Happy New Year, Dear Readers! As we begin 2009, all of us are quite aware of the many problems that our nation and the world faces from economic stagnation at home to terrorism abroad. With the election of a new president of the United States of America, we all approach this historic moment in our nation with both hope and apprehension. This post by TWP is an open letter to our new president and is intended to state our concerns as to what some people and/or groups are saying about teachers, education, and school discipline. Primarily, this open letter is intended to expose some of the most extreme rhetoric that comes from the anti- corporal punishment advocates. We at TWP believe that nothing good can come from such hate-filled venom. As REAL (and successful) teachers in the education profession, it is our hope that President Obama will heed our advice and not the extremists and agitators who do not have the interest of our nation’s schools at heart.



Dear President Barak Obama:

The authors and contributors of this blog would like to congraulate you on becoming our 44th President and we wish you and your family the best as ALL of us pull together to face the many problems that confront our nation and the world. The problems are many- but as a nation, we have dealt with worse and prevailed. As we confront crises at home and abroad, there will be many voices calling for many different changes- some good and others not.

The purpose of this letter is to point out the extremism of the anti- corporal punishment movement. We, the writers of teacherswhopaddle weblog, do not know where you stand on this issue but it is important that you know what others are saying who wish to steer your educational policies during your term in office. As teachers, we are committed to improving our schools because if our students succeed, then our nation will succeed as well. But there are some who will pull your education reforms into a “dead end” and we hope you will consider what these people are saying.

1) There is a web site that compares professional educators, who use paddles in school discipline, to prostitutes and porn stars! (http://nospank.net) In fact, the main agitator, Jordan Riak, considers the aforementioned educators BELOW that of prostitutes and porn stars. Regardless of your personal feelings on the issue, any “comparison” like this should disqualify the individual or group from any contribution to the education reform agenda.

2) The non-profit organization Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education (P.T.A.V.E.) compares the administration of a paddling in school discipline to that of the criminal act of RAPE! It probably did not occur to P.T.A.V.E. that rape is one of the worst crimes a person can commit against another person. On the other hand, a paddling may be initially traumatic but that is only temporary while victims of rape are devastated for life. No group that equates the two should ever have any imput on education reform.

3) Under the site heading “Project No Spank,”another false coupling is made: Paddling and LYNCHING! As our first African-American president, this should disturb you as much as it does us. We believe that the U.S. has come too far to let self-styled hate messengers define an issue like corporal punishment in such a manner. Just think of all those who lost their lives at the hands of racial haters! No person, organization, or group that connects paddling in school discipline with the worst crimes in our nation’s history should ever be given a forum to advocate anything- much less education reform.

Those three items are the worst of the anti-c.p. venom but if those zealots were to recant and publicly apologize to teachers, rape victims, and the families of lynching victims, we at TWP would accept their place in the debate on our nation’s schools.

We at TWP would be remiss if we did not give you a few of our ideas on improving our nation’s education system.

1) Make high-speed broadband internet access a national mandate for all schools K-12 along with basic computer training in all elementary school to be achieved in 10 years or less.

2) Mandatory school attendance through 12th grade. A total ban on “dropping out” must be a goal with technical and trade schools for those not academically inclined towards traditional schooling.

3) Finally, a law that makes it a Federal Felony with a minimum 1 year sentence for assaulting an educator when he/she is in the assigned role of teacher or principal in a school setting. Regardless of your own opinion as to corporal punishment, no educator should ever be afraid of violence in school from students, parents, or others. The fact is that schools where violence against educators happens far too often are typically located in large urban districts -Which almost all abolished paddling decades ago. As such, it can be concluded that paddling in school has NOTHING to do with REAL violence against teachers which is a REAL problem all across our country.

Again, we at TWP wish you only success as our next president and will give you our full support as teachers and citizens of the U.S.A.

All the Best,

Renee, Jenny, Wendy, & Michelle






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