published Friday, July 13th, 2012

Just paddle them

Consider afresh the plight of the elderly bus monitor in upstate New York who was bullied and taunted mercilessly by middle schoolers in a video that went viral on the Internet. Their viciousness extended even to jabbing the woman and making fun of her for having a son who committed suicide.

The four boys will be suspended from their regular school for a year — and won't be eligible for transportation on regular school buses. They also will have to do some community service on behalf of senior citizens.

We would be hard pressed to say that is not a deserved punishment.

But we're even harder pressed to understand why their behavior couldn't have been curtailed long before it reached such a sickening climax — with something as simple as the judicious use of corporal punishment.

Yes, there we go. We said it: Paddle them.

The bleeding hearts will no doubt stream forth, denouncing those who "hit people who hit people to teach them that hitting people is wrong" — as if there were no moral difference between bullying and correcting the bully. (For further comparison, is it also inappropriate to imprison people who falsely imprison people to teach him that falsely imprisoning people is wrong?)

This is pretty simple stuff, really.

These students had previously abused the bus monitor in question, apparently without significant consequences. Indeed, she feared for her job if she had responded decisively to their sorry behavior.

But what if we lived in a different universe, where common sense rather than political correctness reined?

Let's suppose that after the first incident of somewhat — but not extremely — disrespectful language toward the monitor, she had simply been able to call the school and advise a stout, helpful assistant principal of what had happened. Let us further suppose that the assistant principal had then calmly met the boys as they exited the bus and equally calmly led them to his office. And let us suppose, finally, that he had quietly explained the behavioral expectations of students on school buses — then lit up their rear ends with the business end of a paddle and marched them back to the bus to apologize to the woman they had mistreated.

It is highly doubtful that those boys or others who learned of their fate would have dared to smart off to the bus monitor again — much less to the degree that a lack of meaningful discipline in the school eventually allowed the abuse to reach. Kids don't like paddlings. Never have. Never will.

And again, as much as they may now deserve the long-term suspension they face, it would have been far preferable to rein them in early by sensible use of the board of education before the behavior became so appalling as to require severe measures that will disrupt their schooling.

Paddling isn't the right response to every misdeed by students, but until recently in our history, it had a well-justified place in America's schools. The fact that that is generally no longer the case is not progress.

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Easy123 said...

Have you folks at the Free Press never read the hundreds of articles about the harmful long-term effects of spanking? It appears you haven't.

This has got to be the strangest article I have ever read in a news paper in my entire life. Do you guys at the Free Press have a score to settle with someone? Or do you just like looking backward and ignorant?

I'm all for disciple but there are much better ways to do it that physical abuse.

July 13, 2012 at 12:25 a.m.

Somehow I think that the result of this case will be a lot more effective than corporal punishment.

But hey, when will you take any steps to reduce abusive behavior in venues you control?

July 13, 2012 at 12:32 a.m.
MalleusChristus said...

Jesus Christ>>>John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, "I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life..."

Colossians 3:20- Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

Deuteronomy 5:16- Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Proverbs 13:24- He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Proverbs 22:15- Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

Proverbs 23:13- Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.

Proverbs 13:24- He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Proverbs 23:14- Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

Proverbs 29:15- The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

July 13, 2012 at 3:41 a.m.
dao1980 said...

Well then, if the bible says so... then dern it, whoooop that kid hard as ya can! Whoop em' till they bleed and go on chattering and speaking in tongues about how much skydiddy wants you to git riled about it. Then rush outside and pick up the nearest snake and git to handlin' it!

July 13, 2012 at 7:40 a.m.
Downtownman said...

Today's right side of the paper editorials have hit a new low in stupity and uselessness. There are many conservatives I can engage with serious conversation and debate. The new editorialist for the free press sounds like president of a local jr high young republican club who got a thesaurus for his birthday.

July 13, 2012 at 11:21 a.m.
KidsRpeople2 said...
July 13, 2012 at 12:41 p.m.
KidsRpeople2 said...

Hitting people is not the answer to anything, it’s lazy and thoughtless, yet corporal punishment is legal in Shelby County taxpayer funded public schools, ILLEGAL in Schools in 31 U.S. States! Respect must be earned and can never be beaten into anyone. It is Illegal to hit any person or animal, especially with a wooden board or other implement, in PUBLIC, yet US children do not have Legal Protections against Assault and Battery! Corporal Punishment recently drew national attention with the arrest of Mega Church Pastor Creflo Dollar, who insists he only “disciplined” his daughter. Sadly, the African-American community in our nation continues to harm children and damage their familial bonds of love with children due to being brainwashed into believing they must use violence (which often crosses the line into abuse) as a means to control and protect their children from negative influences like gangs and prison. The one thing incarcerated people have in common is being raised by the fist, belt or cord. A recent article reads “These kids do not expect to live a long life”. When will African-American children truly be treated equally in the US? Not anytime soon as long as Church and State Co-Exist in our taxpayer funded schools, Spare the Rod … to provide Black parents, families communities with a full range of alternatives to corporal punishment Helping Parents Who Hit, and the Children Who Are Hit, Rise Above This Slave Heritage and Learn How to Change.

July 13, 2012 at 12:42 p.m.
darrellmeece said...

My name is Darrell Meece, and I am a professor in the School of Education at UTC. Although there has been a good bit of research on parental physical punishment, we know very little about the outcomes of school-based corporal punishment. For this reason I would like to briefly tell you of my on-going research (I presented preliminary findings at the Society for Research in Child Development in Montreal last Spring). We followed groups of children from Knoxville and Nashville in a longitudinal study that has spanned three decades. The children were first contacted the summer before they entered kindergarten, then each year they were interviewed, along with their teachers and parents. School records were used to tabulate the children's academic success and discipline.

