10. MICHELLE GIVES HER FIRST PADDLING & THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF A NATIONAL C.P. BAN

Dear Readers: This new post is about the youngest contributor to TWP, Michelle, and the first time she gave a well deserved paddling to one of her students two years ago. This account was written by the witness, TWP editor Renee, and reviewed by Michelle. If only you readers could just meet sweet Michelle, a true Jessica Simpson look-a-like with a most pleasant personality-You would never think that she has ever paddled a student in her two year career as a teacher. In the story below, please take note of Michelle’s demeanor before, during, and after the paddling. It reflects how we all feel about having to use the paddle.

It was a brisk October Tuesday morning and my third grade class had just finished recess as the fourth graders under the watchful eyes of teachers Michelle and Jenny started theirs. Everything was normal and routine as I got my class settled down for their reading time. About ten minutes later, I heard a couple of knocks on my door.

“Can I see you for a moment, Renee,” whispered a frowning Michelle who stuck her head inside the doorway of my classroom. She held her lightweight 16″ x 3 1/2″ x 1/4″ paddle by the handle- the flat business side tucked under her right arm. She silently mouthed “Witness” as I stepped outside- observing the to-be-recipient looking downward at his shoes.

Ricky was the one student of Michelle that concerned me most. He and his friend Lou were the worst behaved in my class the prior year and I got Lou into Jenny’s class so at least the two might be separated during classtime-for Michelle’s sake. I had paddled both the previous year and it worked then but now?

“Ricky pushed a girl off the swing a few minutes ago- shes not hurt but for a few scratches,” Michelle intoned as her voice quivered.

“Lets go!” I replied as we turned in the direction of the teacher conference room. “Jenny’s covering recess?” I asked. Michelle nodded as we entered and I shut the door behind us.

“What do you have to say for yourself, buster?” I snapped. All Ricky could muster was a mumbled “Sorry.”

“Sorry?…Is that it?…Well, Ricky dear, ‘Sorry’ doesn’t cut it…not after you have been warned repeatedly about ‘rough play’ last year and this year!” I spoke sternly while observing a crestfallen Michelle- I just knew she was dreading what was to happen next.

As Michelle’s mentor, I took charge of the situation and ordered Ricky to bend over a small wooden stool. “Grip the stool seat, keep your head up, bend your knees a bit,” I ordered, and finished by asking, “Is there anything in your back pockets?”

Ricky just shook his head as I motioned for Michelle to stand at Ricky’s left side.

“Remember what I told you: Left hand on lower back…a little below the belt,…Now hold paddle and line up top edge just one inch below the top of the pockets…thats it, now hold paddle back 90 degrees, keep wrist loose and swing with the forearm and wrist together.

Michelle briefly closed her eyes and looked as if she wanted to be anywhere else but where she was. She then swung the paddle which landed with a “Pop” sound-and Ricky flinched.

Then Michelle , trembling slightly, swung again- connecting with a loud “Smack” which startled her-she would have dropped the paddle if it were not for the wrist strap-and caused Ricky to gasp and sniffle.

Michelle looked at me and I thought for a moment that she would cry. (Unbelievable!) As she looked at me, I silently held up one finger and mouthed “One more.”

I heard a sniff as Michelle nodded- she swung the paddle and soundly connected with a loud “SMACK” which Ricky gave a barely audible “Owww.”

Michelle then softly spoke while wiping a tear from one eye, “Ricky, turn around and look at me.” A flushed-faced Ricky looked up as his eyes welled up with tears. “Ricky, I had hoped to never use a paddle but I cannot let you get away with pushing other kids around during recess…understand?”

A tearful Ricky mumbled, “I’m sorry…please don’t paddle me any more!”

“Ricky, we are finished and your punishment is over- but no more shoving other people, o.k.?” When Ricky nodded, Michelle patted him on the shoulder and said, “No hard feelings,Ricky? Put this behind us?”

Then Ricky stepped forward and threw his arms around Michelle, startling her and myself. “I’ll be good…I promise!” Ricky proclaimed as I wisked him back to his classroom while Michelle recomposed herself.

Ricky was just fine and did not seem to have any ill effects from a well deserved, but rather mild, paddling. I had to reassure Michelle, who looked like she was the one who was paddled.

