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Monthly Archives: September 2010

 

BOB T JOIN OUR TEAM. WE NEED YOUR INPUT.

Why you keep calling me names? I’m not in any kind of personal hell. So you are an Ozark native. I used to live in the Ozarks. Under the leadership of the schools, in Springfield, Missouri, many schools banned corporal punishment in the western part of the Ozarks–Southwest Missouri.

The newspapers there always printed–the best schools in Missouri are in the Southwest corner of the state. Recon a bunch of newspapers would lie. I liked the schools there. People didn’t complain about the public schools like they do in the south. Neither do they  where I live now in Iowa.

The church I served in the Ozarks was thirty miles from the Arkansas state line. It was one mile outside the city limits of a town with about five thousand citizens. Out of all the churches I’ve served, it was my favorite. I ask myself everyday—why did ever I leave?  It could be. It was meant for me to leave Missouri. I have one daughter married to an Iowan and another who may.

The minister who founded my former parish in the Ozarks was a Frenchman, originally from a village in the Alps. In one of the first letters he wrote back home to Europe, he stated clearly. “They call these hills around here mountains.”

You made some disparaging remarks about the looks of women in the Ozarks. My former church is full of beautiful women. Even the older are women are attractive.

I agree with you on something. I think Mr. Smith is a hothead. You said he reminded you of a character in Matrix movie. Bob T you must be young. My son watched those Matrix movies. I watched one with him. He thought it was great. I couldn’t make heads or tales out of the movie. It’s like the movie I saw the other night—Inception–starring Leonardo DiCaprio. It didn’t make a lick of sense to me. My son liked it.

Mr. Smith reminds me of Hector Barbossa in the movie the Pirates of the Caribbean. He has the personality of Berta on Two and A Half Men. Any man who says to a fifth grader, a ten year old child—“Your butt is mine”—is not much of a man. Sounds like a bully to me.

What are you doing with Fake Renee? Why are you conversing with her the way you do? She writes about the kids she whacks on with great joy. I thought you wanted to outlaw school corporal punishment.

You don’t need paddles in schools. I’ve seen schools which are nothing more than a failing school use corporal punishment. I’ve seen schools which are successful not use it. Most public schools districts in the south have very poor graduation rates. Corporal punishment is part of their problems.

My critics keep asking me–how would I discipline a child? I’m not sure except to say I would never paddle a child under any circumstance.

I concur with the 68% of the British parents of school age children who find “the idea totally disgusting.” I’m quoting from a British survey I found online.

It’s appalling to me. An educator would tell a child to spread your legs, bend over (stick your butt out), and then finish it off by beating a child on the butt.

Bob T tell us your real name. Don’t hide behind the computer like those cowardly teachers do. Tell us who you are. We have an assignment for you. Jestin and I want you to do a commentary on the  question posed to Fake Renee. Will TWP give an update on Miranda, Barbie and Matt and others you paddled last year? It can be found on Teacherswhpaddle Weblog dated August 14th. Quit trying to flirt with fake Renee and write for us.

DOC NO

Hey Doctor Dominum were did you come up with name like that? Sounds like the name of a character in a James Bond movie. You like 007. I’ve seen all 22 episodes. My favorite is You Only Live Twice

So you a psychologist. You do counseling with people. I don’t care what studies you site showing the benefits of striking a kid on the butt. School corporal punishment turns me off. It is absolutely disgusting. I’m not impressed by anything you had to say.

Tell your buddy, Prov. Nev. I’m still waiting for him to post Renee’s picture on the Battle of the Century. The way Bob T carries on with her. He thinks she is attractive.

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A Word to Dr. Dominum:

I am in receipt of your comments and will publish them in our next post.
One thing that did jump out of me is the fact you repeated the, “Spanked
and turned out okay argument.” Go back about two posts, I did a section on
it and how using it as an excuse to beat children is just out right
ignorant and idiotic.

 

Why Paddling Must Stop! Save Me Mommy!

