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Spare the rod and spoil the student

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By John Pawlak

It was decades ago, but I remember it well. The teacher had caught me chewing gum in class – clearly a capital offense. Fortunately, drawing and quartering children had long gone out of style but spanking had not. As a sixth grader, I was young, but I did have a sense of pride. And so when the teacher walked over with a paddle and told me to bend over, I spit out my gum and told her to go bend over herself.

Yeah, I was suspended, but on the bright side, I wasn’t spanked. We were new to Ohio. I had only been in school for a week before I witnessed the first spanking in my class. A girl put her hands on her desk, bending over as the teacher whacked her fanny with a “holey” paddle (the holes were designed to make it hurt more). It was the first time I had ever seen something like this, and even as a child I thought it was barbaric.

And yet some people still think this is education at its best.

Corporal punishment in schools has been outlawed in almost all of Europe. Here in the United States though, we enjoy a good smack now and then. Corporal punishment is still allowed and practiced in 20 states.


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