41. P.T.A.V.E.’s (BELATED) RESPONSE

Dear Readers: We at TWP finally received the reply to the 10 questions we posted last week. While we did not impose a formal deadline, the implicit understanding was to reply before the publishing of last week’s post. In addition to being “late,” the reply was sent to an email address we set up just for communicating with P.T.A.V.E. instead of the teacherswhopaddle blog.

HANDING IN ASSIGNMENTS LATE AND NOT FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS MEANS A RECESS SIT-IN WITH EXTRA WORK!

At least in our classrooms it does.

Anyway, here are the 10 questions/replies with our own comments in Boldprint. (Editor’s Note: Every reply below is what they sent us except for their links. We do not provide links furnished by others.)

P.T.A.V.E.’s (BELATED) RESPONSE

 

1) How do you explain to a RAPE VICTIM how legal corporal punishment is equal to the crime they suffered?

 

The definition of the word rape is, to take by force. When teachers
paddle, the word rape applies in two ways.

1) Teachers “take by force,” a child’s innate ability to experience dignity, pride, self-esteem, confidence, and trust within themselves and in others, particularly those who play “caregiver” in their lives. Prior to having their body violated through corporal punishment, children naturally experience qualities as they interact with others.

2) The buttocks is an erogenous zone which when battered can lead into future sexual activity. This is why porn stars and prostitutes practice this and make a fine living at it. A child being a non consenting party to this activity is left, like a rape victim, feeling violated, disempowered, disrespected,hurt, confused, ashamed, embarrassed, in need of hiding the event.Unfortunately many corporally punished students, like rape victims do seek to
hide this experience from others.

:-xWe at TWP gave you a chance to moderate your position -AND YOU BLEW IT!

First, as to the definition of RAPE: Any act of sexual intercourse that is forced on another person. (Dictionary.Reference.com) Your so called “definition” is the archaic one and you did not give the full meaning: The act of seizing and carrying off by force. (Dictionary.Reference.com) The only thing we carry is the paddle itself and no child is “forced” to do anything except face consequences for wrong actions by takinga few swats or going to the principal’s office. There, the choice is swats or suspension for both the original offense and insubordination. In the few times that the paddle has been used by us, no child has ever chose the latter.

Hey, what about the dignity, self-esteem, confidence, and trust of another child that has been kicked, shoved, slapped, or sucker-punched by a classmate?

I guess that doesn’t count in “P.T.A.V.E. land”!

As to the buttocks (gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus), I (Renee) decided to do some anatomy research of my own. According to PRINCIPLES OF ANATOMY and PHYSIOLOGY by Tortora, Gerard, 6th edition (1990), the “buttocks” are a skeletal muscle group -Not a erogenous zone! (Thanks, big brother for loaning me your old textbook!) You can make up all the pseudo-science junk you want but anatomy DOES NOT CHANGE!

Do everyone else a favor and cease the mis-anatomy!

Also, since you believe that c.p.=RAPE, please read our post THE POWER AND MISUSE OF WORDS.

2) What do you say to a teacher who rarely uses the paddle and is also a mom herself, about the linkage of prostitutes/porn stars to teachers, as herself?

Keep in mind that the caregiver administering the spanking plays a role of love and security in the child’s life. Because children are different, who can say whether one spanking or 100 spankings will cause this type of sexual confusion in their lives. The spanked child learns to associate and combine the feelings of love, pain, humiliation, and sexual stimulation. No other professions besides porn stars, prostitutes and teachers has spanking the buttocks listed as a job duty. As an overabundance of scientific evidence became available proving that battering the buttocks causes sexual confusion and other problems, this type of abuse has become looked at differently than it has been in the past. It has therefore been outlawed…left only in the homes and schools of those countries choosing to ignore the evidence.

First, stop comparing children to adults. What porn stars/prostitutes “do,” regardless of one’s own moral inclination, IS between adults. To compare that to legal c.p. in school is to equate mature adults with school children. We, as adults, DO NOT treat or consider children as equal to adults. For example, we do not allow 8 year olds to drive cars.The reason is NOT just that children are physically smaller than adults. They are intellectually and psychologically less mature as well. As a mom. I do not have the same type interactions with my child as I do with my husband or the other adult contributors of this blog. So, the foundation of your argument as to question #2 is in error because of an absurd comparision and equally misguided understanding of the difference between adults and children.

