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Should paddling be allowed in schools?

In an era when students talk back to teachers, skip class and wear ever-more-risque clothing to school, one central Texas city has hit upon a deceptively simple solution: Bring back the paddle. Read the full article.

By Jodi Westrick  |  April 16, 2010; 10:24 AM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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After the completely heinous behavior I have heard about in DC schools from this very newspaper, I'd say it's high time they instituted paddling in DC schools too!!!

Posted by: johnsmith8 | April 16, 2010 12:29 PM

Paddling? How about this question. Should adults be able to hit children with a board? If you called hamburger ground up dead cow, nobody would buy it. Paddling-No, it's adults hitting children!

Posted by: tgarahan | April 16, 2010 12:48 PM

The research on corporal punishment strongly suggests that it is ineffective. It sends a bad message to students about using violence to solve problems, and it has the potential to be traumatizing (or in the case of children with behavior problems who have experienced past trauma, it can also be retraumatizing). We can do better.

Posted by: poppycock | April 16, 2010 12:50 PM


Posted by: Dawny_Chambers | April 16, 2010 1:02 PM

Since the story admits that students with disabilities receive this barbaric punishment the most often, I'm glad the ACLU is all over this.

Spanking does not create respect for authority, but rather fear and hatred of the same.

Posted by: rousch15 | April 16, 2010 1:48 PM

when i was growing up paddeling was allowed and the neiborhood i grew up in everyone knew everyone when there was trouble at school the neiborhood knew before the last bell lol kids had a margin of respect because if you messed up in school you got spanked as well as home. i think personaly when there was paddeling at school kids grew up diffrently now parents are scared to disiplin there kids because they bthink its morely wroungt plus these dumb ass laws i say bring it back and youl see the diffrence

Posted by: mrmoore1971 | April 16, 2010 3:20 PM

im a young grandfather as well as a young father i could learn alot here remember people its just my opinion

Posted by: mrmoore1971 | April 16, 2010 3:23 PM

Paddling is too juvenile a term. "Beat-down" is more appropro for most D.C. teens. Only difference from back in the day is now the parents or single Mom of the thug or thugette will attempt to do likewise to the teacher. Return to the thrilling days of yesteryear and bring back corporal punishment - there are enough school police to administer it in D.C...

Posted by: rickdubose | April 16, 2010 3:25 PM

I am apalled by the poll results thus far. Seriously?! who are you people?! my son was in a school where the teacher actually told us that we don't punish our son enough and that's why he was acting out. Just so we're clear, my son is on the Autism Spectrum. We have since pulled him out of that school and he is doing very well in a progressive school where he is challenged and has been skipped a grade ahead because he is so bright. That first teacher would have paddled him for sure if anyone'd been stupid enough to give her permission. How about, instead of beating our kids, we take a minute or two and actually PARENT them. Thanks, Texas, one more reason I support your secession.

Posted by: dooley7477 | April 16, 2010 3:38 PM

The year that we took out paddling in schools or the paddling that we as parents got taken away in public is when the kids of today decided no more being respectful to any authority figure and thats why the shootings happen and the suicide rate and crime rate of young kids. It's going to get worse if we don't start making these kids understand that you have got to be good kids to grow up to be good law abiding citizens. We had 4 kids and we DID believe in spanking. And if they got paddled at school, they got it at home also.

Posted by: 524kat | April 16, 2010 3:38 PM

Incidentally, Mr. Moore, paddlin' didn't do nothin' for your learnin'. When a well- paddled child can spell and use proper grammar I'll jump on that band wagon.

Posted by: dooley7477 | April 16, 2010 3:40 PM

Why would paddling be allowed in schools and not in homes? That would be ludacris. I still believe that it takes a village to raise a child, if we all get back to helping eazh other and stop letting these things that are made to be okay be oksy. I do not want to offend anyone, but things that were not tolorated ten years ago or more are okay today, why?

Posted by: mchenay | April 16, 2010 3:43 PM

No - are you guys all whack jobs? It sends a terrible message to students - that it's OK for those in authority to deal corporal punishment. Why don't we give adult offenders 30 lashes at the pillory anymore? - Because it degrades humankind, punishers and punishees alike.
That's the same sort of "justice" system our forebears came here to escape.
As a parent I think there's only one time when kids deserve corporal punishment (and only from their parents) and that's when they themselves are being violent - either to people, pets, or property.

Posted by: brianbelske | April 16, 2010 3:45 PM

Oh, right, we should beat our children so that they don't commit suicide. Yes, I've always heard that an abused child is a happy child. Wasn't that on a bumper sticker? Read a book, people.

Posted by: dooley7477 | April 16, 2010 3:45 PM

MRMOORE71 I totally agree with you. We grew up in the 60's and 70's and I truly respected my parents and would never ever sass them or embarrass them by being bad and because I knew, and I did! get the strong loving swat.You don't have to "Hit" your children but I do know that with my own experience, you can train up a respectful child to become a very good person. Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child!

Posted by: 524kat | April 16, 2010 3:45 PM

Under certain restrictions, paddling can be effective and I don't think the proper stipulations would be followed.

If paddling were consistent, powerful and deserved, it could work and if paddling works, it would only have to be done one time. If any child is hit more than one time, it isn't working and that is not the proper form of discipline for that child.

Some students may profit from a little fear and respect but it ceases to be fear and respect and turns into anger if it is repeated and undeserved. This is a tricky problem and concern.

I don't think the solution is all or none. There should be some balance and the U.S. educational system has fallen too far to one extreme or another. Balance and consistency please!

Posted by: shimpainai | April 16, 2010 3:46 PM

Thanks, Brian. Nice to not feel crazy on this side of the argument.

Posted by: dooley7477 | April 16, 2010 3:47 PM

DOOLEY! What kind of parent beats their child? Have you not heard of spanking for the love of the child? Spanking and beating are 2 different words. Look it up and read Dr. Dobson

Posted by: 524kat | April 16, 2010 3:48 PM

If you take a moment to look back when paddle was allowed in schools , you didn't hear of shootings, stabing, in the school camps or even hitting a teacher. As I can remember it was inbarrassment to find out that every one in school knew you got a paddle and that's just what these kids now days need. But the goverment has spoiled them with (you can't ) I will call cps on you......

Posted by: wizardsleeplesssback | April 16, 2010 3:48 PM

I always hear kids arent like they use to be, I think people really need to hear that phase. I think something needs to change some how. Because whats being done isnt working. I certainly dont believe in hurting a child . We are smart People , We TAKE CLASSES FOR EVERYTHING ELSE , COULD'NT WE put in to place a PROPER or in proper why to paddle?

Posted by: seemoore | April 16, 2010 4:16 PM

DOOLEY...beating and spanking are two different terms. My kids don't act up because they know I will spank them. Anywhere they do act up. Maybe that is why my children are well behaved. I was spanked (I call it a whoopin' actually) when I was a kid. When I was in school, I got paddled from time to time. Not beaten by an authority figure. Its life. You and your idiotic ideas that spanking or paddling a child is what is is wrong with children today. If you dont agree that back in the day, when paddling was allowed, we had much less (if hardly any) shootings, stabbings, or teachers being hit by students. It just didnt happen from fear of a paddle. Or otherwise. So get your head out of the clouds and toughen up.