“Ricky will be o.k. and you need to move forward-Do not let this pull you down…alright?” I said while giving Michelle a hug.

All that Michell could say was, “I just hope that he will not hate me!”

“Ricky will be a little sore but by lunchtime- he will be back to normal- so please, don’t be so hard on yourself-you did what any other teacher here would have done,” I admonished as Michelle returned to her classroom.

She seemed sad but later that day I saw her one-on-one with Ricky and the sight was heart warming: Ricky was nodding with a smile and Michelle smiled back as she tapped him on the head. There were no more “Ricky problems” the rest of the year as well as no other paddlings by Michelle.

SPECIAL NOTE FROM MICHELLE: The two worst days in my teaching career were the days I had to use a paddle. In both instances, the student would have likely been suspended or perhaps sent to alternative school. Understand, my reputation is probably as a “soft” disciplinarian and I go out of my way to avoid punishing my “kids.” As for Ricky, his greatest fear was that I did not “like” him anymore! (HA HA) Well, as I reassured him, I also reminded him that, as his teacher, I had to treat him just like any of my other students. He seemed to understand- I had no major problems with Ricky the rest of the year.

 

 

THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF A NATIONAL C.P. BAN

(WASHINGTON, D.C., April 15,2018) A controversial rider in an appropriations bill takes effect at midnight tonight. This amendment bans all corporal punishment in U.S. schools, both public and private. Back in March, the 120 hour long filibuster was broken when a compromise was agreed to on a non-related highway bill. Reactions from around the nation were mixed and…

At PTARS (Parents and Teachers Against Rules in School) Headquarters, the celebration was on with champiagn freely flowing and aging rock diva Madonna rocking the night away. Jordan Ricks loudly proclaimed, “No more paddles, no more rules…Let freedom ring!” Peggy Dunn chimed in- proclaiming, “Burn, babee burn…Down with authority!”

Then a ghostly figure appeared in the middle of the dance floor, causing Madonna to scream as the music stopped- but it remained silent. “Who the #%%* are you!!” bellowed Jordan, “Someone call security..we have an intruder!!” The ghost calmly spoke, “Do not waste your breath…nothing can move me until I say what needs to be said and you, Mr. Ricks, will address me as The Ghost of Unintended Consequences.”

As Jordan and the others attempted to flee, the ghost declared, “All the doors and windows will be unopenable until I am finished…Jordan, you would not have this problem now if you had a real ‘debate’ on the corporal punishment issue-and namecalling does not count!” Jordan sat down angrily and yelled, “We won…the paddle war is over!”

The ghost then replied “Yes, you won a ‘victory’ of sorts- but it will be a very costly one.”

The ghost continued as the party turned tomb-silent:

“Before you decided to push a corporal punishment ban, did you not consider what the results might be… and I can assure you that it will not be anarchy in the classroom- no matter what your personal views are…Indeed, the reaction will not be what you think it will be.”

Then a rectangular shape appeared-resembling a t.v. screen. On it appeared a news anchor. ” June 30th 2021- The U.S. Supreme Court declared today in a 5-4 decision that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee an unconditional right to a free and public education in the nation’s public schools,” intoned the newsman. “The historic decision, Roberts v. Smith (2021), originated in a school district in rural Alabama that decided, in the wake of the Corporal Punishment Ban Act of 2018, to use mass suspensions or as the School Director stated: If we cannot discipline them, then we will not educate them!” “The case centered around Malcolm Roberts III, a Michigan transfer, who was suspended three times in a year before his school district expelled him.” “When the district refused to take him back the next year, Malcolm Roberts III and his legal team from the ACLU sued in Federal Court and won before losing at the U.S. Court of Appeals last year.” “Our legal scholars have all stated, in so many words, that all schools are eventually going to set similar policies as the Alabama district and if America’s school children want an education- they will have to follow the ‘rules’, no exceptions.” “In the next story about…

“Hey, that is un-American!” Peggy Dunn blurted.

“Really?” the ghost replied, “Just remember two things- First, the U.S. Supreme Court is the nation’s highest court- no other court to appeal to and Second, after three years of unsettled legal battles in the aftermath of the ban law, the attitude of Congress will be: The Supreme Court has spoken- and that is that!”

“I guess you are finished then?…We can go back to our party?” chimed Jordan.