Second, you throw around the term “scientific evidence” as though its invocation alone makes your case. Throughout history, there has been good science (Polio vaccine), bad science (Induced bleeding of the sick), and evil science (Nazi medical experiments). As a graduate student myself, I also understand how research can be manipulated to justify a preconceived outcome or result. As far as TWP is concerned, the use of the words “scientific evidence” does NOT prove or disprove an argument. In other words, I could do a research study to back our position just like anti-c.p. researchers do.

3) How do you defend the coupling of the crime of lynching to the legal use of c.p. in schools?

The definition of lynching is “to put to death by mob action without legal sanction
or due process of law.”

If I may use the word “mob,” found in the definition, as a metaphor for “government structure,” it can easily be related to any structure that puts to death. For, within an abused child, self esteem, creativity, freedom, trust, and power are put to death. Like a lynched victim, they are rendered helpless, powerless, worthless, and the like. The original fabric of the child, so perfectly made, is “put to death” by a government structure in collusion with teachers by sanctioning abuse, leaving the victim with no due process of law. So the whole “mob” has participated in the demise of the powerless child.

Folks, we could never have thought up this bizarre line of logic! That should prove w/o a doubt our contention that the anti-c.p. zealots are crazy anarchist!

The “government” as a “lynch mob?”

Excuse me, but if my American History is correct, “government” is the entity that stopped lynching in the past and will do so in the future.

TWP will say no more -You have damaged yourself enough already!

4) What is wrong with allowing locally elected school boards to decide if to allow c.p. in the district schools?

Who can say whether the board members are racist, sexually perverse, have personal or mental problems? The very fact that, so-called, educated people in a position to build or destroy a child would choose to blatantly ignore the scientific evidence on a practice that indicates unhealthy results for our children is a huge problem. Furthermore it is a practice that school administrators wholeheartedly embrace and one in which leaves children with no
legal recourse even when clear cut damage has occurred. Can you imagine the administrative team leading the school
of Pres Obama ’s daughters behaving so recklessly and irresponsible? The decision to beat students at there school would become a great source of confusion and distress for people who look to our president as a model of intelligent decision-making.

:roll:Your reply sounds like so much “sour grapes” to TWP. If a locally elected school boars does not “see it” YOUR way, you resort to name-calling? Sending teams of lobbyist to state capitals to meet behind closed doors with professional career politicians? Any crusade or movement, to have long term success had better be bottom up -Not top down. If you cannot get ordinary people at the local level to buy into an idea, that idea will eventually fail.

As to President Obama’s daughters -How dare you drag his two girls into this! I have a feeling that if the President happens to read this, a probable leaning anti-c.p. set of parents will be a little ticked off by the last part of your reply. For the record, Sidwell Friends School is a PRIVATE school that can simply expel any student for any offense if they so choose. We at TWP are sure that the two girls were taught proper behavior at home -So school discipline in their case is a mute issue. Michelle, Wendy, Jenny, and I wish the Obama daughters the best in the years to come. (For info on local school boards, see posts MISSION STATEMENT and PART I:POLICY SUGGESTIONS)

5) Why not just allow parents to “opt” their children out of c.p. without pre-condition?

More frequently than not, the “opt out” choice is ignored. There is no legal recourse for parents even when they have signed a form indicating, “do not paddle my child.” We have many stories of children who have been beaten, in spite of their parent “opting out.”

:twisted:Really? Do you have numbers to back up the assertion “More frequently than not…”? Or are the exceptions now the rule? In the case of teachers/principals ignoring school policy on “opt-outs” -They should be fired on the spot! Whats more, no “Shield Law” protects such incompetence!

However, TWP sincerely believes that the anti-c.p. activists do not care about “opt-out” policies because they take away a wedge which is used to win anti-c.p. arguments. If “opt-outs” were nationwide and competently administered, the anti-c.p. crusaders would be OUT OF BUSINESS!

6) Why should a teacher, who is the lowest ranking certified employee of the system, be afraid of losing his/her home in a “non-Shield Law” state merely for paddling a student according to school policy guidelines?

