in an “experiment.”

Hitting leads to more hitting. As teachers, you are susposed to set a positive example. When a child hits another child, throws something at someone else, or bullies others, aren’t they following your example? Why not use positive methods of feedback?

Dear Readers: This is a brief summary of a rant from a Dr. Thomas. With the spelling and grammer, we have wondered about the “Dr.”

First, if the good Doctor bothered to read some of our posts when we resorted to c.p., he would have noticed that the “offense” occurred FIRST, not the paddling! Duh! Our pupils know the difference between right and wrong. Also, we believe that they understand the rules as to conduct and how they should treat one another. They must -because we rarely resort to the paddle. That’s proof positive that clear rules with consequences can be understood by young children in school.

Second, the underlying implication is that “talking to” can replace consequences in school discipline. Because we use the paddle so rarely, that should be a clue to two things. 1) When used, it IS effective since the behaviors that resulted in the paddling did not recur. 2) The fact paddling is so rare indicates that alternatives are being used successfully as a first resort. As teachers, we use verbal reprimands, loss of computer time, recess sit-ins, and warnings before considering the paddle. The first three must work -The four of us paddled only 7 students out of about 90+/- all of this school year.

Finally, we care enough for our “kids” that we just will not allow bullying to repeatedly occur. While allowing for some playground horseplay, all of our “kids” feel safe in school from being bullied because of how bullies are dealt with. If any of us see bullying occuring or are told about it, the offender has to sit out the rest of recess after a stern warning. Only after that is the paddle considered. Most times, the warning works but not always. However, it has been our experience that repeat bullying did not occur after a paddling.

Say whatever you will but in our honest opinion, just “talking to” is inadequate. Remember, if there are no consequences for bullying when the other options fail, you will only get MORE bullying. As moms ourselves, we would NOT want our children attending any school where the “Law of the Jungle” in which the strongest kids dominating the weak is accepted or overlooked.

We did not need a Ph.D in Child Psychology to answer that question!

 

P.T.A.V.E.’s NON ANSWER

Dear Readers: We at TWP are sure that you readers have been anticipating this post ever since last week’s post challenging P.T.A.V.E. to 10 straight forward questions. Like you, we also have been anticipating a response -But as of 04-17-09 P.M., there has been NO reply to our questions. While we gave no specific deadline, there has been NO communication at all since I (Renee) gave the web address of this blog to a Ms. Flowe.

Well, we know when TWP is being ignored. Fine -Go ahead and run from our questions because that shows spinelessness . Ms. Flowe probably intended to agree to the internet-blog debate forum that I pitched but was most likely over-ruled by someone else. Too bad! But we must move on and we shall -with our own commentary!

(NOTE: We at TWP did finally receive a reply on 04-18-09 from P.T.A.V.E. on both our questions and 10 from their side. However, the reply came after our publishing of this post. In addition, the reply came by my private email account -Therefore our response will be in next weeks post. Renee TWP Editor.

Before examining our commentary, please understand the position we put P.T.A.V.E. in. Any response they sent would have been posted PERMANENTLY! They would have to deal with whatever fallout might ensue. If the answers were “party-line,” then P.T.A.V.E. would be exposed as the extremist that they are and answer to the various groups (women, minorities, and teachers at large) offended by some of the anti-c.p. rhetoric. On the other hand, if P.T.A.V.E. were to “moderate,” then consider the backlash from the foundations that support the organization. We at TWP might have heard wallets, purses, and checkbooks shutting as a result of Riak, Flowe, & Co. straying from the “party-line.”

Ahhh…the advantage of being small -NO ONE OWNS THIS BLOG EXCEPT US! So, here are our thoughts on the questions sent to P.T.A.V.E. on our previous post.

Questions 1,2,3 : RAPE=Corporal Punishment, Teachers who use legal c.p.=Prostitutes/Porn Stars, Paddling=Lynching.

In TWP post THE POWER AND MISUSE OF WORDS, it was explained that words have power and how that power can be used or misused. To summarize what was posted -When words are misused, the collateral damage extends beyond the intended target. While zealots may not care about anyone or thing other than their agenda, the damage from misused words can linge long after the “movement” burns itself out. But those damaged third parties will have to deal with the unintended consequences in the aftermath.

Question 4 : Elected school boards making c.p. policy decisions.