Posted by: MM3JUGHEAD | April 16, 2010 4:18 PM

And Brian, you wrote, "As a parent I think there's only one time when kids deserve corporal punishment (and only from their parents) and that's when they themselves are being violent - either to people, pets, or property." Why not stealing? Why not drugs? Why only those things. Dont differentiate. What's wrong is wrong. Period. A felony is a felony. A crime is a crime.

Posted by: MM3JUGHEAD | April 16, 2010 4:22 PM

A few years back, my daughter threatened to call CPS after I had spanked her... I told her "Go ahead! I will eventually get out of jail early for good behavior, but YOU will never get out of foster care because you behave so badly."

She never called them, and her behavior improved significantly.

Posted by: GrannyV | April 16, 2010 4:29 PM

It always amazes me when people say that spanking and beating are the same thing! My parents were spanked, I was spanked and I spank my children. (My parents are both professionals and "well adjusted" and I am a professional and "well adjusted") I do not beat my children when they are spanked! I send them to their room to think about what they have done wrong and then talk to them about it and then spank them as punishment. (Usually they don't even have a red mark on their butt!)Punishment is not bad! For those of you out there who say that it will damage or harm the child emotionally, realize that all this psychology crap is cyclical! There is now research that "time-outs" can be more damaging to a child because you are removing them from people and "shunning" them instead of the behavior! Honestly I don't care how people discipline their kids as long as they are doing it!

Posted by: cru75 | April 16, 2010 4:35 PM

That poll is unbelieveable. Yay, it's so wonderful to see that there are so many scumbags just itching to smack around children. Disgusting.

Posted by: ebm1 | April 16, 2010 4:38 PM

Threats of violence may act as a deterrent to bad behaviour, but ultimately it is a negative social interaction that will have negative social development consequences for both the punisher, and the those they punish.

I'd like to know what type of person actually wants to hit or inflict pain, of any sort, on any living being.

I know that our society has more effective ways to incentivize good behavior. Because the real goal afterall is to incent order and provide and environment in which we can thrive.

Posted by: dhlopak | April 16, 2010 4:42 PM

Don't people do research before making such critical decisions??? The Official Journal of American Pediatrics has scientifically shown that spanking children has a high risk of creating aggressive behavior in the children being spanked. How can anyone think that correcting bad behavior can be accomplished by administering bad behavior? When is hitting someone acceptable? Is it acceptable to hit your husband or wife because they've done something wrong or something you don't agree with? Of course not, instead you could be arrested for such behavior. So how can anyone think it's acceptable to hit a child??? If enacted we will be creating an even bigger problem by raising aggressive children. I am appalled!!!

Article by Official Journal of American Pediatrics:

Posted by: lisashere | April 16, 2010 4:43 PM

Research? I don't need no stinkin' research! I have personally thanked my parents for each and every "spanking" I got! Those spankings made me think twice (and sometimes thrice) before diving headfirst into questionable behavior, and saved me from a world of hurt in the long run.

Posted by: GrannyV | April 16, 2010 4:55 PM

The Official Journal of American Pediatrics is written by a bunch of well to do social dimwits. Spanking is not administering bad behavior. It is administering a result from a bad behavior. And to EBM1's post, no one said smacking around children. We are speaking of addling or spanking. Beating and smacking around as you so ignorantly put it, are two completely different things.

Posted by: MM3JUGHEAD | April 16, 2010 4:55 PM

AMEN grannyV! Amen...and to CRU75 too...

Posted by: MM3JUGHEAD | April 16, 2010 4:57 PM

I have sit here and read all the comments. I have seem people who are worried about scaring children, people claim that paddling is beating a child, the emotional damage done, etc. Most I would bet do not have children. I watched a child once at a fast run head butt his mom in the stomach, her reply was "that was a bad decision", he is in prison now. I saw a little boy hit another little boy, his mother said "that was wrong, tell him you are sorry", and I have seen a lot of similar things. The Pedeatric Association is made up of men, like Dr. Spock who talk to children but don't have any of their own.
I discplined my children, I did not beat my children, I raised them to say "yes, no, and Thank you". I now have 3 very professional children. Was it because I "beat" my children, no it was because I loved my children. I did not expect them to understand adult reasoning when they were small, I did not give them equality in the relationship that I was the parent in.
Stop and think about it. As a teacher I would not hesitate to send a student to the principal for a swat. I think that we give to much to the pyscho babble. Read the bible, it tells you how to raise your child. Parents should be parents not the teacher. I love my students and I have respect of my students. But they know I am the adult in the relationship. I treat them with respect and I get it back. I do not believe in beating, but I do believe in spanking. My son walks through Sams now with his hands at his side because I asked him several times to stop touching things, I warned him of the punishment, he tested the waters and I spanked him right there in the store. He never touched things in ANY store again without permission. Did I beat him no, did I embarrass him, yes. Does he love me, Yes, Would I walk through fire for him, yes. I would give my life for my children, but they learned love, respect, and right from wrong at an early age.

Posted by: morrisondo2 | April 16, 2010 5:31 PM

I'm a young high school teacher, and I voted yes on the poll. Am I "scumbag" who is just itching to get out and hit some children? Of course not! I would love never to have to discipline a student in any way. But some of these kids get absolutely no sense of respect, decency or accountability at home. You have no idea what kind of abuse and disrespect modern teachers get from kids every single day. These theories about praise/reward only work for some students. And frankly, with most of the rest this just leaves them feeling entitles to receiving prizes or praise for behaving themselves decently, which they should already be doing in the first place! I had a student who would shout obscenities at me every day. He'd get in school suspension, and the next time he was in class he'd be in my face again. Maybe if there had been other discipline options, it would have been different.

Posted by: sfaber83 | April 16, 2010 5:37 PM

Yeah, it's about time, paddling be allowed in schools is introduced by the demanding parents! Today, the kids in schools are spoiled, bad behaviors, so on... In my old time, my classmates, friends and my family became so well behavior with conscience rather than these kids today! I'm supporting to bring the corporal punishment with good reasons back. Use it right way, not abuse! The kids will grow up great and better in their life in the future! I am so glad I grew up a good person! I'm sad for my current friends' kids are being spoiled, etc as you name!

Don't believe the research because they are not good enough to help the kids enough!! Old time is the best answer for these spoiled kids today!

Posted by: anegron50 | April 16, 2010 5:39 PM

would someone explain whysince all of the psycologist and atheist have decided that corporal punishment is wrongfor children,convicts or anybody that misbehaves,society as a whole has deteriorated

Posted by: jdharwell85 | April 16, 2010 5:40 PM

Paddling is NOT beating. It is about accountability and accountability is what kids need but rarely receive. Making good decisions as adults begin when? When you are children. I was held accountable and learned to make good decisions because a punishment for my behavior was administered swiftly and's the acid test...I'm 44 and got paddled regularly for being the class clown growing up. I turned out just fine along with ALL of you that received that type of punishment!! Paddling is holding children accountable folks...don't let the kids on this forum kid you...they just don't want to be held accountable!! lol. In fact, most adults don't want to be either but they live with the consequences of their actions should children.