Paddlers are aware of the laws that protect them so they know they will be protected even when they go over board. The very fact that teachers rely on such laws to protect them, tells us that paddling is risky business. Laws will never have to be built to protect children when they have been disciplined by teachers who use 21st century proven positive discipline models that are showing amazing results in the schools where they are used.

:roll:Yeah…Right!

Actually, your words “…paddling is risky business…” betrays your real intentions. When local school boards and state governments refuse to ban c.p. in school, the anti-c.p. zealots “prostitute” the legal system by misusing civil litigation. If a paddling occurs in a “non-Shield Law state, the educator can then sued in civil court irregardless of if school policy was followed. The child might have NO blemish whatsoever but if the district has no policy requiring it to pay for ALL legal costs, the teacher must come up with $$$$$’s. That is WRONG and an abuse of our court system: Legal intimidation tactics (against teachers who use c.p.) as a means of creating a backdoor de facto c.p. ban.

We at TWP are calling on all members of the legal community in the U.S. to refuse to allow YOUR profession to be misused in this manner. 1) Judges: If c.p. is legal in your state AND if ALL school policies were followed, then DISMISS such a case brought before you ASAP and charge the plaintiffs ALL court costs. 2) Attorneys: Please have more respect for your own profession because some people rank you at just above prostitutes but below investment bankers! If a child was paddled according to school policy and was not bruised, refuse to take such a case -Especially when the only reason is to create a de facto ban by legal harassment. 3) School Boards: If your state is a “non-Shield Law” paddling state, then step up to the plate and create a “local shield” by paying any and all legal costs from civil litigation against an educator including the hiring of defense attorneys.

After all, the educators are YOUR employees.

7) Is the risk of grade retention and higher
probability of dropping out of school as a result
of “out-of-school” suspension better than c.p.? Why?

Yes. Please recognize also that, fortunately, paddling and suspension are not the only two options available in our 21st century world
for training children.

First, understand the choice of a discipline policy that has suspension as the only serious penalty for a major offense such as fighting, profanity, etc. Suspension is a very poor choice for two reasons. 1) It does not deter bad behavior because the penalty is simply staying home from school a few days. 2) In the early grade levels that we at TWP teach in, the odds of grade retention increases dramatically the more a student is suspended. This in turn leads to a higher probability of dropping out as the long term educational progress of the student is stunted.

Second, we as educators care so much for our “kid’s” education that, given a choice in the rare instances when a paddling may avert a suspension, the paddle is the lesser of two evils. Remember, we will all pay an economic penalty when a student drops out of school. This shows up in an indirect way when 21st century jobs bypass areas with failing schools. Urban districts and some non-paddling states may have long term problems in their schools. (See posts PADDING STATES AND GRADUATION RATES: A FACT CHECK )

All of us have used the following over the years of our teaching experience: Enforce rules fairly and consistently,Make rules and consequences easy to understand, Innovative lesson plans, Encourage success, Extra help for slow learners, Monitor for misbehavior (What do you think we do all day -watch daytime dramas on t.v.?), and social situation role playing -We do this about three times a week. Thanks to these and other alternatives, we have resorted to the paddle very rarely. Of course, the junk suggestions -likely from non-teachers- simply will not work in the real world of the real classroom: Student Rulemaking (We are not kidding), Peer Mediation (We think thats for labor-management meetings, not school classrooms) and our favorite: More Emphasis on Self-Esteem.

8.) All teachers agree that self esteem plays a role
in education. Of the following three -Self Esteem,
Academic Achievement, Classroom Rules- Which is
most important by rank and why.

Self esteem is most important, followed by classroom rules that build a working community within the class. Positive Discipline models see mistakes as “opportunities to learn.” The focus in this type of learning environment is on how to work together, how to empathize with each other, how to be a key
player in the success of the “classroom community.” Students then
transfer these skills into the real world community where hitting is not an acceptable form of solving problems. They have already learned that talking and working together is the way to building a peaceful and successful community.

:-?We at TWP had high hopes for this one -The answer is obvious to any active member of the teaching profession. Oh, well…so much for our idealism.

