Saturday, February 21, 2004

U.S. Students Still Getting the Paddle

Washington Post

A Mississippi vice-principal resigned for refusing to paddle public school children as a form of punishment. I had no idea public schools still did this in some parts of the country. Some of the justifications for the paddling practice are great:

"'The point is to get the students' attention, not to inflict pain,' said Carver Middle School principal Earnest Ward. 'Sometimes all you have to do is hold a paddle up, and it will scare a student to death. Others are not afraid of it at all.'"

Hey, give the guy a break! He just wants to get their attention. That's how I get people's attention. Admittedly, it's usually the police's in the end. More:

"'Are we going to believe man's report or God's report?' asked Cherry Moore, a special education teacher at Carver and co-pastor of a local church. She believes that Old Testament references to 'spoiling the child by sparing the rod' should outweigh the allegedly negative effects of corporal punishment cited by child development experts."

Moore forgot to mention that these same studies would actually permit girls on their period to be seen in public. They claim this isn't a major public health concern! Just goes to show you.

Of course, the Post has an agenda here, so I'm sure some administrators have a better attitude about it. But, sadly, not the principal, according to the vice:

"According to written notes kept by [the vice principal] McLaney, he received repeated admonishments from Ward, the principal, including comments such as, 'These kids are different, all they understand is the paddle,' and 'walk the halls and, if the kids are out of line, burn their butts.'"

I'm sure Ward claims he's just making sure "no child's left behind." He only wacks from the right, after all.

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