Leave the paddle out of education
Re: Michelle Malkin’s Commentary piece in the Sept. 1 edition titled “Leftists’ Abu Ghraib-like take on U.S. schools” (page 37), I find myself in the highly unusual position of having to disagree with Michelle Malkin on classroom discipline. Having taught in a wide variety of public, parochial, and private middle and high schools for over two decades, and being a product of the public school system, I completely agree that corporal punishment has no place in public schools for several reasons.
As educators, we should not need to do that if the parents are doing their job responsibly, whether that involves spanking or not. Moreover, I can make a much greater and longer lasting impression with words. Physical pain works when that is all the child can understand, in the preverbal stages. We tend to internalize the hurtful words, even the false ones, and they continue to smart. The on-target words hurt worse and, we hope, make enough of an impression to change behaviors.
On a more basic, more libertarian level, I want no children to believe that anyone has a right to lay violent hands on them and abuse them simply because they have a government job. This sets a terrible precedent for their adult lives and leads to things like the IRS, the DEA, and the ATF.