Posted by: Changeup | April 16, 2010 6:18 PM

Speaking as a parent of a child with behavioral problems I am in agreement with the paddling in the schools. My wife and I have had numerous counselors for our son and done all of the "reward good behavior, punish bad" and now all we get from our 12 year old son is disrespect and comments like "If you touch me I will call the cops, so screw you". When I was a child if I would of said that my hide would of been tanned. But now in todays society everyone has become scared to discipline their kids because social services will come into your home and threaten you with jail and take your kids. In our case, our son told his councelor that I had hit him and social services was called. They came to our house and threatened to take not only him but our two younger kids too. Then during their investigation it came out that he lied because I took his TV away from him. Now the government wants to tie our hands even further. I feel that if we went back to disciplining our children the way we were then they will start learning the respect again that we all learned. And if that means that my son gets spanked in school because he cussed out a teacher then let him get spanked. They must learn that there are consequences for their actions and just telling them its wrong and sending them home for a few days doesn't work, primarily because their parents are not allowed to discipline them any other way either. Draw back the reigns of social services and let society take back their lives and kids.

Posted by: silvereagle1 | April 16, 2010 6:41 PM

I don't condone any type of abuse especially physical, I grew up in a disfunctional family,it would be a show to be on Ophra, but I don't want to tell people my life story and air my dirty laundry to the world, but I had to watch my sibling get beaten every day and he was only 4 by a sick and physco step mother, while my father claims he didn't know what was going on, of course he did, this was back in 1962. My brother recently passed away and had counseling over 20 years, so again I am totally against hitting of any kind, it causes all sorts of drama,low self esteem,self conconcious about yourself, learning disabilities. We were only a year and 1/2 apart, I am 54 now and I will never forget my terrible childhood, I would never want to go back to that age, it was for 4 years she was there but it seemed like a life time when you think your in hell and there is noway out.

Posted by: morningdove | April 16, 2010 8:09 PM

I greatly agree with you DHLOPAK, and by the way I have 1 son 22 and he turned out wonderful and he was never hit. Would you like to be hit it hurts, I wouldn't, like he said would you like your husband or wife hitting you of course not, but its ok to hit a child, well the ones that do remember what comes around goes around I truly believe that. If you are religious remember if you do hit your children or anyone elses you are not going to heaven remember that.

Posted by: morningdove | April 16, 2010 8:36 PM

My parents spanked me until I was 6 when I misbehaved, and then didn't have to after that point. We got "licks" at school until 12th grade, mostly from pushing the limits with our coaches, and in athletics, we were considered wimps if we didn't yank some coaches chain hard enough to get paddled at least once a year. We used the same method that our parents did on our kids, and they are 19 and 16, and we have no discipline problems. In fact they THANKED us for being strict with them when they were little because they saw lots of kids with no self control, no manners, and no self respect in high school.

When confronted with an out of control 3 year old in a busy parking lot, I usually chose to administer the kid a swat on the butt over the very real danger of having her run off in a tantrum and get hit by a car. Spanking doesn't work if you use it in every situation but is effective when you need to get a kid's attention to keep them safe. Discipline in any reasonable form is used in parenting, while those adults who want to be their kids friends, and never impose limits or punishments condemn them to life long adolescence. They never grow up.

Posted by: Jack68 | April 16, 2010 8:42 PM

I grew up and went to school in Plano TX (suburb of Dallas). Very upscale, progressive fastest growing city in America for years running. And they were hitting kids with boards, calling it spanking in our schools. And it was awful. Mostly boys, and mostly done by coaches in gym class who were sadistic b@st#rds. My parents never even knew they did this, and to this day, my Mom denies it even went/goes on. Oh, come on, they would never actually hurt a kid. Wake up. There were kids with horrendous bruises all over their legs, butts. Can you imagine, they miss and hit them in the back, or the kid flinches, and ends up with life long problems. The only person who I would ever allow to "spank" my child would be me, and thanks to my life lesson I learned in Plano schools, I would never do it. They taught me well who has the "real" problem. You have to beat, and yea, hitting someone with a board is beating, respect out of people then who has the problem? Amazing that we are even discussing this in America today.

Posted by: rebecca18 | April 16, 2010 8:54 PM

You people that are against spanking need to get off your high horse. There is a difference in spanking and beating or hitting. You might change your mind about this issue if you had to spend one day in my classroom. Students know there are absolutely no consequences for bad behavior. "OOOOOHHHH, time out, I am so upset!!!!" It is such a joke. You morons are also the bleeding hearts that put Obama in office. Let's just hope we survive. Oh, and Dooley7477, I guess it is time for you to jump on the bandwagon. I am a well-paddled child. I can spell and use proper grammar. Jump.

Posted by: bobcat65 | April 16, 2010 9:11 PM

You know what I can't stand is that when sicko people use the excuse well I beat my son to death because I was beaten as a child, well not all, I believe myself I am more compassionate about children because I had to watch so much abuse when I was a child and adults that were out of control and they were nuts. I would say to myself I will never to that to my child because I didn't like it so why would I do that to anyone. I think it can be worse if this strange person who is not your mother comes into your life then makes you watch your brother get beaten and says laugh was very difficult growing up, yes we did have a lot of emotional problems but I survived somehow not doing well in school couldn't concentrate so stayed back in 1st and 2nd grade, but when she left me and my siblings were free, we could breath and we were so hyper and nervous, I am still a hyper and nervous person today but my brother had it the worst of all, he ended up an alcholic but never hit his own children because he was beaten as a child. What a sad childhood we had, I hear horror stories of childrens lives but when you are a child going through what your going through yours always seems the worst. I will say with age it diminishes, but things crop up, I don't like authority figures,I think everyone is out to get me. I am paranoid of a lot of things, I am terrified of lightening and thunder and very insecure person, but I am well liked, I have a nice personality and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I love children and animals very much. I don't like any adults that I know abused their children when they were younger. Unfortunately some of these may rubbed off on my son but I was very conscious of myself so I was very careful so he would not have all the emotional problems I did, because he had a normal home life who was loved very much.

Posted by: morningdove | April 16, 2010 9:17 PM

Proverbs 23: 13-14
"13 Do not hold back discipline from the mere boy. In case you beat him with the rod, he will not die. 14 With the rod you yourself should beat him, that you may deliver his very soul from She´ol itself."

In life there are rewards for good behaviour and punishment for bad. Slaps on the wrist just don't cut it. Those of you who think otherwise will very possibly be brining up future bullies and downright criminals. We are not talking torture here folks, just good old fashioned spankings that work wonders.

