Tuesday, April 03, 2007

God bless the child, 2

title referring to the title of this post, also off a comment from the post below.

Little-known fact: corporal punishment is not only alive and well, it is legal in K-12 schools in a number of states. Viddy:

"It's time the state stopped spanking students"

EDITORIAL, News & Observer, March 19, 2007

It's time to hang up the paddle in all of North Carolina's public schools. The practice of disciplining schoolchildren with physical force, already banned in some school districts here and forbidden in the majority of states, is unnecessary. There are better ways to create discipline at school, and better lessons for young scholars than a smack on the rump -- however well-intentioned and rooted in tradition.

The question of corporal punishment in public schools showed up last week at the General Assembly in the form of a bill from Rep. Martha Alexander, a Charlotte Democrat. "The children should not be subject to violence in the schools from anyone," Alexander said. State Superintendent June Atkinson, and Eddie Davis, head of the teachers association, support the bill.

For many Triangle-area readers, the fact that about two-third of the state's school districts still allow corporal punishment may be news.

Under North Carolina's local-option system, the Wake, Durham and Orange county systems prohibit paddling, as does Chapel Hill-Carrboro. But, in our area, Chatham, Franklin, Harnett and Johnston counties do permit it. And in broad swaths of the state, "spare the rod and spoil the child" still rules at school, although administrators in some of those districts say they seldom exercise the right -- or their right arms.

Nonetheless, spotty statistics suggest that thousands of student spankings do take place in the Tar Heel state, although at a rate far below those of paddling powerhouses Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas and Mississippi...


Cassandra Says said...

Not particularly surprised that there are still school districts that allow corporal punishment, but the idea that some parents might not be aware of that seems...odd. Don't they talk to their children at all? I used to come home from school and babble to my Mum about everything that happened during the day. Didn't you? If you had witnessed someone being caned wouldn't you have told your parents? So that seems a bit suspicious.
My high school still occasionally practised corporal punishment, which was changing during the time I was there (in the eighties/early nineties). There was a teacher who threatened to hit me with a paddle once. Of course being a bolshy, snotty little rich kid I told her that if she laid a hand on me all it would take was one phone call to my Dad and she would be in the receiving end of a lawsuit so nasty the school would ban paddling forever and she'd never find another teaching job. Which stopped her from hitting ME, but didn't do much to stop corporal punishment in general. Teenagers are a bit self-focused and short-sighted, you know? I should have had the same conversation with the headmistress instead.
I do wonder why schools would allow it here, though, in the most litiginous society in the world. All it would take would be one pissed off parent to sue the school or school district and they'd lose millions. I would have expected them to be a little more business-savvy even if they're too old-school to grok the idea that beating children is morally abhorrent.

belledame222 said...

They do. That's why there's movement at all. But...well, take a look at the articles on that page.

Cassandra Says said...

I don't get it. If there's so much kickback why hasn't it stopped yet? In the UK the practise was pretty much abandoned when parents started complaining (except in private schools which are in general rather twisted places).

Alon Levy said...

Wow. I knew it was legal in a lot of states in the US for parents to beat children, but I didn't know it was legal to do that in schools. I thought it was only legal to do that in socially backward places like Singapore.

Oh well. Here's another way in which the South is like Singapore, only slightly less bland.

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