posted by Mark Moore (Moderator) at Sunday, July 31, 2005
An administrator in the Berryville public school system has been placed on a list of child abusers for paddling a student. The complete story by Melinda Rogers is in Sunday's Democrat-Gazette. In this case the child was repeatedly threatening to kill other students. The child's mother choose the paddling over a three-day suspension and was present for the event. As soon as the paddling was over, the parent complained that it was too hard and latter filed a complaint with DHS.The article claimed that Missisippi and Arkansas were the two states that used corporal punishment the most. The article also claimed that 9.1% of students were struck by educators in Arkansas during the 1999-00 school years. I flat do not believe those figures. I was a public school teacher for 12 years and I never heard of a single paddling on either campus where I taught. In fact, over my twelve years there was increasingly little in the way of discipline on campus, unless one student did something to another student. Certainly disrespecting a teacher or hijacking the learning process was not considerd a serious matter (unless it was the State Test). What we have now is a situation where if a parent spanks a child and leaves brusies, the state can take that child away. One could argue that educators should not be able to do that which the parent cannot. Or one can argue as I do that for those children that need it, both parent and school (with parent's permission)should be allowed to. It never caused me any lasting harm. Bruises heal, but growing up with a habit of threatening to kill others can leaving lasting anti-social traits intact.In any case, my hat is off to the Berryville school district for caring about kids enough to take the risk of using corporal punishment. My hat is off to the administration for standing behind their personnel. I hope they stand firm. If they don't, the most anti-social, undisciplined element of their population will wind up basically running their school.
Kudos to the Berryville School District! It used to be that parents backed teachers, who encountered the need for corporal punishement in a child. What that ceased to be, children began to run wild.Solomon said, "Discipline your son while there is hope..." (Proverbs 19:18); and "He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently" (Proverbs 13:24).May those days return!
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