Posted by: mlee_usa1 | April 16, 2010 9:31 PM

someone tell me WHAT is "the better way" that's floating around out there?
As a teacher I do not care HOW your child treats and talks to you at home, the fact of the matter is that they are not at home anymore when they walk into my classroom and I am NOT their mother. The Solution to this is that parents need to use whatever methods they choose to use at home to ensure that their child's behavior will not result in a paddling at school. And to to think I voted for OBAMA!!!!!! We have more in common than you are being led to believe! :-)

Posted by: tlachelle28 | April 16, 2010 9:48 PM

The big word here is "discernment." I personally don't mind if schools go back to spanking students. There are plenty of children out there who wouldn't be where they're at if someone had showed a little "tough love". Spanking should not consist of a "runaway slave beat down" but children need to know who's in charge. And while not all students need to be spanked because "one time" of explanation is enough there are others who need more of a incentive to do the right thing,that's where teachers with discernment and compassion come in.While no parent or gaurdian likes the idea of spanking their child it definitely is needed to keep order. As far as the U.S. government getting involved in this is absurd. they have no Constitutional right to get involved, as the framers intended for issues such as these to be handled at the local and state levels. if the parents of this school system have voted to do this to see if this will help with problem children, then so be it, that is their right. And, since according to the article, this is a Christian town, they have a Biblical responsibility to not spare the rod.

Posted by: marlaeggar | April 16, 2010 9:53 PM

jack68, I know back then people didn't believe their kids, its so sad, if only we could have had someone to go to back then. today this women would be in prison for what she did to us and social services would have stepped in, but would foster care back then been any better, that could have been worse, who knows.

Posted by: morningdove | April 16, 2010 9:55 PM

As a parent, I am amazed that the paddling of your child would ever be considered or thought of. What has happened to parents taking responsibilty to the rearing of their own children. I see posts written that some say that the children these days are disrespectful and need the discipline. I know as growing up we were to be respectful to our elders and to honour our parents, but one must present themselves honourable to their children that they don't provoke their children, but be examples to them. As a christian I believe the importance of rearing our children in the Lord that they become disciples of Christ and not of men. Most children are disrespectful because they don't receive the proper guidance. Many parents never give their kids the attention that is required, to let them know that we are listening and to assure them that we love them, that we'll be there for them at their time of need. Children of today carry to many burdens, especially from their parents. Often people ask God why events such as this happens in schools. I wonder if his answer would be because I am no longer wanted there....just a thought!

Posted by: PICASSO808 | April 16, 2010 10:27 PM

Spare the rod and you spoil the child! This counting crap does not work. My father only had to shoot me a dirty look to get me to stop acting like a fool. I can only recall 1 time that he spanked me and that was enough. I got spanked not abused. To the person who asked who are all of these people voting for paddling, I can say this "We appear to be the majority"! Kids today suck and it because they are not being disciplined as they should be. The laws have taking away the teeth of the parents and schools to properly raise their children to be obedient and respectful. All you have to do is look at what has happened to the youth of America after all of the "spanking is bad" b.s. came about. In my opinion some of the parents need to be spanked for allowing their children to act the way they do. I got paddled at school and when I got home my mother spanked me again for getting paddled at school! That is good follow up reinforcement. It does not take a village to raise a child only good parenting skills and tools. You keep your nose out of how I raise my kids and I will not spank you! I will give any school that my children attend permission to spank my kids! It should be up to the parents!

Posted by: tx_warmachine | April 16, 2010 10:36 PM

Made a mistake not replying to jack68 wrong one, was replying to REBECCA18

Posted by: morningdove | April 16, 2010 10:49 PM

I think you people that condone spanking are using an easy way out, that just puts fear into them, I never had to spank my son he was an angel but I was always giving him my attention, always read to him, what could a child do that bad that warrants a spanking? Do you spank your cat if it claws your screens? There are better ways, what age are we talking about here, when they are toddlers or teenagers? you just take away something they really want, like they can't go to the dance or use the car because they were suppose to be home at 11 o'clock not 3 in the morning, you don't hit or spank them. And for the toddler you just train them not to use crayons on the wall, you keep giving them paper to draw on, even if you have to do it over and over again, it will sink in eventually. You have to have a lot of patience.

Posted by: morningdove | April 16, 2010 11:11 PM

Why stop with the kids? Paddle the parents, too.

Posted by: DavidH3 | April 17, 2010 12:01 AM

Most kids grow up just fine with or without paddling. It's a matter of patience and willingness to take the time with your kid if you choose not to paddle. It doesn't do irreparable harm to paddle, if in every other way you are a loving and caring parent, but the most recent research into consequences does show there is an increased rate of aggression in kids who get paddled.

I don't paddle my kids. They're growing up just fine. I think people who think they must paddle their kids should agree to be paddled themselves when they misbehave. As we all do from time to time.

Posted by: DavidH3 | April 17, 2010 12:09 AM

I wonder how these pro-paddling folks would feel if the technique was also used on adults? How about from now on when their parking meter has expired or they're late paying a utility bill or they let their grass get higher than the neighborhood allows, they get a visit from a guy with a paddle? I bet speeders who are paddled on the side of the road would be much less likely to speed again. So clearly it must be a great idea. Right?

Posted by: JimC2 | April 17, 2010 12:20 AM

" In an era when students talk back to teachers, skip class and wear ever-more-risque clothing to school, one central Texas city has hit upon a deceptively simple solution: Bring back the paddle. "

Suspend students who verbally abuse teachers, fine parents if their kid(s) skip classes and give students zeros for days missed, send students home if they wear inappropriate clothing, but the paddle, no, physical punishment has no place in this nation's schools.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | April 17, 2010 12:24 AM

"I wonder how these pro-paddling folks would feel if the technique was also used on adults? How about from now on when their parking meter has expired or they're late paying a utility bill or they let their grass get higher than the neighborhood allows, they get a visit from a guy with a paddle? I bet speeders who are paddled on the side of the road would be much less likely to speed again. So clearly it must be a great idea. Right?"

--I'd take a paddling over a fine any day!

Posted by: bshafiei | April 17, 2010 1:20 AM

Please Mr. Principal, don't suspend me! I don't think that I could take one second of being at home alone, especially when there's video games, satellite tv, junk food etc. at home, and my parents gone to work... Heck, my suspended friends may show up there too... how could you do that to me?! I would much rather take the swats and stay right here in class to learn, where I am expected to be respectful and obedient!

Posted by: GrannyV | April 17, 2010 3:06 AM

Wow there are some really great arguments for not hitting students here. Most of them are unintended though as they are flaming examples of very poor education. The results of "paddling" in these cases quite literally speak for themselves. Mostly with logic and spelling that wouldn't pass an English class, but I won't argue with the poor results.

A paddle won't stop a bullet you nitwits. Perhaps some examples will be required before you change your small minds.