I was fortunate to meet a woman who has gone through so much in a year that many will never experience. She has decided to take a stance and
write her congressional leaders about the abuses she witness her children’s school under the name of discipline. The letter is below as well as a letter she sent to her school board and a letter to the editor she had published in the local paper where this occurred. Note to all: due to an agreement with the person in the story all names, except for school staff, will be changed to protect privacy, but an email address will be provided so you can ask her questions if you wish and to verify that this is a true person as Dr. Dominum thought about my last “Why Paddling Must Stop!” entries Her email is: stopschoolpaddling@gmail.com

Dear Congressional Leaders,

I am writing to you in hopes that when you hear my story you will vote yes for HR-5628 to ban corporal punishment in schools and put a stop to this insanity once and for all. In November of 08 we moved from our home in Dallas to a 20 acre property in North Central Arkansas on what we hoped would become a small farm. Shortly after we moved, having two children who were then attending 1st grade at their small new school (they had to be in the same class because there was only one class for each grade) I learned that they used corporal punishment (Grandma had read it in the handbook and had to explain it to me what it was because I had never heard of it before).

I immediately called the school to inform them that it was never to be used on my children. Since they had no formal form I was told to write a
note stating I was declining its use and I sent it in with my children the very next day. So, that’s what I did and I let it go. Since my children had  previously attended an exemplary school in Texas, had never been in trouble at school even once and were straight A students I figured I had nothing to worry about anyway.

What I did notice during that year was that neither of my children
really liked school anymore and complained that the people at the school
were “mean” which was a big difference but I just chalked it up to a
change in environment and a passing phase.

So summer came and went and this year (2009) my youngest son, Michael, was starting Kindergarten. On the fifth day of school, Michael came home and told me his teacher was scaring him and crying, begged me not to
make him go back. “I just want to stay home with you mommy”, he cried
clinging to my waist. Well, I came to find out his teacher had brought a
paddle to the room and while they were all seated “on the carpet” she
showed it to the class, explained what it was and how it would be used
on them if they didn’t behave. She then left it on her desk in full view
of the children as a reminder.

Outraged at how this teacher was trying to control the children by using fear and intimidation, I met with the principal. As soon as I voiced my
objections, however, the principal became rude and hostile. She stated
that she had given the paddle to the teacher and fully endorsed her
actions and would do so again. Here are a few of the things she said and
I quote, “If she doesn’t get control of her classroom we won’t get our
test scores,” (little early to be worrying about test scores, don’t you
think, 5th day of school with Kindergartners). “For some children it’s
the only way to get their attention,” (how did they even have time to
get their attention in other ways?). “I’ve already had to paddle one kid
from that room,” (I wish you could have seen the look of triumph on her
face as she said that). “A lot of the kids in that room have never had
any formal discipline,” (apparently she considers using fear of violence
and violence itself “formal” discipline”). Finally, she told me point
blank that they were doing nothing wrong and that she had better things
to do with her time than discuss the matter any further with me and
referred me to her superintendent.

The next day I met with him and found out that he held the same beliefs and didn’t think it was a big deal. I stated at that time that I was
going to look for another school which I did. Editor’s note: After speaking with this woman over the phone, I discovered that two children were subsequently paddle before she moved to another district. One time a child bit another and another was paddled for hitting another student. Wonder where they got that from?

Approximately, 10 days later my children started at another school in a different county and school district. They used corporal punishment also
but according to corporal punishment incident records from the Arkansas
dept. of education they were using it much less. To make a rather long
story short, we did not find this school any more nurturing and finally
when the principal refused to sign my document that corporal punishment
was never to be used on my child (they didn’t have a form either) and
stated to me that asking my permission to beat my child was only a
courtesy the school board extended and that “legally” she could use it
on my child if she saw fit we were forced to move. Since there were no other schools within driving distance that weren’t hitting children, we left the state and moved back to our old school district in Texas. So much for that saying that America is “the land of the free” when some parents with school age children have to pick and choose where they live in order to have safe schools.

In summary, I want to tell you that both my children and myself have
been harmed by this experience. I can not adequately describe in a letter what we went through but I can tell you that as a mother it is the worst feeling in the world to have to send your children off to school in the morning and wonder what harm will befall them while they  are there.

