27. PADDLING & NON-PADDLING SCHOOLS: AN EX-STUDENTS PERSPECTIVE

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Dear Readers: Hello again and welcome to our world! It has been almost half a year since this blog was first launched but the time seems to have flashed past us a lot faster. We at TWP appreciate the interest our posts have drawn and would like to update you, our readers, on the status of teacherswhopaddle weblog.

 

WENDY INFO: Our AUBURN girl is on maternity leave and the baby is expected sometime in mid-April. Wendy also plans to take the 2009-10 school year off as well. We promise to keep you readers up to date on if its a boy or girl but rest assured: The baby’s first blanket will certainly be ORANGE & BLUE.

MICHELLE INFO: Our dear ALABAMA ex-cheerleader was “blue” about the losses to Florida and Utah but all of that was forgotten when she received an unexpected surprise in a very small box! Sweet Michelle is going to FINALLY get married to the man of her life “RICHARD.” The ring was two diamonds and four rubies- No wonder Richard took 2 1/2 years to propose! ( Hey Richard- Michelle is worth every cent you paid for that ring and don’t you ever forget it!) The wedding date will be sometime after school is out later this year- We at TWP are not revealing the date- SO DO NOT BOTHER ASKING!

MEMO TO ALL READERS: To avoid having your comments from being held by the content moderator as “spam,” please limit hyperlinks to only (1) one because we have received some good pointers but did not know about them until we cleared out our spam junk files. Of course, the same rules of courtesy still apply -SO BE NICE!

 

Dear Readers: About a month or so ago, TWP received a commentary from a young lady that pleasantly surprised us. This lady had experienced education in both the North and the South growing up. Her perspectives may amaze some readers but it did not for us -We at TWP have had the opportunity to meet with teachers from all around the U.S. and this commentary reflects what we already knew. The only editing we did was name and address changes with some grammatical adjustments.

PADDLING & NON-PADDLING SCHOOLS: AN EX-STUDENTS PERSPECTIVE

Hey, y’all…as a Southerner would say! I am not a native of the south but have lived in and spent a part of my growing up years in the state of Alabama. I currently live in my birth state of Illinois and attend the University of Illinois as an education major. Whenever I tell some people that I went to schools in the south, I get the same bull s*** questions about the KKK (I NEVER SAW ANY), racism (The south does not have a monopoly on that -What about Yonkers, N.Y.- Some of these people REALLY hate blacks), and plantations (I never saw one in the 5 years I lived in the heart of Dixie). Makes you wonder what planet some of these people with the moronic questions are from.

Anyway, I started school with pre-k to grade three in Illinois before my father’s company transfered him to Alabama where I lived in …. county about 50 miles from Birmingham. At the age of nine, I did not have “culture shock” any more than if we had moved to another town. The one initial change for me was the warmer winters without snow. Thats the thing I missed the most the first year but when you are young, you adjust.

As to the theme of your blog-Paddling- the elementary and middle school that I attended did use the paddle. Until my family left to go back to Illinois, I was “under the paddle” in a manner of speaking. When I mention that the paddle was used where I went to school, people look at me like I am a “survivor” of some ordeal! I simply explain that my parents raised and taught me how to behave myself in school so that never was an issue with me. The FEW kids who were paddled were the worst behaved and meanest kids I knew. But I did not associate with those kids much and hung out with people like myself who did not get in trouble. Understand, I was not a saint but rather- I understood that teachers are the boss so just behave yourself! ( I do not, to this day, know if my parents “opted” me out of paddling.)

Reading your blog, I noticed how you referred to some anti-paddling groups and decided to check them out for myself. You are dead-on about P.T.A.V.E., Project No Spank, Jordan Riak and so forth. These folks are lunatics and TWP should just ignore their childish rants and how they refer to teachers. Here is my take on teacher training in Illinois and Alabama: There is no difference! They are all college educated and all teacher education colleges are nationally certified.

There is a difference, in my opinion, in how teachers present or carry themselves in the two systems I attended. In Alabama schools where I went, the teachers all seemed more confident and sure of themselves. While I did not like every teacher that I had, I can say that I respected all of them because they were firm but fair and were always ready to help a student if the student asked. I had good teachers in Illinois too but I did notice a difference. In my Illinois high school, I became aware of the general lack of respect for teachers by the students that just was not tolerated in my schools in Alabama. The teachers in my high school seemed to give up on simple courtesy and tended to let things slid more. Then, when things started to get out of hand, some would simply explode and scream in an outburst of rage as one or more students would then be sent to the office. That may have shook up my classmates but I was NOT impressed. What my friends saw as “assertive” I saw as “weak” and “incompetent.”