Posted by: Nymous | April 17, 2010 3:45 AM

If a little paddling is permitted, pretty soon it will escalate into shipboard floggings. I favor transport of transgressors. Send the recalcitrant to Australia.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | April 17, 2010 4:53 AM

in response to MM3jughead - Frankly, it never occurred to me that I'd have to "spank" kids for stealing or using dope. By the time kids are tempted to indulge in that behavior they're usually well beyond the paddling stage, and are more appropriately punished by grounding, loss of privileges, etc. If I found I did have an 8 year-old thief in the house, I'd first make him return the item and apologize, and then either confiscate something he valued, or have him do restitution. I certainly wouldn't blunt the impact of a valuable moral lesson by giving him a slap.
I think the key thing as a parent trying to impose discipline (at least on boys) is you have to mean business. My oldest boy (now 19 and at college) had a 12 midnight curfew for most of his senior year (this despite being his football team's defensive captain & mvp). He knew we'd be waiting up for him, and that there would be consequences if he came in late or buzzed. I'm satisfied with how this worked out, and I don't think either of our younger sons (ages 15 & 11) are headed for a life of crime or substance abuse either.
Sure it's often easier to give kids a slap, than it is to reason with or punish them, but I don't think it builds a better, calmer, or smarter person. And I'll tell you one other thing, I certainly wouldn't entrust anyone other than my wife (or possibly our parents) to make that decision.

Posted by: brianbelske | April 17, 2010 8:02 AM

I am a high school teacher who is retiring at the end of this term with 36 years of experience. I voted yes for spanking.

One of the things I have noticed in reading the comments is that most of the readers don't know the difference between discipline and punishment. Discipline is something you learn and internalize. Having discipline means making good decisions. Punishment is something that is administered by an authority figure when the behavior cannot be corrected and discipline attained by other punishments, such as stern lectures, denial of cherished possessions, or restrictions on play time.

Discipline is learned behavior, and punishment is given when the learning is not demonstrated by positive action.

Posted by: donspecht | April 17, 2010 8:11 AM

Paddling involves the human element. There can be too much variation in the amount of force exerted. Electric shock would be much more uniform in delivering a uniform punishment. The zap can be gradually increased if the transgressions continue. I worked in the Gulag, but today's modern machines are more humane.

Posted by: rjma1 | April 17, 2010 8:21 AM

"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent."
-Isaac Asimov

Behaviorists offer three ways to change behavior; positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement and punishment.

Punishment, in the over 50 years of research, has consistently been shown to be the least effective. The subject (child) often simply learns fear of the punishment and of the punisher; they don't learn to change their behavior.

And again, discipline and behavior is learned at home at early age. All this is doing is illustrating the ultimate purpose of brick-and-mortar schools -to babysit.

Posted by: topwriter | April 17, 2010 8:41 AM

The problem goes back to the home and parent(s). I grew up with the paddle, and boy did that embarrass you when applied. But the real thing was that I valued my parents approval, and when they were informed of (and they were called) my punishment, they would take privileges away at home, plus, I felt bad about letting them down. So I guess, we have a problem, as schools seem to have no discipline they can use today, kid know it, and parents think their kids are "god", or just don't give a damn. Sad.
I believe a certain lack of respect for education has permeated society. I mean look at how political figures seem to demean academics and knowledge. And if you send the kid home, with mom and (if present) dad away at work, they just get to text, play video games, and generally not do a thing. Nobody wins today. We are screwed.

Posted by: Dugus | April 17, 2010 9:22 AM

I'm reminded of something I heard long ago when discussing whether spanking (paddling) children was a good/bad idea: Parent speaking to child as smack is applied: "There, that will teach you to hit someone smaller than yourself". Guess that big man (or big woman) was effectively teaching that small child that a larger person hitting a smaller one was perfectly acceptable, and then we wonder why kids bully.

I must admit that I did spank my two children and on occasion, my grandkids (grandkids got much softer spanks than my children - I must confess).

Posted by: GrannyAnnie | April 17, 2010 9:45 AM

Okay: I am a teacher. If my opinion doesn't matter to you because I am an overpaid lazy, stupid, incompetent door mat, then read no further. I don't care for that attitude, and I've heard it/read it all before.

I can often tell you, before Christmas break, which students in my class (I teach special-ed preschoolers, so behavior problems are a sort of specialty) are allowed to run rampant in their homes, and which ones are trapped in power struggles with over-bearing parents that entangle them in aggressive or fearful behavior patterns. Physical or emotionally abusive discipline often leads to the same bad behavior that comes from no discipline or inconsistently-applied rules. BEATING A CHILD IS NO BETTER OR EFFECTIVE THAN LETTING THE CHILD SWEAR, HIT, AND SWING FROM THE RAFTERS.

My teammates and I understand that inappropriate behavior has many causes, and seriously bad behavior oftentimes has more than one underlying cause/trigger getting in the way. We target those as much as we can--sometimes our students are in physical or emotional pain that they can't express, lack the skills to respond, cope, or behave in a civil manner, or don't see any relevant consequences (good or bad) to their actions. (Not so different from other children or adults, huh?)

We recognize good behavior and reward it in the proper amounts. With bad behavior, we do what we can, WITH THE PARENTS IF NECESSARY, to discover and address the underlying issues, and continue to teach all of our students what's appropriate and what isn't. If one approach doesn't work, we analyze the situation and try again. We don't give up, and we don't take the easy way out (i.e.: ignoring the children or beating them into submission).

We re-shape problem behavior--even if it's "just" a tantrum-style aggressive outburst--by stepping in and halting the behavior before it escalates. Our entire school recognizes and emphasizes that all students have responsibilities AND RIGHTS in school; we communicate that to each of them and walk the walk. In my own classroom, my teammates and I create a conducive learning environment via fair, consistent, and respectful and respectable methods that work. We have the same rules for each child, but we know that we sometimes need to fine-tune our approach depending on so many variables, which requires us to really know the children, take the time to work with them, and let them work with us.

It isn't perfect, and you can dismiss me by saying, "well, they're just preschoolers--it doesn't translate to the problems we see in the upper grades" but I can tell you it does. I've been teaching at-risk and/or special-needs preschoolers and toddlers for 20 years, and I've seen children whose actions were dismissed or ignored and ended up carrying the same bad behavior with them through the years, but I have also seen kids get what they needed from teachers and administrators (and parents) and turn their behavior around.

Posted by: EdgewoodVA | April 17, 2010 10:01 AM

If my 10 month old son is ever in a school where paddling is allowed, I will look his teacher(s) dead in the eye and say "If you beat my child I will beat you."

If my son acts up they are to call me or my wife, and MY WIFE AND I will decide if what he did merits a spanking. My wife and I, and only my wife and I, will be the ones to administer any form of corporal punishment.

I don't care if I leave in a neighborhood straight out of "Leave it to Beaver" where, like the "good ole days" old farts wax rhapsodic about, neighbors didn't hesitate to discipline each others' children, the only people allowed to physically discipline my child are my wife and myself.

Any neighbor/stranger who strikes my child can plan on getting sued for assault.

Posted by: SeaTigr | April 17, 2010 10:17 AM

Odds are there would be VIOLENT retaliation against any teacher or administrator that "paddled" a student! Guns and knives are too common in these schools--count me out as a substitute disciplinarian. Parents teach your children well . . .

Posted by: gpsystems | April 17, 2010 11:13 AM

Odds are there would be VIOLENT retaliation against any teacher or administrator that "paddled" a student! Guns and knives are too common in these schools--count me out as a substitute disciplinarian. Parents teach your children well . . .