Sincerely,
Amanda

Please read the letter below that I wrote to the editor in that town to
confirm that leaving it up to the school boards and state is an utterly
irresponsible thing to do. I uncovered discrepancies in the number of
incidences they were reporting and they were never even investigated for
it. Lies that they are using it as a last resort abound. (not that I would approve of that) Don’t believe them! The educators that are using corporal punishment are very sick and dangerous individuals! You are in a position to put a stop to it, right now, and if you do not, I confer that you also should be held responsible and accountable for the next assault on a school child by their educators. If you would like to speak to me in person please email me with the number and time. I would be more than happy to tell you all I know.

Dear Editor,

I became concerned with corporal punishment (CP) in the Marshall County school district (MCSD) after my son in his first week of Kindergarten
this year came home and told me that his teacher was scaring him and he
didn’t want to go to school anymore. Upon questioning, he then told me
his teacher screamed all the time and had showed his class a large wooden paddle and explained that it could be used on children who didn’t behave. She then kept the paddle in full view of the children on her desk. Outraged at how she was trying to control her classroom by intimidation and the fear of punishment, I tried to address the issue with school officials. Since they stated they were in complete support of this type of teacher behavior and became defensive and outright hostile in my questioning their disciplinary tactics, I decided to investigate. Here is what I found.

According to records on the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) website, during the 2007/2008 school year, there were a total of 394
reported incidences of CP in all Searcy County schools. That same year
neighboring Stone County reported 125. It should be noted that Stone County had just 46 less students that year then Searcy County did. On
this same document under the heading of “other discipline” Stone County
reported 542 and Searcy County reported 6. Well, due to the huge
differences between the two counties, my investigation continued.

First, I ranked each of the 75 counties in Arkansas by dividing
the reported numbers of CP incidences with the number of enrolled
students. What I found was according to records from the ADE website,
Searcy County came in 8th and Stone county came in 29th per capita with
#1 being the county that used it the most. I then requested the CP records from the MCSD. True to form, they completely ignored my request until I was advised by ADE to send them a certified letter quoting my freedom of information. What I received were the CP records broken down into years and the 3 schools that comprise MCSD. According to their own records and admission, in this school district alone that only consists of a little over half of all students in Searcy County there were 616 incidences of corporal punishment in 2007/2008. But what of the figure on the ADE website that reports 394 as a combined number of all the schools in Searcy county? Was it an oversight on behalf of the people who combined the data? Or did they
intentionally not report their actual numbers? (I tried to investigate this but it looks like no one wants to give out the information I need to do that. One word for that “cover-up”) If I rate MCSD like I did counties and divide the number of CP incidences by the number of students they will claim 1st place in all of Arkansas in the race to hit as many children as they possibly can. I leave you with these questions. Is CP being used as a last resort or first? Are the children of Searcy County more than 5 times more likely to misbehave to the point of warranting CP than the children of Stone County? Why at one elementary school in this district during the 2006/2007 school year were there 18 reported CP incidents and then during 2007/2008 it jumps to 69 and 61 in 2008/2009? What the hell happened? Did a busload of juvenile delinquents suddenly move to the area all at once or maybe a planetary cosmic shift affecting this county alone could explain it? Or maybe, a new principle that started in 2006 took it easy the first year while she got her
bearings and the next year when she felt acclimated went on a CP rampage
to satisfy her need for power by punishing as many children as possible?
At another elementary school, the reported number of CP incidents went
from105 in 2006/2007 and 96 in 2007/2008 to 168 in 2008/2009. Guess
what? A new principle was hired that year. So what is it that’s causing
Searcy County Schools to have such high CP incidences, more misbehavior
from children or a preference by principles to solve behavioral problems
through force? Just so you know, Marshall High School has had the same
principle since 1995 and their CP numbers don’t change much from year to
year. I hope the fact that there are consistently more CP incidents per
year than there are students at this school doesn’t alarm anyone. Just
for fun, you might ask any student who’s gotten it from him whether he
seems to enjoy it. If anyone would like to see the report that I’m
getting my information from just email me and I’ll be more than happy to
forward it to you.
(end of letter)

Editor’s Note: After speaking to this woman, I soon discovered that Searcy County is one of the poorest counties in all of Arkansas and in the neighboring counties that have money, it is banned. Does it make you
wonder that possibly that the United States school system has a class level. All minority, poor, special needs, and gay students get a taste of the wooden board and all the rich, middle class white children who are slated to be our future rocket scientist and movie stars, don’t lay a finger on them. Does it make you wonder?

