Permission To Paddle?
By Ken DeLaat
The School for Innovation and the Classics a low performing charter school in Hephzibah, Georgia a town of about 4000 folks on the eastern border of South Carolina instituted a policy to allow corporal punishment via ‘paddling’ and received signed permission slips from about a third of the parents of the K-9 (grades not dogs) school.
Here’s what I don’t like about the whole corporal punishment thing.
Who gets to draw the line as to when it is deemed appropriate and can you trust people to administer it to your (or any) child?
Hands down there are reasons to want to paddle someone. There are number of adults I have encountered who perhaps could use a bit of hands on discipline regarding some of their behavior because they really should know better.
But again here’s my problem with anyone being allowed to administer such enforcement to children.
I don’t trust other humans easily and I certainly have little faith in the existence of universal integrity within any system or organization. History is filled to the gills with examples of seemingly good ideas gone terribly wrong.
So yes, discipline is a problem in schools of this we can be certain. Schools are filled with children raised in any number of circumstances and situations, thus when collectively gathered there will undoubtedly be issues with behavioral management even under the best of circumstances. I applaud the efforts of school personnel as they try to maintain order while delivering an education to large groups of young folks.
But I would have to draw the line at allowing someone else to have permission to whack away at a child because if it cannot be guaranteed (and it cannot) that it would be ethical in nature 100% of the time there should be no room for it.
I realize there are spanking advocates out there and obviously ⅓ of the folks who send their kids to this charter school with an improbably oxymoronic name are part of this, but bringing back the ‘good old days’ when we all were subject to such discipline ignores the multitude of victims who have suffered under such policies due to the shortcomings of those who were trusted to administer them.
I am more of a grandparent than parent these days. I don’t know what it is like to raise children in this era, though through four of the best looking, intelligent, likeable and exceptionally well mannered beings to be found anywhere I get a glimpse at the challenges.
I have trust in their schools to academically guide them. They are, after all, the experts in delivering education.
But delivering corporal punishment?
I think not.
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