Posted by: gpsystems | April 17, 2010 11:17 AM

Suggestion for the next poll:

Should Texas teachers whose performance evaluations do not improve from one year to the next, or school system administrators whose schools decline, be publicly whipped as an example and encouragement to step up their professional efforts?

____ Sure. If it was good enough for medieval times, it is certainly good enough for Texas.

____ No, of course not. It's only appropriate to humiliate and psychologically scar children, not fully-developed adults. After all, Bible commands us to stone our kids to death if they are "stubborn" (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).

WHY can't Americans ever move into the modern era? What the hell is wrong with them, that they are so incapable of growth of any sort??? What CENTURY is this?

Posted by: B2O2 | April 17, 2010 12:04 PM

I can't believe that this is even a topic of discussion again. When my kids were in school, every year a "permission" slip was sent home to parents, asking them for their consent to paddle their children. Every year, I sent it back saying, "certainly - if you don't mind me punching out the one who hits my child." A teacher who strikes a child has no business being placed in charge of children. Tehre are other, far more effective ways of instilling discipline. Beating kids only teaches them that, if you are big and powerful, it's o.k. to hit others, and that violence is appropriate. Why is it not o.k. to hit adults, but o.k. to strike children, who are less able to defend themselves - unless that is the point - that it's o.k. to hit someone who is less powerful than you and dependent on you? A person who hits a child belongs in jail, not in charge of children.

Posted by: garoth | April 17, 2010 12:14 PM

I have two children now in college that I raised without once hitting either, in anger or for any other reason. They are well-adjusted, good students and well on their way to becoming responsible, productive adults. I'm sure they will never find a need to hit their own children. It is astonishing to me to read these defenses of assaults on the most defenseless among us. It is a weak adult that can find no way other than violence to get the respect of children. But then, I suppose a lot of the child abuse fanatics posting here probably live in trailers and that's just how they think there.

Posted by: bob52 | April 17, 2010 12:14 PM

If you are older than 40 the name Benjamin Spock is more than familiar. It was Spock that told an entire generation of parents to take it easy, don’t discipline your children and allow them to express themselves. Discipline, he told us, would warp a child’s fragile ego. Millions followed this guru of child development and he remained unchallenged among child rearing professionals. However, before his death Dr. Spock made an amazing discovery: he was wrong. In fact, he said:

"We have reared a generation of brats. Parents aren’t firm enough with their children for fear of losing their love or incurring their resentment. This is a cruel deprivation that we professionals have imposed on mothers and fathers. Of course, we did it with the best of intentions. We didn’t realize until it was too late how our know-it-all attitude was undermining the self-assurance of parents."

That's why thinking parents keep spanking as a tool. When nothing else gets a childs attention (talking, removing priviledges, taking away cells phones, etc.), spanking may. Done correctly, (never in the heat of a moment, after discussing with the child WHY, done in a limited fashion) spanking gets a childs attention and focuses it on avoiding bad behavior.

Too many uncaring parents think the answer to poor parenting skills in nothing more than getting a prescription for ADD drugs. What a bunch of wimps....

They are what's wrong with the US...

Posted by: grcac | April 17, 2010 12:15 PM

And also, don't the results in Temple Tx speak for themselves. As they said, behavior improved.

Posted by: grcac | April 17, 2010 12:23 PM

I think it's also common that administrators of this barbaric response to misbehavior are channeling some sick pedophile impulses into what is a sexually-charged act for them.

Nice to see so many people here favor enabling that. But what do you expect - birds of a feather and all that.

Posted by: B2O2 | April 17, 2010 12:25 PM

You child abuse defenders are utter, complete morons. But maybe I shouldn't complain too much since most of the damage you will do will be to your own progeny. What an irony. Darwin at work on the spare the rod folks. A note to the so-called teachers who posted here: If you ever touched one of my children you would never touch another.

Posted by: bob52 | April 17, 2010 12:33 PM

Why not simply STONE THE LITTLE TYKES TO DEATH, like your "Good Book" implores? Check it out, Deuteronomy 21:18-21. I am not making this up.

Why stop at the Middle Ages when you can regress your parenting/schooling style all the way back to the Bronze Age?

Sheesh what a primitive country this is. No wonder the world considers us more of a danger than bin Laden. We're ignorant as hell.

Posted by: B2O2 | April 17, 2010 12:38 PM

Adults should beat on children with boards? Are we insane?
As this particular manifestation of insanity has a long history in the Western world, I ask that I be forgiven for leading with more than one rhetorical question and likewise be forgiven for these words of explication:
1) One does not encourage good behavior by teaching children that big people can smaller people if they want.
2) C-H-I-L-D A-B-U-S-E.

Posted by: bertilack | April 17, 2010 1:07 PM

I was paddled a couple of times in school (8th grade in Louisville, KY and 10th grade in the Atlanta 'burbs) and wasn't particularly scarred by the experience. But I've got no reason to think that it was especially effective, either. And the introduction of physical force to student-teacher relationships is pretty problematic. Not such a hot idea, I think.

Posted by: Bob-S | April 17, 2010 1:44 PM

No! Geez, whats wrong with you people? I am not against an occasional swat from the parents but the school should discipline through non physical means. If that kid can't behave suspend them! Let the parents handle it after all they should have disciplined them early.

Posted by: sandnsmith | April 17, 2010 3:13 PM

Yes! One of the major problems in our schools today is the total lack of discipline. You don't need to beat kids senseless, but you certainly need to get back the respect that used to be the norm in the classroom.

Posted by: Lilycat11 | April 17, 2010 3:57 PM

Aw come on. It's beating. I remember way back when I went to a catholic school in first and second grades those nuns would take the miscreants to the back of the classroom and beat the ... with a thick yard stick. I remember I was constantly scared to death that that mean old lady would see me doing something wrong and beat the ... outta me with her thick yard stick.

I have a better idea. When a kid misbehaves, go beat the parent(s). This will teach the parents a good lesson and the miscreant child will figure out that bad behavior gets their parent(s) a good lick'en.

Posted by: riskpref | April 17, 2010 5:26 PM

I belive spanking is good for raising your own children but what if you don't know who is paddling your child? I wouldn't feel comfortable if a male administrator I didn't kno took my daughter out of class in private. does anyone else feel this way?

Posted by: paris13h | April 17, 2010 5:42 PM

I'm not 100% opposed to spanking it it's done correctly, but I don't like the idea of schools being allowed to do it because of the lack of control. I also think students should be given the option of paddling or some other punishmen.

If anyone is going to hit my (hypothetical) kids, it's me.

Posted by: wmcassie | April 17, 2010 6:26 PM

I host a website,, about school paddling as physical abuse, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment.
When a half-way enlightened district begins to paddle, it often starts out slow like this one, but if the community is naieve enough or in denial enough, human nature can quickly take it to sadism and sexual exploitation, once everyone "gets used to it." Then, as in a recent Alabama incident at Oxford HS, you have cases like 25 seniors being paddled for dress code and similar small violations at a prom. Paddling is most often done at the HS level and in many schools can be done mostly to female victims, with nearly 100% male paddlers and witnesses, although younger paddled students may be more male and make overall numbers seem "balanced."
The "private" aspect is also in question in these days of schools filled with high-def internet linked spy cameras? There is a high child S/M pornographic element to paddling, and to teen girls especially. How many are watching and recording these events -- legally, btw?
Also it shouldn't matter how many "christians" are in a community -- Jesus and the Apostles never hit a child or taught anyone to, so it cannot possibly be "Christian." That is another lie it is based on. In fact, paddling began in US slavery -- and that is the true legacy and reason why today 90% of US paddling occurs in 10 former confederate states -- although people there are waking up and ending the practice also.
It is time to end the slave plantation model of schooling in the US, as most of the better educated and lower crime industrialized countries have done long ago.