“No, Mr.Ricks, we are not finished yet… you are about to find out the consequences of 10% to 20% of the population not having an education.”

“Ughh, I think these lobster cakes are coming up on me…” Jordan gasped.

The ghost pointed to some headlines that appeared: “U.S. Murder Rate Highest in Nation’s History” and “100 U.S. Cities Under Martial Law as Drug Gangs Battle U.S. Army.”

“Here is an interesting quote,” said the ghostly figure. “‘Only 10 states left who have an unconditional right to a free public education, according to PTASS…”

“Who is PTASS, when does this take place and what states make up the elite ten?” Peggy asked.

The ghost chuckled and replied, “My dear Peggy, PTASS stands for Parents and Teachers Against School Suspensions and the states- all the ones you seem to admire the most-are the West coast states and the Yankee corridor of the northeast- and the ‘changes’ all take effect in just a few years after the Roberts decision.”

“In those ten states where teachers are merely seen as glorified babysitters, education has all but collapsed- the only working schools are those who are private and that is because the Federal courts will not allow the states to meddle with private school’s expulsion policies.”

“Across the nation, crime is so violent- with unschooled masses of people with no hope of decent employment in a brain-powered 21st Century economy that the Department of Homeland Security is setting up a permanent presence in our 100 largest cities with about 5,000,000 troops.”

“Well then…why doesn’t the Congress just pass a law requiring school attendance for everyone-without exception!” bellowed Jordan.

“Ha Ha Ha… you amuse me, Mr.Ricks,” the ghost laughed. “The Roberts decision is the law of the land and can only be overridden by an amendment to the U.S. Constitution!”

“What are the teachers doing about this?” Jordan groaned.

Then two images appeared- one of an older retired teacher and the other of a younger teacher

“I saw this coming as a 20 year veteran of schools and can remember what schooling was like before the c.p. ban and the Roberts decision- It was not perfect but we at least had children IN school and did not have 25 million people in U.S. prisons.” “I warned people that the elimination of paddling would not repeal rules and as a result of the ban- we got a massive increase over the years of suspensions and expulsions and…look what has happened over the last two decades- the world’s highest crime rate!”

The second younger teacher from a suspension/expulsion friendly state was asked if she was interested in going back to the old system of compulsory attendance with a re-legalization of c.p. She smiled and replied, “Thanks, but no thanks- I enjoy teaching children who WANT to learn- too much stress disciplining them.” She continued, “Let the police and the army deal with the anarchists- I’m a teacher- not a social reformer!”

“But what about all those people without an education? What happens to them?” Jordan stammered.

“For the ones who obey the law, poverty in a high tech 21st century society and…” replied the ghost.

“And?” Jordan asked.

“And for those who choose crime- there is prison, which will be a booming ‘business’ in the future- Mr. Ricks, future society will have no tolerance for criminals and anarchists!”

“But what about freedom and democracy…” blurted Peggy.

“Freedom is NOT free and it never was- RESPONSIBILITY is a prerequisite of freedom!” the ghost declared as doors and windows unlocked. Then the GHOST of Unintended Consequences vanished.

“He finally left…Lets party!” yelled Madonna as she began to sing.

(Sing to tune of “Poppa, don’t preach”)

POPPA DON’T PADDLE! I WANNA DO AS I PLEASE… POPPA DON’T PADDLE…I MADE UP MY MIND!… I’M A GONNA SMOKE POT ALLLLL DAY LLLONG! POPPA DON’T PADDLE…

“Somebody get me some Pepto-Bismol- I think I’m a gonna be sick!” Jordan moaned.

We had some fun with that story! It was our attempt at TWP to make a point about the issues our blog has taken on. While the story is meant to be amusing, the underlying issues are not. It is TWP’s position that if corporal punishment is totally banned, most schools will just go to suspension and expulsion as an alternative. Second, for those who would fight against this in the name of “a right to an education”- think again! Society at large will NOT sacrifice the education of the majority for the whims of a few. Third, in a worst case scenario, the 10% to 20% (uneducated population) will impose a REAL cost on society at large in crime, prison construction, and more police- just to list a few. One should carefully evaluate these considerations when considering the philosophies of anarchist and anti-c.p. web sites.

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOGS AT: https://teacherswhopaddle.wordpress.com


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