Dear Readers: As the school year comes to a close, it means more for us teachers than just the kids being out of school. In our district, all the educators and support staff have a banquet in which various awards are handed out such as Teacher of the Year (Jenny has won this once), “Rookie” Teacher of the Year (Michelle and I -Renee -have both won this), Principal of the Year, etc. Well, to close out TWP’s first year with a bang, we all thought it would be fitting to hand out our own “awards” for those who we feel have helped or hindered the current situation regarding school discipline. Some of these “awards” are in jest but as the late columnist Molly Ivins would say: “If you can’t take the heat…Get out of Texas!”

Our first award is:


Now, as a mom myself, I am protective of my child too -But some folks can not help but cause trouble. Check corpun file #17607 where an Unnamed Mother GAVE permission for her son to be paddled, then later changed her mind and EVEN pressed charges against the principal. The charges were dismissed but for her efforts, this unnamed mother gets the award with a real “BEAR HUG” to go with it!

Our second award is:


And the winner is…The Perry County,Tennessee Board of Education.This concerns the clear lack of support the school board gave a Ms. Hazel Swaw, the lady principal at Linden Middle School in Perry County, Tennessee. (Corpun file #19593) The school board’s policies were all followed but with a new Director of Schools being hired, Ms. Swaw was given the “shaft” by a school board that is supposed to back their employees. For that, the Perry County School Board gets the award with a tour of duty to Afghanistan where they can learn “hands on” what courage under fire really is.

The next award is:


The winner, in conjunction with the prior winners, is Gil Webb -The Director of Perry County Schools. We at TWP believe that someone, who is a product of the local school district himself, should be willing to “go to bat” for a subordinate employee and “D*** the torpedoes!” Mr. Webb was not willing and gets our award with a new role: Leading a supply convoy through the mountain passes of Afghanistan. Wanna bet he will learn what REAL courage is.

The next award is:


The winner of this award is C. Berkley Bell and he did not win it by accident -He EARNED it! Sending an assault charge arising from a paddling incident in Hancock County, Tennessee to the local grand jury (corpun file #20122) takes more than just gall. It requires AMBITION and we can read Mr. Bell’s lust for higher office than that of District Attorney. Mr. Bell wins the award “slam dunk” and with it -A one-way cross country bus ticket to Berkley, California. We wish him success in his political goals -He will be right at home -and along the way there, we hope he notices how most of the U.S. is more fair than he is.

The next award is:

The MORAL COURAGE AWARD. (Group Division).

As a contrast to Mr. Bell, the winners of this award is the Hancock County Grand Jury who refused to indict a Mr. Taylor for the “crime” of paddling a student. We at TWP feel that abusive paddling is bad and the Hancock County incident may have been -But paddling is LEGAL in Tennessee. A politically motivated (for higher office) D.A. was rebuffed by a small group of average citizens who all get this award and a round of applause from educators through out the land!

The next award is:

The MORAL COURAGE AWARD. (Political Division)

It is not every day that a politician takes a non-p.c. position on something but our winner, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton, has restored our faith in the common sense of SOME elected officials. (corpun file # 20186) We were certainly surprised to read about Mayor Herenton but shouldn’t have been because he is a former educator. For that show of real courage as an elected official, Mayor Herenton gets the award and can “LEAN ON US” if he ever catches flak from the anti-c.p. zealots.

The next award is:

The VILLAINS AWARD. (Group Division)

The esteemed group to receive our highest (or lowest, depending on your point-of-view) is the Ohio State Board of Education. The only thing this group does is license and certify educators and keep districts aware of changes in academic standards. They must have gotten bored doing that -So, they decided to take a foray into the world of politically correct education. (corpun file #20629) With this award, those “political wanna-bees” get a new job: Going to ALL the local school board meetings in the great state of Ohio for the next two years. Hey, with 600 school districts, it will take them at least that long since school boards meet once a week, on average. We are willing to bet those political appointees will get a REAL education in how REAL schools work.

The next award is:

The VILLAIN AWARD. (Political Division)

Is there any doubt…this award could only go to Ohio State Governor Ted Strickland who isn’t just anti-c.p. but inserted such proposals in his state budget for 2009. (We guess new paddles for schools are NOT in his budget) How exactly do you put a c.p. ban in a state budget? With all the other problems facing Ohio, this is a minor one and hopefully will be shelved by saner leaders in the state house and senate. For all his work on this issue, Teddy gets our award with a new job: Driving the local school board tour bus with the State School Board as his passengers.

The next award is:


The person receiving this award only got it because of a sudden attack of “foot in the mouth” disease. That person is none other than the legendary Peggy Dean of anti-c.p. fame. We at TWP are willing to agree to disagree but a stupid remark is a stupid remark -No matter how you spin it. In a film clip (corpun file #18499), Ms. Dean said “We don’t allow them to eat candy all day” when asked about students opting to take paddling over detentions. Well, we at TWP are sure Ms. Dean would re-phrase that line if she could but would never wish her the fate of her award’s namesake. But with the award comes a paddle shaped sour lemon flavored piece of hard candy. (Start licking it, Ms. Dean -We hear that doing so prevents “foot in the mouth” disease)

The next award is:


This award goes to the educator that just followed school board discipline policy: Former Linden Middle School Principal Hazel Swaw. For the unforgivable sin of not checking a student’s file for a special parental notification request, Ms. Swaw was rail-roaded out of her job by the new school director Gil Webb and his cohorts on the Perry County, Tennessee School Board. Hey, you are supposed to BACK your subordinates -Not BACK-STAB them! Hazel dear, this awards for YOU and never never never back down because we at TWP have your back -Let us know if anyone does or says anything to you!