Posted by: JeffCharles1 | April 17, 2010 6:28 PM

Better to paddle the parents. When children misbehave, call the parents and make them come get the child. Either they'll teach the child to behave properly or they'll be forced to home school. Parents must take responsibility for their children's education, including and especially teaching them how to behave.

Posted by: ccs53 | April 17, 2010 6:29 PM

The DC school system should allow waterboarding, too. Especially for gang-bangers.

Posted by: ecartr5 | April 17, 2010 6:39 PM

Corporal punishment works, in small doses. Any research which claims it's ineffective can be thrown away as a waste of time and effort. The worst thing you can do is NOT use it. "Spare the rod, spoil the child" never went obsolete.

Posted by: TheLastBrainLeft | April 17, 2010 6:51 PM

If there's one thing Americans love, it's senseless violence. Sure, beat the kids senseless. Break their bones. Give them concussions. They'll grow up to be fine Americans who beat their own children half to death too. And then we'll all be happy.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | April 17, 2010 7:15 PM

Corporal punishment does not work. Even the military has banned hazing.

Posted by: readerny | April 17, 2010 7:15 PM

Its foolish to think that the black teacher would be allowed paddle a white student and vise versa...

Posted by: demtse | April 17, 2010 7:22 PM

So... let me get this straight... you people want frustrated educators... to hit your children. That's what it boils down to. Institutionalized striking of your children. Let's not even go into the racial politics that go into it that, to be frank, definitely exist.

People who think that not hitting their children amounts to spoiling them should realize that child rearing is -not- a two option situation. If that's all it is, don't have kids. More importantly, don't give relative strangers the legal ability to hit your kids.

Posted by: fenzilla | April 17, 2010 7:52 PM

Looks like the Huckabees packed the ballot box. Hitting kids is hitting kids. It's like capital punishment and abortion - killing fetuses and killing select criminals is killing. You can't cherry-pick or twist your infallable (yet self-contradictory)scriptures to have it both ways.

I hope the parents of physically assaulted children sue the hell out of these perverted rednecks. Lawsuits discouraged the time honored tradition of the Catholic clergy helping themselves to the bodies of little boys so maybe this will work for physical assault as well.

Posted by: areyousaying | April 17, 2010 7:56 PM

yes, I like the idea of electroshock like the Mormons have used to "cure" their gays, or maybe tasers, pepper spray, and rubber bullets. These gives an unappreciated, under-paid teacher a violent outlet for his/her pent up frustrations.

Spare the rod and spoil the vengeance.

Posted by: areyousaying | April 17, 2010 8:07 PM

This article mentions high schools. Paddling young men and women is just plain sick. It's almost sexual in a way, and something that will damage the subconscious mind. Humiliation and breaking a person's spirit is not a way to discipline a teenager. Could you imagine being a 16 year old and having a man or woman smacking your rear with a paddle? That's just downright sick, ignorant, and damaging. That's the kind of thing someone tells a therapist about in their 40's when they come in complaining about stress and work and all of a sudden they drift away and start talking about traumatic things from high school. Those experiences stay there under the surface and damage you decades later. Some people are just so desensitized to corporal abuse that they don't realize it's wrong.

Posted by: Steve114z | April 17, 2010 8:46 PM

I would have to say yes, with one proviso...that it not be allowed in Catholic schools. Paddling is for discipline of the child, not the pleasure of the priest!

Posted by: didereaux | April 17, 2010 8:49 PM

Wanting to use corporal punishment indicates a problem in the classroom that has not been addressed. Paddling will solve nothing.
The lack of respect is coming from the home. And that is where it needs to be addressed.
Leave it to Texas to come up with such a suggestion. I have come to expect nothing better from them.

Posted by: chlind | April 17, 2010 8:58 PM

OK people here is the real problem. Parents are no longer engaged. If I acted up in school, a call hom from my teacher solved the problem. Now if a teacher calls home they are often ignored or verbally abused by the parent.
I was spanked as a child, but by my parents. Not abused, just spanked. I moved south from New York when I was in High School. At the time the district I moved to used paddles. Once the VP tried to paddle me, I told him to call my dad in to do the damage. He refused because he was a sick little man who wanted to do the deed himself. The reason this sadist wanted to hit me was because I said "Jesus" in the hall. To all you folks using Leviticus to justify schools using the rod please read the rest of the book and punish your selves appropriately. Seriously, shave some heads you idiots.
By the way, both my parents were teachers, a call home used to mean something.

Posted by: eor11 | April 17, 2010 9:16 PM

Absolutely. It kept me in line. Of course, that was before the unions took over government education. Now we have teacher pedophiles. I want to see a study on the percentage of sex addicted teachers vs Catholic priests. Just saying. And guess what? My tax money doesn't support priests.

Posted by: Kansasgirl | April 17, 2010 9:18 PM

Absolutely not. Discipline of that nature is between me and my child and if anyone were to strike my child I will take legal action. That's not to say I have no sympathy for teachers in the classroom. Yes I do. If my child is having discipline problems in school, believe me I will address the issue head on with my child in consultation with the teacher. I want to hear from teachers regarding my child's behavior, and with email contact nowadays it's pretty easy to stay in touch. Parents that allow their children to act up at school are the root cause of the problem in my opinion. Either the problem is ignored at home or dismissed, which are both inexcusable. I have absolutely no sympathy for neglectful parents. The role of teachers is to teach. The role of parents is to teach values and take care of discipline problems. If kids repeatedly act up in school then parents should be fined. Bigtime. That will get everyone's attention pretty quickly.

Posted by: citizen4truth1 | April 17, 2010 9:19 PM

Hey CITIZEN4TRUTH1, how do absent parents teach values?

Posted by: Kansasgirl | April 17, 2010 9:26 PM

I don't think anybody I went to school with is traumatized for life because they were paddled. Most haven't committed suicide or mass murder either. The students of today will learn to respect authority. grudgingly or not.

Posted by: mdbeachbum | April 17, 2010 10:10 PM

I think a lot of people may have missed the point that they're talking about using these in high schools, not elementary schools. That's just sick.

Posted by: Steve114z | April 17, 2010 11:09 PM

I voted "no" -- not because I think that paddling a child is always wrong but because I think the US is much too far gone as a society for it to be anything but a hollow symbolic gesture that will not achieve the desired result.