From Amanda To Teachers Who Paddle:
One more thing, when I went to pick up my children on their last day at this school I asked to see the paddle that they had no problem displaying to my 5 year old child. I was shown one like it out of the COLLECTION of paddles on a shelf in the principals office. The first three she tried to show me were broken. “Oh wait a minute, this one is broken, oh this one is too, here’s one, no, it’s cracked, here we go, here’s a good one” she said. Now you tell me how a paddle that size, not one, not two, but three get broken by using it to hit elementary children. Please email me ASAP and explain that to me. Here is one more letter, as at that time, I pulled out a camera and tried to photograph the paddle but was denied the opportunity as the principal grabbed the paddle and stated “we don’t allow that” and that she had shown the paddle to me in good confidence and now I had “betrayed” her.

Letter to superintendent: for clarification
Mr. Vining is the superintendent
Mrs. Bohannan is the principal
Mrs. Baysinger is the Kindergarten teacher

Mr. Vining,

You have, no doubt, heard from Mrs. Bohannan by now regarding my
requests to be provided to me by your school district. Just so you are
absolutely clear about them, I am taking the time to request them in
writing.

First of all, I would like to view and photograph the very paddle that
was shown to my 5 year old son by his teacher at. Leslie Elementary. I
would have been satisfied to have a photo of the paddle I viewed today
because as Mrs. Bohannon stated “it was exactly like the other one”, but
since Mrs. Bohannon refused my photograph, I’m now inclined to see the
same one. Honestly, I have to tell you I was shocked at her reaction to
my photographic request, after all, during my first conference with her
she admitted that Mrs. Baysinger came into her office asking for a
paddle and after explaining to Mrs. Bohannon what she intended to do
with it, Mrs. Bohannon whole heartily gave it to her and fully endorsed
those actions and she would do so again. Indeed, during that same
conference, Mrs. Bohannon clearly stated to me she had already used it
to paddle a child in my son’s kindergarten class. So if she has no
problem showing it to a group of kindergartens and using it on their
bottoms, why on earth would she be distressed over my photographing it.
I suppose I missed a photo opportunity, during the days when Mrs.
Baysinger left it on her desk in full view of kindergartners as a
reminder to behave. I could have gotten a picture of my son standing
next to it. I have to tell you that I would have seen the right paddle
but would you believe it was still in the classroom three weeks after I
expressly requested to have it removed from the same room my son would
spend the day in. As a parent I don’t allow my children to even be in
the vicinity of a weapon. You should know that in this day and age if
you tried to board an airplane with a paddle in your hand they will
certainly inform you that they consider it a weapon as well and refuse
you. Mostly, however I was just completely mystified as to why it was
still in the kindergarten room when I thought I had come to the
agreement with Mrs. Baysinger over a week ago, that it was no longer to
be kept there.

If you would be so kind as to inquire to Mrs. Bohannan, I’m was more
than a little confused today when she said I had betrayed her because I
didn’t tell her ahead of asking to see the paddle that I intended to take a quick snapshot of it and of course, I didn’t when she asked me not to. Honestly, as much as it is taken down and used around there, I thought it would be about as big a deal as a snapshot of a teacup, after all, when I came to even you with this issue of the paddle you made it quite clear that you intended to do nothing about it. Well, I certainly do apologize but as for betrayal, well that’s going a bit far.

If anyone has the right to cry betrayal, I should think it would be me.
After my meeting just last week with Mrs. Baysinger and Mrs.Bohannon, I
thought they understood my position on using fear and intimidation by
displaying the paddle and actually inflicting pain to control the behavior of kindergarten children. I have to say that I left that meeting quite hopeful that they would try to do better and seek out some better alternatives only to learn a few days later that yet another kindergarten child had been paddled and today I find out the paddle is still in the classroom. Now listen here, if she wants to cry betrayal, I can talk about that all day.