Each year during elementary and middle school the children's teachers completed the widely used Achenbach Teacher Report Form, which provides a measure of "externalizing behavior" (e.g.., physical and verbal aggression, defiance, bullying). For each year, when controlling for the previous year's level of externalizing behavior, school-based paddling predicted INCREASES in externalizing behavior. In other words, paddling in school increased externalizing behavior rather than decreasing it. This fits with research on parental-based physical punishment which has demonstrated that it is linked with immediate compliance but long-term non-compliance (and later "sneaky" behavior linked to lower rates of an internalized sense of self-control).

Moreover, children who received school-based corporal punishment were significantly less likely to graduate from high school. This remained the case when compared to samples matched for sex, race, socio-economic status, parental use of harsh discipline, and level of externalizing behavior. Regardless of those other variables, children who were paddled in school were more likely to drop out. Why? I believe that they came to see school as a negative place that they wanted to avoid.

Unfortunately, there are some who seem to confuse physical punishment with discipline. A lack of physical punishment does not mean a lack of limits or consistency. There are many discipline strategies besides physical punishment that have proved successful in the home and classroom. Please do not hesitate to contact me at UTC if you have any questions.

July 13, 2012 at 1:51 p.m.

The harmful long term effects of spanking? Only the deluded mind of the progressive left considers well-behaved, respectful and polite to be harmful effects. What's wrong? Was it found that spanking creates responsible, hardworking adults? How do you explain the majority of adults before Dr. Spock? Most of them were spanked and they seem to have turned out just fine. Todays generation of whiny adults makes even the underachievers of yesteryear look like frenetic workaholics.

"Moreover, children who received school-based corporal punishment were significantly less likely to graduate from high school."

Really? Highschool graduation rates peaked in the 1950s. Do some research into the past. Paddling was used liberally in that era both at home and at school. It seems it worked quite well.

July 13, 2012 at 4:26 p.m.

I would bet the "punishments" in this case punish the parents more than the children. Most kids, especially these types of children don't want to be at school in the first place. Could be good if it inspires these kids parents to spank them.

July 13, 2012 at 4:29 p.m.
Leaf said...

Paddling seems pretty lenient to me, biblically speaking.

Exodus 21:15-17 - And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death. And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

July 13, 2012 at 4:38 p.m.
Leaf said...

I think we can extend the above ancient laws to include teachers, and just put the kids to death who act out. Surely.

July 13, 2012 at 4:44 p.m.

Murder=death penalty

Slaver=death penalty

Curse=death penalty

Sounds fair to me. The word curse as used in the bible didn't mean simply saying a four letter word. It was much more involved than the cussing of today.

July 13, 2012 at 4:48 p.m.
chatt_man said...

Now I'm not a professor, but the statement ""Moreover, children who received school-based corporal punishment were significantly less likely to graduate from high school," makes me wonder. The best I remember, not even considering anything else, the ones that got in trouble the most were less likely to graduate.

Would we also have to conduct a study to determine... the kids that didn't graduate from high school made lesser grades during the time they were there?

July 13, 2012 at 4:52 p.m.

Heck, the children are less likely to graduate because of sheer boredom inspired by our pitifully dumbed down educational standards.

July 13, 2012 at 5:01 p.m.
una61 said...

Paddling of a child is not the right response under any circumstance. The beating of a child should never be condoned. Maybe the TFP editor should spend some tine at the Erlanger ER when they treat a 3 year old who has been beaten by an irate parent.

July 13, 2012 at 5:05 p.m.

Spanking and beating are two different things. I condone spanking and paddling. I abhor and condemn beating a child. Spankings are done out of concern for the childs actions and future, beatings are done because you are angry.

July 13, 2012 at 5:19 p.m.
chatt_man said...

There is never an excuse to "beat" a child, ever. But, when I was growing up, and while raising my own (now 16), it hurt the parent more to discipline (paddle, spank) a child than it hurt the child.

That's how much some parents have changed? I say some because they are not all that way, thank goodness.

But then, there are a lot of ways parents have changed that I'm not proud nor fond of.

July 13, 2012 at 5:25 p.m.
Easy123 said...


What is the difference between spanking and beating? Same intent. Same action. Please break it down for everyone.

Are you really that stupid? Look up the studies done on the long term effects of spanking. The only deluded one here is you. But I guess scientific evidence isn't good enough for experts like you. LOL! You conservatives are a strange bunch.

July 13, 2012 at 5:51 p.m.
chatt_man said...

Easy, I hear what you're saying, but I'm not sure if the short-term effects of not spanking may be giving us more problems now, than the long-term effects of spanking.

July 13, 2012 at 6:13 p.m.
conservative said...

As Ricky would say Ai Yi Yi Yi Yi !!

It is sad thing when someone with a title can claim they know more about disciplining a child than God, especially when the word of God is on display for all to see concerning the matter.

Well done MalleusChristus and I agree with People Eater ( consider changing that to Flying Purple Liberal People Eater) and Chat man.

July 13, 2012 at 6:56 p.m.

When God wants to punish a child, God can do so.

You pretending to be enacting God's will, though, that's the height of arrogance.

Not that that will stop you, it'll encourage you.

chatt_man, nope, parents who were brutal to their children have long been around. It's just that it wasn't acknowledged, but rather hidden and concealed.

The only change has longer tolerating it.

Take a look at the upbringing of Queen Victoria, if you want an example that's been documented. And she wasn't that good to her own children either.

Or if you want to go really far back in history, try the Spartans.

July 13, 2012 at 7:10 p.m.
MalleusChristus said...

Jesus Christ>>>John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, "I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life..."

Hebrews 12:5- "And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."

July 13, 2012 at 11:28 p.m.
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