I agree with the posters who wrote that we had a more orderly society when there was a bright line between adulthood and childhood, and it was clear as well who was in charge. But since then, American society has become one in which everyone aspires to eternal adolescence. We have 6 year old girls dressed like streetwalkers and 50 year olds wearing shorts in public and trying to "find themselves." Children grow up too fast, and adults don't grow up at all -- a society of adolescents.

This is not a society in which paddling or not paddling a student is likely to make much difference. The days when children got paddled for misbehavior were also the days when (a) they knew what good behavior consisted of in the first place; (b) such behavior was the norm; (c) behaviors that were encouraged (or forbidden) at school were also reinforced a million times a day by the family, the neighborhood, and the larger society; (d) the parents *themselves* were adults, rather than perpetually adolescent rebels, and in the rare negative interaction between their child and a teacher, were far more likely to ask "what did my child do wrong?" rather than say "I am going to sue you."

Bob 52, I am talking to you.

None of those conditions exists in the United States anymore, or is likely to return. I don't think spanking would hurt, but it won't help either, so why do it? The good news is, all we really have to do is wait. There will be no more bratty behavior because there will be no more brats. All over the industrialized world, fertility rates are below replacement. Even in DC, buildings that used to be schools have been repurposed for gyms and condos and shopping because our quest for perpetual adolescence leaves no space for actual children. This is a society committing suicide.

I am an American living abroad now, in a society that could hardly be more different than ours. In America, at this point, a family is whatever anyone says it is. In Asia, it still has objective meaning and functional importance. In Asia, parents have many children. In America, children have many parents (birth, surrogate, step-parents, mom's lesbian lover). In America, school is where you learn to express yourself and stand up for your rights and entitlements. In Asia, school is where you learn calculus, and you are damned lucky if you get to go.

I get homesick sometimes, but people, the 21st century belongs to Asia. And the comments about this poll here are a window into the reasons why.

Posted by: Jakarta | April 18, 2010 2:27 AM

In elementary schools, you bet paddling should be done if the little demon is abusive, a bully, swears, defies authority and or hurts a student or in the parents and let them do it! In high schools, the gangs, the bums that destroy other pupil learning opportunities, should be either suspended, or put in work schools like a special school where learning and work are required before getting graduated. And if they are violent, put them in jail. Enough of this baloney of pampering gangs and especially minorities in DC and other liberal havens.

Posted by: phillyfanatic | April 18, 2010 11:21 AM

As a retired adult correctional officer, I have witnessed the result of our society's permissive attitude, and have first hand knowledge of the result of not imposing discipline in our youth. While I am opposed to beating, the use of paddling in school AND home would have prevented many of the incarcerations over the years. Children need guidance from adults, and they need to learn that actions have consequences. Failing to discipline children is just as much child abuse as is beating them. Paddling is not child abuse.

Posted by: bcullum | April 18, 2010 12:00 PM

Paddles came from slavery. It is not discipline it is assualt and battery. I am over 40 and have witnessed this so called discipline. I would like nothing better than to see all of these so called educators taken out and beaten bloody with their own boards. But vengeance belongs to God. But I will work to get this barbaric slave practice outlawed!!!

Posted by: CatThomas | April 18, 2010 1:49 PM

School paddling is legalized child abuse and must be stopped. Hitting children with boards is wrong. It leaves big bruises and teaches children that hitting is the way to solve problems.
Jimmy Dunne, People Opposed to Paddling Students, Houston

Posted by: jimmydunne7 | April 18, 2010 3:26 PM

There are an awful lot of decent, intelligent, talented, and devoted teachers and administrators out there who would not set one single foot in a school where paddling is practiced.

These schools and parents are oblivious to the fact that they're cheating their children out of a better education because they put so much more faith in the power of a wooden slab than that of a keen mind.

Posted by: EdgewoodVA | April 19, 2010 7:29 PM

I went to schools where paddling was part of the disciplinary toolbox. In these schools, I was bullied mercilessly, children frequently bloodied each others'noses, and disrespect was rampant. Kids as young as 8 hid smokeless tobacco in their desks and sniffed small jars of solvent in class to get high. Older students were often drunk in class.

Paddling happened regularly, with the same 10 or 15 children being paddled every month or so. Other forms of corporal punishment were also common: kids were locked in closets, had their mouths duct-taped shut or their hands duct-taped together, were made to stand in humiliating positions in front of the school, etc. All of the schools I went to had severe and persistent disciplinary problems. Students were violent and disrespectful. These techniques did not work.

On the other hand, my kids have gone to schools where the primary component of discipline is training in how to manage their emotions. They talk about how people can deal with anger. They talk about their feelings and how to handle them productively. Their classrooms are bucolic, their recesses noisy but PLEASANT affairs. I've never seen a kid call a teacher a name in these classrooms. I've never seen any kid who looked like they've been in a serious physical fight. My kids have never talked about other students sniffing glue under their desks. There is no doubt in my mind that this form of "discipline" works, while the corporal punishment I experienced as a child is damaging and ineffective. All paddling does is teach kids that violence and cruelty are the best ways to handle problems.

Schools where disciplinary problems are rampant are full of lousy teachers who can't handle their classrooms. There are proven, nonviolent ways to improve student behavior, and if teachers feel the need to resort to paddling or other corporal punishment to manage their classrooms, they shouldn't be teaching.

Posted by: bokomaru4 | April 20, 2010 12:26 PM

YES, Its about time. If i acted up in school I not only got a lick there but I also got the dickens when I got home! I have respect for my elders to this day I am very balanced emotionally as well as a productive member of society. If the PARENTS would do their job, few children would even have to get in trouble at school. STOP BEING their friend and be a parent.
My husband is a teacher and he has been told F/U so many times, its not even funny! Not a damn thing is done at home or by the school. He has also had a kid hit him.

So if the parents want the schools to raise their kids then I guess they also will have to punish them seeing as the PARENTS won't! I am so sick of the lack of personal responsibility on behalf of the kids and their parents.

You know lets take it a step further..lets just get rid of public schools because it is no longer a privilege here in the U.S.A. Go put your kids in private and or charter schools and when your kids act up poof their gone and guess what you can home school them. Those schools can and do pick the students they will take and " oh well" to the rest. Maybe when the parents start respecting school and teachers then their kids will too. BAD teachers ....while you are pointing a finger, four more are pointing back at you...


Posted by: pcspet | April 20, 2010 3:27 PM

When I was in a private school, students still got sent to the principal for a paddling. This distanced the "anger" factor because the teacher was not the one doing the paddling, it was done in the privacy of the principal's office with his secretary as a witness that it was not abusive. No more than 5 swats were permitted. It was done with a paddle on the exterior of the clothing and the paddle was designed to make more noise than pain. The noise would be heard by other students and act as a deterrant. The paddled student usually got a long stern talking to both prior and post paddling. It was very effective at preventing others from committing the same infraction.

Now, if you want to discuss what actually beating someone in school is, go back and read Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Farmer Boy" where Mr. Corse doles out a beating to the big boys with a 15 foot bullwhip. According to the story these boys had beaten up the previous two teachers and injured one so badly he had died. The indications are that they were planning to jump Mr. Course as a pack the same way they had the previous two.

Posted by: RazorGirl | April 28, 2010 11:29 AM

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