On the surface, this question seems pretty easy -Who should be making policy for local schools? The BIG problem for the “anti’s” is that they lose -A LOT- when lawyers, lobbyist, and activists come from out-of-state and decend on smaller communities. Fact is, the ONLY local “ban battles” the anti-c.p. crowd wins are in large urban districts and growing “transitional” communities with a large influx of transplants from other regions of the U.S. (For example, Nashville, Tennessee from Industrial Midwest, Charlotte, North Carolina from Northeast, and Las Vegas, Nevada from California.) So, when you lose a lot -What do you do? In the case of the “anti’s”, you move the battle to state capitals where professional career politicians and lobbyist can work behind closed doors out of the view of regular people. That does work -Most of the state c.p. bans were done this way in the 1980’s and 1990’s- but is undemocratic and very elitist.

Question 5 : Parental “opt-out” option.

Another obvious question that requires one to see things from the mindset of a zealot. The anti-c.p. zealot’s greatest fear is people not in the movement thinking for themselves. Ponder this: If nation-wide, parents made the decision on how their kids could be disciplined in school, that would be the ultimate catastrophe for P.T.A.V.E.! Some parents would “opt-out,” others would not, depending on the cultural values of each family and community. But P.T.A.V.E. has no understanding of this -Their worldview has no place for parents, teachers, schools, education or even children, except as pawns in a narrow, single issue crusade to ban ALL school discipline. And as elitist, the anti-c.p. zealots despise the ordinary folks that make up the majority of the U.S.

Question 6 : Teachers and “Shield Laws”

Again, like the last two, you must think like a win-at-all-cost zealot. First, in a legal c.p. state w/o a “Shield Law,” that omission opens a new opportunity to attack school c.p. No matter how careful and closely school policy is followed, ANY paddling bring up at least civil liability. And forget “consent” -A smooth talking attorney can have a consent thrown out in court. In this case, the ONLY defense is liability coverage by the district. Absent that, NO educator should ever pick up a paddle because in the U.S., there are too many lawyers and lawsuit-happy plaintiffs. Conclusion: The litigation threat is another tool in the “anti’s” warchest against teachers w/o legal protection. That is why some paddling states have “Shield Laws” and others are considering it.

Question 7 : Suspension & dropout risk vs. C.P.

By now, if you are getting cynical, that’s o.k. Just avoid becoming alienated because “If you know the truth, it shall set you free!” Remember the question which the zealots were said to have no place for education? Well, they are not anti-education but the academic progress of students is NOT nor has ever been the #1 priority. P.T.A.V.E. is a single issue organization and education isn’t the issue. If the education system in the U.S. collapsed, they just would not care one way or the other.

Question 8 : Self-Esteem, Academic Achievement, Classroom Rules

On this one, TWP refers and encourages readers to check out our post SELF-ESTEEM AND DISCIPLINE. Also, it is TWP’s opinion that Classroom Rules must be established first -Only then is Academic Achievement possible and that will lead to the higher Self-Esteem of students. (TWP should have saved some of those crazy anarchistic educational theories people emailed us last year!)

Question 9 : What to do if child paddled in school.

The first thing is to teach your child proper behavior at home -Then this question becomes mute. With that, parents need to be completely familiar with the district policy as to student discipline. Regardless of your choice as parents to “opt-out” or not, make it a priority to meet with your child’s teacher(s). Communication early on can prevent trouble later. And be sure to mention if you are “opting” your child out of c.p. -The teacher will appreciate the “heads-up” on that.

As to what to do after the fact (Assuming that you did NOT “opt” your child out of c.p.): Go immediately to the teacher AND principal for a conference on who, when, and why. Ask for a copy of any discipline report which will provide the names of witnesses as well as the administrator of the paddling. If you come across as cooperative, the school personel will “bend over backwards” to work with you. But if you go ballistic and are hyper-defensive (My little Johnny is a perfect child and you beat him for no reason…)’ then the school staff will close ranks and inform you, “All school policy was followed and…” A suggestion for a parent: If you want to check for bruising, offer to allow a same gender school employee to observe as well. Regardless, just understand that this is the situation educators dislike the most -It serves no one’s interest to make it worse.

Ditto for running to the media -especially when you did NOT “opt” your child out of c.p. To do so makes you look phony and will only close channels of communication between you and the school.

Question 10 : Any Corporal Punishment policy

This question was already answered in previously. P.T.A.V.E. and their cohorts cannot compromise one inch because of their need for foundations $$$ which keeps them in business. We at TWP understand this but wish only to make you, our readers, aware of that fact.

 

COMING NEXT: P.T.A.V.E.’s (BELATED) RESPONSE

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