12. TWP’s COMMENTARY ON “A TEACHER’S PADDLING: THE OTHER END”

Dear Readers: The story that you saw on our previous post was quite disturbing to us and demonstrates what can go wrong in the use of corporal punishment in our schools. We at TWP have attempted to be fair and balanced in our presentation and will continue to do so. However, no one gets a free pass from us- neither the extremely anarchistic anti-c.p. advocates nor the “old-school” abusive educators. If you do not believe this, just read the comments by our panel of contributors below.

COMMENTARY

Renee: This troubling story shows several violations of our basic tenants at TWP: If corporal punishment is to be used in our schools, it must be administered JUDICIOUSLY, MODERATELY, and SPARINGLY. In a number of ways, what happened in the story went completely against everything our blog has postulated. First, the offense should not have resulted in a paddling- especially for a first offense. Second, the severity was not just as to our beliefs but also a possible violation of school policy and state guidelines. If the coach had at least followed our IMPLEMENTS and TECHNIQUES blog, the paddling would not have been abusive. Finally, we do not know the frequency of these paddlings at the high school but the weekly usage in the elementary school was outrageous! In my book, the coach, mom, and g-mom flunk all three benchmarks of our blog.

Wendy: I agree with all your points except one: Only if the coach had… I do not believe the coach had any business using a paddle for what seems to be a first time offense. Also, no male teacher should ever paddle a female student. It is paddlings like this that cause all teachers who sometimes use paddles to be portrayed in a negative light.

Jenny: Not only was the administrator of the paddling male but his witness was too! Regardless, I do not think it is a good idea for students to choose their punishment- For a first time offense, Courtney should have been given detention for several days- without a choice.

Michelle: All of this seems to be due to a “good ol’boy” system as well as a female version of that in the elementary school setting. There was no recourse because of the connections between various people in the community. The whole story was an awful tale of authority figures abusing their power and we educators must not turn a blind eye to the abuse of students at any level. Rather, we need to be ever bit as hard on abusers as we are on the “anti’s.”

Renee: I agree wholeheartedly and we at TWP will be addressing how teachers can look out for the students in future posts. Now, to clear a wager on that Alabama-Georgia game, I need some time to memorize that ugghh Crimson Tide fight song! This has been a LLLOOONNNGGG weekend!

Courtney FAQ’s

After what happened to you, why would you ever pick a paddle up to use on someone else’s child?

As I pointed out in my account, the use of paddling by Coach B WAS abusive! There is no way to compare what happened to me and what I do as a last resort. A large paddle like the one used on me IS abusive. The small paddle I use is only 8″ x 6″ x 1/4″ and is oval shaped -A far cry from Coach B’s paddle. A few moderate swats from my paddle stings but will NOT bruise. After my experience, the last thing I would want to do is injure any child. The “sting” itself only lasts a few minutes. I know this by observing the way a student of mine acts afterwards: Embarrassed but after a few minutes, you could not tell that they had ever been paddled by the way they act half an hour later!

Why didn’t you go straight to the police after the paddling? Or at least your parents?

The community that I lived in was one of those counties that everyone is interconnected and nothing would have happened if I had. And where was I going to go to school? That was the only high school in the county. One must keep in mind that every other county is NOT like San Francisco or Berkley, California.

Do you bear any lingering ill-will against the coach who beat you?

I will never have any respect for Coach B -Professionally or personally. But life DOES move on. As far as I know, Coach B is out of education and has “other problems” as I alluded to in the post. Hey -KARMA!

What are you doing to prevent a repeat of the abuse of students that you once suffered yourself?

As an educator myself, I am aware of the things that can go wrong. I am looking out for teachers like Coach B and his ilk. All the teachers currently in our school as well as our principal and I DEMPHASIZE the use of c.p. and as a result, it is seldom used. Reducing the frequency of paddling is crucial to preventing a “repeat” of what happened to me. I am proud to say that our school is succeeding in that goal.

 


REFER BACK TO PRIOR BLOG:

A TEACHER’S PADDLING: THE OTHER END

 

 

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