First, in order for self-esteem to exist, it must be based on something. Apart from that, the only people with a self-esteem separate from the world outside of themselves are psycho-maniacs at the worst and narcissistists at best -But neither is acceptable in the classroom. Our opinion is that any society, dominated by folks like that will decend into chaos and anarchy.

Second, the proper order for the three is Classroom Rules which create the conditions for Academic Achievement which will result in higher Self-Esteem based on success in learning. For any classroom to function as intended, students must learn what is expected of them and what is unacceptable. Since learning starts ideally from day one, the first two can be mingled some but for a successful learning environment, rules must be the foundation because no child can learn in the middle of chaos. Starting with Self-Esteem is the “Big Lie” of education because it is not based on anything. Eventually, even the students figure out that they have been lied to. A healthy Self-Esteem is based on something and that is success in learning -Which we at TWP strive every day to impart to our charges!

Finally, with rules, achievement, and the resulting self-esteem from learning success, the results are something we witness on a daily basis. This is something you cannot put a price tag on. As any teacher can tell you -That feeling when you see the “light come on” makes all the lesson planning and teacher prep WORTH IT!

9) One day you pick up your child from school and he/she says “I was paddled today in school.” Which of the following do you do FIRST (and rank/explain the following): Call the media/Hold a press conference, Check for and/or document any bruises/marks, Meet immediately with teacher/principal.

Check for bruises, meet with the administrator and/or teacher, call media.

  • Check for bruises. Of first importance is to ensure that
    the child is physically and emotionally okay in order to provide them with immediate attention, if need be.
  • Meet with the school to discuss details.
  • Keep in mind, if my child is the first to inform me that he was
    paddled, clearly I was not informed. If paddling is suppose to be a last resort, why did I find out first from my child; what if he had chosennot disclose this information to me out of fear and confusion, which is the case too often. What if the teacher called, only to find out that the child may have been “acting up” because of a loss of a relative, abuse they incurred the day before, or because of witnessing abuse between
    their parent and a boyfriend or some other disturbing behavior they may have witnessed. At least mom would have been able to engage the teacher in being more kindly toward their child that day in school.

TWP had hopes for this one.

Actually, the first two were o.k. and could be done in tandem. The key is to have a same gender school employee to witness the “check” so as too avoid any future misunderstandings. As to “consent” or “prior notification,” if school policy do NOT require that -Do not attempt to start WW III with the teacher/principal -They do NOT make policy. Rather, take up the issue with the people who make the policies -The school Board.

The last part is excuse making and will not work on any level. All children must be responsible for their own behavior -Both in school and later in adulthood. Of course, we at TWP are always glad to meet with the parents of our pupils -Usually, any potential problems can be averted or headed off. But parents DO need to take the initiative because we are available almost every day after school.

As to the media -Drop that idea because there is no better way to burn bridges than that. The school system will just “close ranks” and nothing good will be accomplished. Of course, if a parent gets the “run-around” or is “stone-walled” about policy violations -THATS ANOTHER MATTER!

  • 10) Is there ANY corporal punishment policy that you would be willing to allow to remain in place in U.S. schools?

No! Due to the overabundance of scientific data that has proven the imminent harm of this practice. All corporal punishment, must end, in order for our children to be treated with dignity and respect so that they in turn may practice having dignity and respect for others.

A paddled behind becomes an at risk
behind. An at risk behind gets left behind.

We at TWP did not think you would moderate your position. If one wants to use scientific data to support a pre-determined conclusion -That is not hard to do. As a graduate student myself, I (Renee) know this because of the research experience gained while working on my thesis. As to “at risk” students, the REAL risk factors in school are grade retention, out of school suspensions, and the resulting academic failure which leads to dropping out of school. In addition, poverty, parental lack of education, and other social demographics are also risk factors.

On behalf of The Hitting Stops Here! and Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education, thank you for this interview. We hope it will result in a more peaceful world.

We at TWP say “Amen” to a more peaceful world! But because we are humans and not angels, rules and laws are necessary to keep the peace.

COMING NEXT: P.T.A.V.E.’s QUESTIONS

&

TWP’s RESPONSE

(DON’T MISS IT!)

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: