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Alabama Should Move In The Right Direction


Huntsville, Ala., City Schools Ban Corporal Punishment, State Not Likely
to Follow
By Pamela Gifford

The Hunstville, Ala., City School Board unanimously approved the
elimination of the corporal punishment policy during their meeting on Aug.
18. There was no discussion or debate on the matter. This is a rarity in a
state that, as of 2008, was ranked No. 1 in the nation for number of
students paddled.
The United States is one of the few nations in the world which still allow corporal punishment in schools. More than half the states in the nation have made paddlings illegal. Just as recently as April, New Mexico’s
governor signed a bill that banned corporal punishment in her state.
“The decision on whether or not to use corporal punishment on a child is
one that is best left to a parent,” Gov. Susana Martinez said. While
paddling is legal in Alabama, the State Board of Education leaves the
decision in the hands of the individual school districts.
While many school districts have adopted a change of policy to disallow corporal punishment, many others haven’t even considered it an option. On the state level, Governor Robert Bentley and Mary Scott Hunter, both who serve on the Alabama State Board of Education, were contacted about their thoughts on the topic. Neither has responded. However, State Senator Shadrack McGill, stated that he wasn’t sure if a ban would come up in legislation. When asked if he would support such a bill, he had this to
say: “The Bible is very clear concerning corporal punishment… Discipline
and spankings are a training tool for teachers who raise my child 40 hours
per week in my absence, however there are limits and I do believe that you
can go too far.” And one Alabama teacher allegedly did go too far last
year. A 7th grader at Plainview High School in Rainsville, Alabama came
home with bruises after a teacher paddled him for not making a good grade.
The mother is currently suing Superintendent Charles Warren of the DeKalb County School District, Plainview Principal Ronald Bell, and Stuart
Mitchell, the teacher who administered the paddling. These instances of extremity are rare but it leaves a lot of parents wondering if the possibility of their child having an overly aggressive teacher is worth allowing schools to continue corporal punishment. Even children as young as 5 are subjected to school paddlings.
The sides of the debate are clear. Many people in Alabama believe in the same Bible philosophy that Senator McGill does. “Spare the rod, spoil the child” is a heavily leaned on concept and is why many school districts in the state still allow paddling. Many people believe that disallowing corporal punishment in schools leads to loss of authority and increased student violence.
On the other side of the debate are those who are outraged that taking a board to an animal, in the same manner a child would be paddled, would be illegal animal cruelty. Those against corporal punishment say that it makes a child more aggressive. Children are more effectively disciplined when they aren’t scared into submission.
And then there is the middle ground where the parent actually believes in spanking but fears instances like what allegedly happened at Plainville High School. Parental choice on this matter in Alabama is non-existent. If the school allows paddling, the school is under no legal obligation to notify the parent and that leaves many parents concerned.


This is Renee of Teacherswhopaddle, who you LOVE to hate. Hey, I don’t hate you -I just think you are seriously misguided as to the
vitriol you spew at me and the others at TWP. As to the nutjob teacher at
Plainview, Alabama –That unmerited paddling would be the last he EVER gave if I were the principal. (Careful “Rev.”…Don’t hit the floor TOO hard in
You mentioned “the middle road” which I actually am mostly in myself. While I lean pro with moderate application of c.p. for elementary
students, I also favor opt outs for parents opposed. Where we differ is
that I believe in elected school boards making school discipline policy
whereas you prefer state and federal professional politicians making those
policies. You probably hate this too but I believe in parents and
educators working together for the educational progress of all children.
Our differences couldn’t be more clear: Your top-down, centralized
state-knows-best vs. my belief in a bottom-up community centric and
parent-teacher driven education management.
Like night and day…


Hi. Renee, how’s the petite redhead?
I say you hate me, and you say I hate you. We probably wouldn’t get
anywhere with such an exchange. Even though I don’t think we have tingly
feelings for each other. You call the teacher at Plainview a nut-job. What
do you call a teacher who did this to a child? “I did not hold back as I
usually do and held the paddle with both hands. I then proceeded to
deliver 5 hard swats to the thin looking dress slack. Nashia REALLY
deserved this one! Nashia, the roughest girl in the school was reduced to
tears and clutching her rear as she was sent back to her class.” This
educator could have injured this child just like the child in Alabama was
injured. It’s hard for me to believe you would have any concern for the
kid in Alabama.
Have you seen the movie, The Help? My wife read the book, and said it was better than the movie. That’s been my experience, the book is always more intriguing. The movie is about the filthy rich in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960’s, and the help they hired to help their family. They were African American women, of course. Many times the help were treated like they were sub-human. I’m old enough to remember when separate but equal laws were in full force. In public places you could see, water fountains and restrooms designated for black folk. Signs hung over these areas which read colored.
That’s humiliating. I also remember the debate if Federal Civil Rights
legislation ought to be passed, giving all people equal rights? Many
thought it was a local matter. The feds should leave us alone was the
prevailing attitude. People were mean and hateful towards blacks. Do you
think the Federal Government should have passed Civil Rights legislation
to help African Americans and other people of color? In my opinion
paddling kids is no different than denying someone their civil rights.
This would make a good point of debate for us. We should have a face to
face debate and put it on the second most popular site on the internet,
YouTube. Face-Book is the most popular. Through the organizations I work
with, The Hitting Stops Here! and Unlimited Justice, we can set up a
debate from anywhere.
You say you are moderate. So you say you travel the middle road on some social issues. Which ones, gay rights? abortion rights? Which ones? It’s hard for me to believe you are A moderate. On your blog, you suggested to your readers to take up the book—Going Rogue: An American Life by Sarah Palin. First of all, Sarah Palin is nothing more than a political
opportunist. Second, she is as far to the right as you can get on every
social issue facing America. Renee, you’re the same way. Tell me an issue
you are not to the extreme right on.
The biggest difference between you and I is not how we see government intervention, but on our concepts of justice and fairness. I agree are differences are like, “Night and day.” There is nothing fair or just about educators beating kids on the backside with a cheap piece of wood. Let’s debate this thing face to face. I concur with Gov. Susana Martinez, a
brave woman, “The decision on whether or not to use corporal punishment on a child is one that is best left to a parent.” The ways of Jesus and
Christian teaching–it should only be in the hands of parents. Take the
Bible literally–I think it teaches a parent should only spank a child.

The article written a couple months ago by Ann Work about Assistant Principal Darrell Frazier spanking two seventeen-year old-girls has circulated all over the Internet and ended up in many newspapers in America. What do most Americans think of a man like
Recent polls indicate close to 70 percent of the American population
opposes corporal punishment in schools. I’m a longtime opponent of school
corporal punishment. I could write volumes on why I think school corporal
punishment is nothing but a primitive, barbaric way of disciplining
children and needs to come to an end in our great nation. The most
disgusting thing about school corporal punishment is these creepy men like
Frazier who get behind a closed door with a teenage girl, tell her to bend
over, and expose her backside in a vulnerable way so he can spank her.
There is nothing wholesome, good or Christian about this practice. It humiliates girls, shames them. Many girls who have fallen victim to a
school paddling can’t think about the incident without crying. As an adult
it’s no different, tears flair when the bad memory is recalled. I don’t
get it. Why would an educator want to be remembered in such a negative
way? I challenge Frazier to debate us over his practice of spanking girls.
Through the organizations I work with, The Hitting Stops Here! and
Unlimited Justice, we can set up a debate from anywhere. I’ve challenged
scores of educators who paddle to debate us. Not a one has accepted our
challenge. They are too big of cowards to debate us. All arguments to keep
corporal punishment alive are intellectually bankrupt. Educators who
paddle know this is true. That’s why they refuse to debate us.


Point well taken from our last exchange. However, my point still stands.
If anything, an opt in policy allows the greater protection to everyone.
Opt Out policies opens a school district to negative press, if not a
lawsuit. I understand shield laws as well, but it encourages paddling to
continue without thought of repercussion, may I add that this goes for
adults too I.E Jessica Serafin? If a paddler has been found to abuse a
child and/or adult, they should be brought to justice rather than the duck
and dodge game they play concerning shield laws. I can recall in a post
you agree with the court’s ruling concerning Serafin’s claims, why is
that? May you reminded that she was a legal adult. Able to do the
following without anyone’s permission.
Get Married
Drive a car
Participate in pornographic movies
Fight and die for our country at war
She is even able to do this (Something I hope to do in my lifetime)

It does raise a couple questions though. First, if She was able to be
beaten as an adult, what’s not stopping anyone else from taking up this
right too? You know what I mean, there are too many unruly college
students out there and a little tap on the bum will teach them a good
lesson. Also, rather than writing up a student if they cheated on an exam
or paper, which there are many temptations due to the fact you can hire
people to write your paper, I bet if you put that you will be paddled 3
times with a wooden board, that will keep academic integrity in check.
How about bosses, you know there are teenagers who may not be adults,
according to you who come in late or who goof off, but a smack on the
bottom will keep production working. You may think, why not just fire
them? Well, it’s probably because our economy is in a bad position that
companies cannot hire new workers. So, my point still stands, smacking
lazy and later teenagers and adults at work by there bosses will make sure
the interests of the company are running smoothly.
As for your claim of state and local issue, I would have to concur with Wade. Segregation of school children was championed around the same concept you are for. If this is the case, should the Federal Government
have pushed its way through judicial activism to Integrate schools?
For more proof here, states that were staunchly in support of segregation attempt to nullify such court rulings and laws because the states felt that they were unconstitutional. The courts once again put that argument to bed. What about the curriculum of science classes? The teaching of creation science in public schools is championed by the same concept that it was the will of the community. This was true in times of the 1960s when an Arkansas statute prohibiting the teaching of the Theory of Evolution was challenged. The lawyers for the state of Arkansas did not bring up evidence, rather, they brought up the idea of local control and the wishes of the community. The court did not buy it and struck down the Arkansas statute.
You finally did not address my point of slavery and the fact that our
founding documents did not talk about slavery and our Founding Fathers did not discuss slavery anywhere. The only place you see slavery discovered in our founding documents is the 13th amendment radified after the Civil War. The same war that was fought due to the argument of who had more power, the states or union. The main reason our constitution was neutral on slavery was to protect the unity of the very young nation.
So, what’s my point. If we take your idea seriously, it would yield for
most reasonable persons, very strange answers. Also, when the safety of
children is put up before congress, it is everyone’s responsibility,
including the Federal Government. The states have been doing a very ppor
job of protecting children, rather, the states puts forth hoops that
families need to jump through and for the most part, they lose. The abuser
comes out the winner, once again, I invoke Serafin, the Chanceys, Memphis
Academy for Health Sciences, etc.
Finally, I have a very simple question. I do agree that politicians may
not be the most qualified on education issues and that is a discussion we
can have. My question for you though in like manner is: What makes you qualified to administer corporal punishment on school
children although you have admitted to having no formal training on how to
administer such punishment properly? Your response is greatly appreciated.

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