But do not misunderstand -I am NOT a fan of paddling and agree with TWP about paddling in high school. On the other hand, my experience was that discipline in school is more lax in non-paddling schools up here. There is a cultural difference that one could write a book on. Simply put, people do not generally raise their kids to respect authority as much and teachers have less authority as a general rule. ( The students sent to the office were sent back later with only a few days of afterschool detention- No wonder there seems to be a general lack of respect for teachers in my home state!)

Another problem that people seem to have about paddling schools is the idea that these schools are inferior, the black students are targeted, and the south is poorer because of paddling. First, the Alabama schools in my experience were far more racially integrated than my Illinois high school! Take a school with about 30% minority enrollment and half of all students on a free-lunch program and compare to a 95% white school district in a yuppie suburb of Springfield -You do not need a Ph.d in socio-economic demographics to figure out which district will send the highest percentage to college. Second, as to blacks being targeted for paddling: Pure B.S.- of the few students that I knew that were paddled, all of them were WHITE and black students were no more or less “under the paddle” than anyone else. Third, it is true that the south is and has been poorer economically than other areas of the U.S. But to blame that on the usage of the paddle is illogical. Historically, the south has always been poorer and the north wealthier -Think of where the financial centers and international shipping areas are. Paddling or not paddling has NOTHING to do with how rich or poor a region is. Finally, the “gap” between the south and the rest of the U.S. is narrowing and that is because of more industry and population growth. Paddling or not paddling is not a factor in this narrowing.

As I mentioned earlier, I plan to become a teacher myself and that will be in my home state of Illinois. While the paddle will not be an option for me (If it were, I would want the principal to do it), I will be a firm but fair teacher and will EXPECT my principal to be a supporter and backer of teacher authority in the classroom.

Best wishes to y’all at TWP! -Myria ….

We at TWP were pleased by the commentary and agree with your perspectives, Myria. As to the anti-c.p. zealots however, we cannot just ignore the worst of the venom. We actually feel that the hate-filled name calling has gone on for so long (years) that they need to be “called out” on it. Hence, teacherswhopaddle weblog is open to present the “other side” of the corporal punishment issue -WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOR TOWARDS ANYONE and TO ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH!

YOUR FAQ’s

How can you in good conscience allow a link on your blogroll to a web site “spank with love” that advocates child abuse? As educators, aren’t you, by law, required to report child abuse?

The link you asked about DOES NOT advocate child abuse at all. If you bother to read the mission statement on the site, they DISCOURAGE the use of spanking as a first resort disciplinary method. The goal of the site seems to us to be a “HOW TO” guide on spanking without abuse. The contributors of this blog are NOT in 100% agreement with that site -especially on implements.

The discipline of children in the home is a subject beyond the scope of this blog. We feel that it is important to remember that every child is different just as every family is different. However, if we ever suspect child-abuse (A spanking is not automatically abusive), then we WILL report it. The contrast between us and some people is that if we overhear kids say the word “spanking” in casual talk, we don’t immediately hit our cell phone speed dial button to children’s protective services!

The link “spank with love” has some very disturbing emails from its viewers. Are you aware of this?

We at TWP have only glanced at a few of their 100’s of emails -So the honest answer is NO. Because we have full time teaching jobs and this blog to keep up with, we just don’t have the time to examine every aspect of someone else’s site. Also, about a third of the comments that TWP gets could also be described as “disturbing” as well.

What ever happened to the picture of the boy’s bared bottom in the post about Jenny? Are there any plans to post it?

Dear readers, the only reason we posted this “sicko” question was to show how we do things in our school as to the c.p. policy. All paddlings carried out must have a witness and a form with the names of the administrator, witness, and student as well as the time, date, and reason. In the paddling referred to, Jenny and Michelle stapled the print-out photo to the form and that form was filed in the office. Such files are purged at the end of each school year so we at TWP are certain that the school has destroyed the photo. Also, the computer has no files stored on the image either -Jenny double checked! As to the mother and her phone-cam? Who knows? That’s her problem. As to the “sicko” request: The answer is NO! Glad to disappoint.

What is the purpose of the link to Ingraham v. Wright (1977) ? Your blog does not endorse the beating that happened to the school kids in that case, do you?

First, the intended purpose of the link to the U.S. Supreme Court case is to provide info to our readers as to the court case law status of corporal punishment in U.S. schools. The TWP blog does plan a future post on that court decision so keep a look out for it.

Second, we have studied some of the background on the plaintiffs and what we found in various accounts was shocking and disturbed us deeply. If true, what happened to those boys was assault and battery -not c.p. If we had been there and/or aware of what was happening, we would not only have stopped the beating (Our word choice) but also would have called the police.

 

COMING NEXT: PADDLING STATES AND GRADUATION RATES –

A TWP FACT CHECK

&

A BAD SCHOOL BOARD DECISION

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