First off, did I not entrust my children to your school only to find
they had been threatened with violence and subjected to intimidation and
fear? That is betrayal. Do you not claim that this year, this school would teach compassion as it’s main theme? Now here is the biggest betrayal of all, not just to me as a parent but to the children. How can you claim to teach compassion when you won’t show it? Let me remind you of the definition of the word compassion. It is defined as “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it”. If your idea of alleviating distress is beating a 5 year old child with a long wooden object, then I have news for you, you will never teach compassion to anyone and you should not disguise yourself as someone who can.

Now then, I will need to see your every record of corporal punishment performed on a child in all your elementary schools for the 2007/2008 and up to date this year. I will need the age and/or grade level of the child and the date it happened. If there is a child who was the recipient of more than one paddling, you will need to indicate that to  me as well, for example, child X, grade 1, on such and such dates. If there was more than one paddling in a day to the same child you will need to show it. Example, child X, date, 2 times. You should have it to me by Monday morning September 28th at the latest.  You want to play hardball with 5 year olds? Fine, now you can play hardball with me. Let’s see who’s got the bigger paddle.

Sincerely,
Amanda

P.S.
In response to your email that if the board did not approve my transfer
I would need to return my children to your school at that time, it will
never happen and you are barking up the wrong tree if you think it will!
(end of letter)
Editor’s Note:
Amanda speaking: Just so you know my request for their corporal punishment records was completely ignored until I sent them a certified letter and then all I got was the number of incidences per year, per school which didn’t match what they had reported to the Dept. of Education, they were much much HIGHER! Yes well, they are not the smartest educators on the block either are they?

Editor’s Note: I discovered that she wrote an additional letter to the
editor of a man who assaulted students at the local secondary school. This
was what she called, “The straw that broke the cammel’s back.” After this
incident, she moved back to Texas to a school district that doesn’t dish
it out.

To the Editor,

After reading the comments posted online at TodaysTHV.com this week
regarding the incident of assault at Mountain View School by a volunteer
music instructor, I was utterly appalled. That there are so many people
in this community who supported the comments and I quote, “feel sorry
for the instructor” “he did a good job” “some of the kids I’ve seen at schools need to be smacked”, “ashamed that their kids are so unworthy” is nothing short of despicable.

To even suggest that a child should be held responsible for an adult’s
violent behavior toward them is positively obscene and yet it is this mentality the school district undeniably supports and endorses every
time it allows their principals to carry out an act of violence in the disguised form of disciplinary corporal punishment.

As a mother of 3 elementary students, I have no respect for anyone who
would beat a child – period, much less with an archaic barbaric wooden
instrument of torture called a ‘paddle’. That this is still happening anywhere in any school defies all decency and those that support its use are blatantly supporting child abuse. Just the fact alone that in 30 states and 21 countries this type of behavior will land you in jail speaks for itself. If anyone else is responsible for what happened last week it is this school system’s imbecilic support of violence against children and not the children’s supposedly unruly behavior.

For those of you who will comment back to me quoting the proverbial
“spare the rod” verse out of the Bible, don’t bother; it wouldn’t take me five minutes to find a religious text to justify anything – including murder.

Facts stand that corporal punishment is damaging to children and anyone who uses it is committing an act of savage premeditated violence. If you must comment, please show me the documented evidence that corporal
punishment in schools is beneficial to children. Go ahead and try to find some because there isn’t enough room in this entire newspaper to quote the number of legitimate studies that evidence the numerous negative and debilitating lifelong effects the children who endure such humiliation may suffer.

Amanda

To join the growing number of enlightened people against corporal
punishment in schools please email stopschoolpaddling@gmail.com.

Submitted on 3/29/2010 to Stone County Leader as a Letter to the
Editor by its writer, Amanda,  mother of three
children that attend Timbo Elementary

Sincerely,
Amanda