The last and final award is:


The person most deserving of this award (and it was close with Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton) is the politician that did not just talk a good game but delivered: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. This hero of ours actually fullfilled an election year promise to shield educators from legal liabilities when they, in good faith, discipline students in school according to school policy. That law may or may not cover c.p. but it is pro-educator and we at TWP approve. With this award comes our vote for Governor Daniels if he ever runs for higher political office.

Disclaimer: All of the “awards” above were satirical and should not be taken as anything more than the opinions of teacherswhopaddle.

Dear Readers: At the time of the publishing of this posts back to back with the prior post, our school year will have ended! YEEEE-HAAAA! All of our students made grade and have been promoted to the next grade level -And NOT by “social promotion” either. All the work, including afterschool help finally paid off! Frankly, we are not sure if the look on our kid’s faces are of happiness that they made grade or that the school year is OVER. Well, to be perfectly honest, we at TWP also look forward to vacation time too. The themes of the sections below should demonstrate that!


This section is a list of what the bumper stickers on our cars would read as we leave the teacher’s parking area for the last time until our August in-service meeting.


Jenny (Toyota): DON’T JUST “HUG” A TREE -“PLANT” ONE!

Wendy (Volvo Wagon): AUBURN CLASS OF 2031 BABY ON BOARD!




And where are we going for a well deserved vacation and what is on our reading list when we get there? Check out the following:


Renee Vacation: Trip to Grand Canyon and Las Vegas.


Jenny Vacation: Scuba Diving Trip to Greater Antilles.


Wendy Vacation: Just traveling to see all my relatives and in-laws to show off the baby!

Michelle Book: Are you kidding? A book on a “Honeymoon”? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA (Giggle Giggle Giggle)

Michelle Vacation: Honeymoon to Hawaii -I want to see the volcano!



It is not often that we receive an email from a reader such as the one below. This email dove-tails from our comments about child psychology TWP made in our exchange with P.T.A.V.E. a couple weeks ago. The email is posted first and then our comments.

Thanks for your stand. I had parents that never disciplined me. My wife is a good teacher ,passionate for teaching kids & can’t paddle. She spends most of her day dealing with out of control kids.My dad only believed in psychology.I stayed home for 2 years without going to school(2 times went before juvenile judges) because I didn’t want to and we did what we wanted. This was at the end of first grade.When I went back to school 2 years latter ,it was determined I should be advanced 1 year, as I was ahead of the second graders.I was a straight A student until 8th grade.However, I would get in trouble with my friends,they got paddled,I didn’t as a result of my dad’s policy.I felt that was unfair to my friends,and as an adult,I would say I learned I could do whatever I want.In the 8th grade, my grades went down in math as I would spend the entire class talking with friends.I ended up with a D and never recovered mathematically.I frankly over the years wanted to ask teachers to
please paddle me when I did wrong things, however, I had a fear of my dad (that this would get back to him)and his faith in psychology only rule.My mom had been commited by him to a mental hospital once.I wanted to attend the West Point or the USAF Academy when in high school,and was heavily involved in the Civil Air Patrol. I wanted to be a career officer and an astronaut.I was nominated several times, but my SAT/ACT was never high enough to get me in the door.I finally after 2 years of living the party circuit & trying to kill myself became what some people call “religious”. I call it being a follower of Christ.I went to college and later got my private pilot with instrument rating as well as worked on my multi-engine license.At 50 I am completeing my masters in aeronautical science and plan to pursue my PHD.I add this to say,not all the people who believe in paddling are stupid hicks.I had a 4.00 while working as a slave for a job that had no future with 12 hr workdays.In research for my graduate project we talked about how statistics could be made to say anything and how research can be biased to fit what the researcher wants. Need I say more.If only I had received the paddle those many times,perhaps I would be a Dr,or an aeronautical engineer.
With Great Regards, VIC HAMMOND

Thank you Mr. Hammond for your insights. While your childhood presents a lot of questions that cannot be addressed here, please do understand that “What if’s” do neither you or anyone else any good now. No one can “do over” their life -Rather, we must all move forward because life does not stop. Looking ahead and taking life’s challenges head-on is the way to go -Never looking backwards at the past that no one can change.

Having said that, I must address your comments on child psychology which your father was a “true believer.” I (Renee) do not have an axe to grind on child psychology -it has it’s place- but like you, I have become aware of it’s shortcomings. As an educator, I must balance the job of classroom management with the need for a positive educational environment. The psychologist is only concerned with the individual. But my concerns must be spread to an entire class while watching out for the academic progress of each individual student. A real juggling act, huh?

At its most basic, child psychology is concerned with the Id, Ego, and Superego. In my opinion, the greatest flaw of child psychology is it’s overemphasis on the Id which is the pleasure-driven, immediate gratification part of the personality. It is the id that is so dominant in young children. This is the reality that teachers confront every day. I believe that the ego (The organized realistic part of the persona) and the superego (Critical thinking and moralizing function) are developed over time and are very immature in younger children.

Hence, my opposition to the adultization of children by those who rant about prostitutes/porn stars when debating against c.p. As in the email above, child psychology becomes a “religion” to some and affects their perception of certain issues such as school discipline and child rearing in general. The most important principle to understand is that actions MUST have consequences. When devout child psychologists fail to grasp this concept, the child’s id is unrestrained and as a result, that child’s overall development can be stunted.

In conclusion, child psychology has its place but should never be the “authority” on school discipline or child rearing.


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