29. EDITORIAL: INGRAHAM v. WRIGHT & MORE FACT CHECKING

MEMO TO SHERYL: The burden of “proving” your position falls on YOU- not us. Question one: Why are non-paddling states Nevada (the worst!), Alaska, and New York in the bottom 10 as to graduation rates? Question two: Why are the most violent crime-prone schools (In which police officers patrol the hallways) in urban areas which DO NOT have c.p. in their discipline policy? We at TWP know you probably will not respond to these two straight-forward questions. The reason is that you can’t -therefore, the basis of your anti-c.p. reasoning is invalid at best. The “center” should commit its valuable time and resources to actually improving education -like we do every day as REAL teachers!

MEMO TO BILLY H.: We are glad to see that you were “turned around” early in life and are now making a REAL difference as a teacher in the lives of young people. We are sure that Ms. Turner regretted having to paddle you but, just like with us, she finally ran out of options. The paddling she gave you was probably more severe than what we would have meted out. One question: What is a “jokari” paddle? Could you give us an guessmate on its length, width, and thickness.

Dear Readers: The last post we at TWP did on paddling and non-paddling states must have touched a very sensitive nerve of the anti-c.p. community. Their response was typical and goes like this: Paddling in school leads to high dropout rates, high juvenile delinquency, lower SAT scores, student-on-teacher violence, and so forth. The only thing paddling hasn’t been blamed on is global warming but look out- we are sure that’s next!

MORE FACT CHECKING

Here are some more facts to consider in light of the typical anti-c.p. rants on crime statistics. (Non-paddling states in BOLD):

Highest Property Crime Rate per 1,000 (2006)

1) Arizona 46.3 2) Washington 44.8 3) South Carolina 42.4 4) Hawaii 42.3 5) Tennessee 41.3 6) North Carolina 41.2 7) Nevada 40.9 8.) Texas 40.8 9) Louisiana 39.9 10) Florida 39.9

Also, California 31.7 beat out Mississippi 32.1 but lost to Wyoming 29.8, Kentucky 25.4, and Idaho 24.2. (All five are ranked in the bottom half as to the rankings of the 50 states)

Highest Violent Crime Rate per 1,000 (2006)

1) South Carolina 7.7 2) Tennessee 7.6 3) Nevada 7.4 4) Florida 7.1 5) Louisiana 7.0 6) Alaska 6.9 7) Delaware 6.8 8 ) Maryland 6.8 9) New Mexico 6.4 10) Michigan 5.6

In addition, California 5.3 lost to Texas 5.2, Arizona 5.0, Oklahoma 5.0, North Carolina 4.8, Georgia 4.7, Alabama 4.3, Kansas 4.3, Colorado 3.9, Ohio 3.5, Mississippi 3.0 (WE ARE NOT KIDDING!), Kentucky 2.6, Idaho 2.5, and Wyoming 2.4

Whew! The “golden state” doesn’t look quite so golden to us. As to poor South Carolina -we at TWP agree on one thing: If the family car breaks down on the road during a vacation trip- We would all prefer to break down in South Carolina than in California! Of course, that is just our opinion.

This information was the latest we were able to find on the net due to the limits on our time as gainfully employed teachers. Rankings are from: Criminal Justice Commission Index, Crime Rates by State: 2006

EDITORIAL: Ingraham v. Wright (1977)

Who: Ingraham was just one of several plaintiffs who were injured when Mr.Wright, the defendant, administered paddlings for breaking school rules.

What: This case centered on the question: Does corporal punishment violate the U.S. Constitution’s 8th Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment and the 14th amendment due process requirements?

Where: The c.p. incidents occurred at Drew Junior High in Miami-Dade County, Florida in the early 1970’s.

For more details on this case, check out our new link under Blogroll.

TWP’s Analysis on What Happened: We at TWP are NOT going to attempt to re-try the case here but rather- We will give an educator’s perspective. The paddlings described, if true, were AGGRAVATED ASSAULT and BATTERY, not corporal punishment. One plaintiff was held over a table by two other persons and paddled TWENTY times which resulted in injuries requiring medical attention. Another plaintiff was struck in the arm so severely that he was unable to use it for a week! On another web site, it was mentioned that a third student was possibly paddled FIFTY times!

We at TWP are starting to understand the fanaticism of the anti-c.p. crowd. Those people see every school paddling through the prism of what happened in Ingraham v. Wright. But all of us (Renee, Jenny, Wendy, & Michelle) would not only have stopped those “paddlings” but the 911 speed-dial button on our cell-phones would have been activated pronto! The actions of Mr. Wright sound like either a retard or a psycho and it bothers us that the right of school boards to have a c.p. policy hung on a 5 to 4 vote by the highest court in the U.S. Let it be understood by all that this blog DOES NOT in any way condone what happened to the plaintiffs in this case -But please understand also that we DO NOT consider all corporal punishment to be abusive. (see MISSION STATEMENT) What happened in the case aforementioned was not just abusive -It was possibly criminal!

What Should Have Happened: According to one web site, the policy at the time was 5 swats maximum and while we have not been able to verify that, all the accounts seem to suggest an out-of-control situation for which there is NO excuse. If an educator cannot control his or her temper, then they must remove themselves from that situation. It is our opinion that Mr. Wright lost control of himself and/or had an anger management problem. But no excuses: the local District Attorney should have opened an investigation into the matter. TWP has not been able to confirm that this was ever done. Rather, this local problem that should have been resolved locally- with possible civil and criminal charges -instead wound up in federal court.

TWP will do another post on this case and what we believe the results were for school policy since then. We will also shed some light on what the anti’s have done and are doing -and its not just writing letters to local newspapers.

 

COMING NEXT: A TEACHER TAKES A STAND

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