Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Kudos to Democrat Judge Barb Collins for dismissing a battery case against a Beach Grove gym teacher who used “corporal punishment” (grabbing of the face) to "redirect" a 15-year-old student. I just learned about this through an Indiana Court of Appeals opinion that affirmed Collins’ dismissal ruling.

Given that a student recently used her camera phone to videotape a teacher being beaten by another student instead of stepping in, and given that some third graders recently plotted their teacher's execution, maybe reinstituting some type of corporal punishment would be advisable.

We CAN do it in Indiana. We just don’t. Even though Indiana is among 21 states that allows reasonable corporal punishment in schools, many school districts, including IPS, have abolished it. Yeah, that’s working GREAT!

Every generation gives the crotchety old man speech about “these kids today,” but it's actually true now. A lot of this is the fault of “society,” by which I mean “television.” Anybody who studies TV twenty years ago and compares it with TV today will realize that almost ALL sitcoms now get their jokes exclusively from sarcasm and flip comments, and children absorb this.

I always point to an ad for DSL that features a little girl playing videogames who calls herself “The Doomslayer.” Her attitude toward the narrator of that commercial is so dismissive and disrespectful that it makes you want to reach through the screen and slap the child in the face. The fact the makers of this ad don’t see how off-putting this child’s behavior is…well, that’s shocking. Apparently, ever since the Simpsons came along, we just expect kids to walk around now saying “Eat My Shorts” to their parents and worse to their teachers.

Sorry, but we’ve gone quite soft as a culture. Many daycare facilities, such as La Petite Academy, won’t even do timeout because they believe the child is being isolated from learning opportunities. I say you can learn a lot from being put in a corner after a good “boot to the head.”

I was speaking with a fellow attorney the other day who advised me that not only do school districts NOT use corporal punishment, but also, they can’t even expel a child from class who is disruptive. If I talked when I wasn’t supposed to, I got put in the hall or sent to the principal. When a bunch of kids thought it would be funny to bring in rubber fishing worms, pull them apart, and then throw them on the ceiling (where they got stuck), we ALL got paddled. You know what happened after that? NOBODY brought a fishing worm into school. Ever.

Now not even removal can be done. No wonder kids act the way they do. They have NO consequences. And for all the social worker/counselors out there who say, “Oh, it’s SO WRONG to hit children because it teaches them to solve problems with violence,” I retort, “No more than invading Iraq does” and “No more than the death penalty does.” My parents spanked the bejesus out of me growing up, and I have never been in a fight....unless you count me getting punched on two occasions as “fights.” (As quoted in the movie, Kung Pao, I was demonstrating a kung fu technique known as “my face to your fist” style).

The point is for parents and school officials to administer reasonable discipline in a context that shows bad actions have very real consequences.



artfuggins said...

The ones who should be slapped are the administrators who are afraid of parents and wont appropriately address agressive students. It is rampant in IPS.

Anonymous said...

If more kids were spanked and expelled from all schools, we would be better know, back in the day, being a high school grad was big thing and going to college was we socially promote idiots and hudlums and then try to get them into universities....folks, it's Ok for idiots and hudlums to wash dishes or dig ditches for life!

Anonymous said...

Chris I spent the entire 3rd grade in the corner and I turned out alright. Father of 3, 2 college graduates, one Freshman at IU, one law school graduate, one in graduate OT school at U of I. Kids need to learn boundaries and consequences. Schools need to quit using fear of us lawyers as an excuse from doing their job.

Chris Worden said...

Anon 5:38, preaching to the choir, my friend. It IS the fear of lawyers that has changed things, but schools have plenty good ones of their own. I'd like to see some of them start showing their backbones. If they don't, I bet someday A TEACHER will file the lawsuit when (s)he gets hurt because the school didn't get control over the students.