I was just reading about a possible settlement in a lawsuit against the Deer Valley School District.
It all started when school officials were hauled into court by the family of a 7-year-old who was made to stay in a padded “seclusion” room for several hours last year as a disciplinary measure. The story also called my attention to the fact that Arizona is one of 19 states that still allows corporal punishment in its public schools.
Now, every time this subject comes up, some defensive people offer the knee-jerk response that they got spanked and look how they turned out.
First, let’s separate physical punishment at school from physical punishment at home. I don’t believe in either, simply because I don’t believe fear of pain inflicted by an adult on a child is the most successful teaching method. Animal trainers generally agree it doesn’t work on dogs and child behavior authorities don’t feel it’s effective in the long run on kids, but it’s an especially bad idea when it’s applied by school employees.
Do you really want a teacher paddling your child unsupervised? Isn’t that like saying, “I’m a grown experienced adult and because I disagree with your behavior, I’m going to hurt you. I hope you understand the lesson this teaches you”.
Oh, I think kids understand very well.
I’m Pat McMahon.