Missouri turns back the hands of time: First an abortion ban and now, corporal punishment in schools

Corporal punishment, also called “paddling” in recent years, is child abuse. You will never be able to locate a worthwhile study that says otherwise. Any time an adult or authority figure uses the threat of physical violence against someone, child or adult, the effects are all-around counterproductive to positive outcomes. That is true for education, and it’s true for most everything. You would think that corporal punishment went out with drowning witches, but you would be wrong. In fact, 19 states still allow schools to decide whether or not to employ corporal punishment techniques. You don’t need to guess the political leanings of those 19 states. The newest example of this backward thinking is the Cassville R-IV School District in Missouri, which has decided they want to reinstate the practice of hitting children with a paddle in order to educate them better. The Springfield News-Leader interviewed Merlyn Johnson, the relatively new superintendent of the 1,900-student district, who seems pretty cool with everything. "My plan, when I came to Cassville, wasn't to be known as the guy who brought corporal punishment back to Cassville. I didn't want that to be my legacy and I still don't. But it is something that has happened on my watch and I'm OK with it." Don’t worry, it’ll be your legacy. And the kids who matriculate through the schools during your tenure will remember you as a true monster. According to Johnson, the school board decision to reinstate paddling happened in June. Parents were technically notified then. Letters of permission were sent to parents in the community this week. They can reportedly opt out of this “last resort” punishment for their children. How many parents have opted in for corporal punishment is not yet known. The “good old days.” The good news, says Johnson, is that he believes the parents of children attending his schools are as backwards as him. "We've had people actually thank us for it,” he claimed. Maybe they have and maybe they have not. But never fear what you read on the internets because sometimes, beating children is something better done out of the watchful eye of the public. “Surprisingly, those on social media would probably be appalled to hear us say these things but the majority of people that I've run into have been supportive." Johnson said it will only be administered by a principal, in the presence of a witness and will never be inflicted in the presence of other students. So, no worries. Your kid will be alone in a room with the principal and some other person who will make sure that child takes their punishment. And after that, they will stop acting out! Problems solved. Also, it will only happen in a once-in-a-while situation. What’s that you say, New York Times? The Government Accountability Office says the number of American students subjected to corporal punishment is “significantly understated.” The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, which compiles data on the practice, last reported figures from the 2017-2018 school year. That data shows that more than 69,000 were struck at school nationwide. Mississippi had the highest rate, with more than 20,000 students, according to the office, followed by Texas with almost 14,000 and Alabama with over 9,000. In Missouri, nearly 2,500 got the punishment. Huh. A lot of “last resorts.” I wonder how many last resorts before kids get it through their heads that this is for their benefit? KOLR spoke with Miranda Waltrip, a parent of three in the district, who is appalled that this is happening at all. “I feel like if they had a different outlet like counseling services in school instead of corporal punishment, that would be the more appropriate answer. At the end of the day, they are having to hold the child down and spank them or use whatever means that they can to make the child submissive when that is not the issue, it is the fact that they need to be heard because children act out for varied reasons.” But counseling services and other programs would cost money, and hitting kids is basically free, and since it has never worked, no harm no foul! Unreal. Waltrip also pointed out that she understands that the small community in which she lives remember being hit and smacked when they were younger and for many, the idea is appealing as a return to “the good old days but it’s not because it’s going to do more harm than good at the end of the day.” Missouri is the place where Republican officials argue that abortions are the reason for violent crime but hitting children will lead to less … violence. Donate now to strengthen our majority in the Senate! We need democracy warriors to help people exercise their right to vote this November. Sign up to be a poll worker at Power the Polls. RELATED STORIES: Louisiana public schools are threatening corporal punishment and suspension for taking a knee Georgia charter school asks parents if it can begin 'paddling' elementary school kids

Missouri turns back the hands of time: First an abortion ban and now, corporal punishment in schools

Corporal punishment, also called “paddling” in recent years, is child abuse. You will never be able to locate a worthwhile study that says otherwise. Any time an adult or authority figure uses the threat of physical violence against someone, child or adult, the effects are all-around counterproductive to positive outcomes. That is true for education, and it’s true for most everything.

You would think that corporal punishment went out with drowning witches, but you would be wrong. In fact, 19 states still allow schools to decide whether or not to employ corporal punishment techniques. You don’t need to guess the political leanings of those 19 states. The newest example of this backward thinking is the Cassville R-IV School District in Missouri, which has decided they want to reinstate the practice of hitting children with a paddle in order to educate them better.

The Springfield News-Leader interviewed Merlyn Johnson, the relatively new superintendent of the 1,900-student district, who seems pretty cool with everything. "My plan, when I came to Cassville, wasn't to be known as the guy who brought corporal punishment back to Cassville. I didn't want that to be my legacy and I still don't. But it is something that has happened on my watch and I'm OK with it."

Don’t worry, it’ll be your legacy. And the kids who matriculate through the schools during your tenure will remember you as a true monster.

According to Johnson, the school board decision to reinstate paddling happened in June. Parents were technically notified then. Letters of permission were sent to parents in the community this week. They can reportedly opt out of this “last resort” punishment for their children. How many parents have opted in for corporal punishment is not yet known.

The “good old days.”

The good news, says Johnson, is that he believes the parents of children attending his schools are as backwards as him. "We've had people actually thank us for it,” he claimed. Maybe they have and maybe they have not. But never fear what you read on the internets because sometimes, beating children is something better done out of the watchful eye of the public. “Surprisingly, those on social media would probably be appalled to hear us say these things but the majority of people that I've run into have been supportive."

Johnson said it will only be administered by a principal, in the presence of a witness and will never be inflicted in the presence of other students.

So, no worries. Your kid will be alone in a room with the principal and some other person who will make sure that child takes their punishment. And after that, they will stop acting out! Problems solved. Also, it will only happen in a once-in-a-while situation. What’s that you say, New York Times?

The Government Accountability Office says the number of American students subjected to corporal punishment is “significantly understated.” The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, which compiles data on the practice, last reported figures from the 2017-2018 school year. That data shows that more than 69,000 were struck at school nationwide. Mississippi had the highest rate, with more than 20,000 students, according to the office, followed by Texas with almost 14,000 and Alabama with over 9,000. In Missouri, nearly 2,500 got the punishment.

Huh. A lot of “last resorts.” I wonder how many last resorts before kids get it through their heads that this is for their benefit? KOLR spoke with Miranda Waltrip, a parent of three in the district, who is appalled that this is happening at all. “I feel like if they had a different outlet like counseling services in school instead of corporal punishment, that would be the more appropriate answer. At the end of the day, they are having to hold the child down and spank them or use whatever means that they can to make the child submissive when that is not the issue, it is the fact that they need to be heard because children act out for varied reasons.”

But counseling services and other programs would cost money, and hitting kids is basically free, and since it has never worked, no harm no foul! Unreal. Waltrip also pointed out that she understands that the small community in which she lives remember being hit and smacked when they were younger and for many, the idea is appealing as a return to “the good old days but it’s not because it’s going to do more harm than good at the end of the day.”

Missouri is the place where Republican officials argue that abortions are the reason for violent crime but hitting children will lead to less … violence.

Donate now to strengthen our majority in the Senate!

We need democracy warriors to help people exercise their right to vote this November. Sign up to be a poll worker at Power the Polls.

RELATED STORIES:

Louisiana public schools are threatening corporal punishment and suspension for taking a knee

Georgia charter school asks parents if it can begin 'paddling' elementary school kids