Do You Believe That Teachers, Principals, etc. Have The Right To Spank/Paddle?

Anderson, Indiana
December 2, 2006 2:08pm CST
I grew up in a time when spanking was the norm, both at home and at school and thought nothing of it. My own parents spanked me from time to time, even though they were more likely to use other means of discipline such as simply lecturing me or denying a privilege. At school, the most used forms of discipline did include spankings, but they also included other things such as lectures, being put out of class to stand in the hall, having to miss recess. One of the most interesting and creative forms of discipline happened to a classmate when we were both in fifth grade. It was in the middle of class when a low-flying plane went over. That was just too much for Paul who jumped up out of his seat and ran to the window hollering, "Hey! Look at that plane!" He stood at the window pointing at the plane, when our teacher followed him there and said, "All right, Paul! You're just going to stand there like that all through recess!" When the bell announced recess, Mrs. Farthing reminded Paul to take his place at the window, so Paul went over and stood by the window. "No!" Mrs. Farthing told him. "Not like that--like THIS!" She positioned his body so that his arm was extended, his finger was pointed, his head was slightly tilted back as if looking for a plane, and one foot was slightly raised from the floor. And there he stood for the entire fifteen minutes! Today, he's the county commissioner, so this didn't damage him any--but I doubt if he jumps up out of his seat at official meetings to do any plane-spotting. LOL As I said before, spanking/paddling was an option for discipline at school at that time, and my end and the business end of a paddle did have at least one annual meeting through fifth grade, as I was one of those kids with a mind of her own. Sixth grade was the first year I went all the way through school without getting paddled. The next time I was threatened with a paddle was when I was a freshman in high school and was crushing on this teacher. For some reason, it really bothered my phys ed teacher that I was so sweet on this guy (No, we weren't in competition. She was happily-married, and, even if she weren't, I was no competition for her, because this teacher wanted absolutely nothing to do with me romantically.). But, one time, he came into the gym, and I went into this trance. One of my friends told me that I reminded her of the girl (Pamela Dare) who was crushing on Sir (in To Sir With Love). Class hadn't started yet, so this also had nothing to do with my being inattentive when the my phys ed teacher was addressing the class. It all had to do with my reaction to the teacher. Her reaction? She showed me a school paddle and told me that she was going to use it on me if I didn't quit staring at the teacher. Maybe, she was just kidding me--but, somehow, I don't think so, because she didn't have a just kidding kind of look on her face. I put on a poker face and looked away from the teacher--and I DO have the feeling that, had I slipped up, she would have had me to bend over and would have hit me two or three times, and she would have hit me HARD! Now, I believe in disciplining kids, but, these days, I don't believe that hitting them should be one of the options. Even so--as long as there wasn't an actual beating going on--I believe that parents should be allowed to spank their kids and that this right should also extend to any sort of private caretaker to whom the parents give the right. But, thinking back on my experience with my phys ed teacher, I've drawn the line when it comes to corporal punishment being used at school. It angers me to think that, at that time, this teacher had the right to hit me for owning my feelings. I wasn't hurting other kids, and I wasn't vandalizing the school. I was merely giving the object of my crush a dreamy-eyed look--and I was in danger of being hit for THAT! I, for one, say that there should be a zero-tolerance zone for hitting (as well as other types of hurtful physical discipline such as pinching, tickling, hair-pulling, etc.) in ALL public schools. We need to teach our young people that hurting another person (other than in self-defense--including in defense of another person as well--or those injuries that are part of the job description in games such as football) isn't the way to solve problems. How can we possibly do this when the board of education is still an option when it comes to discipline, and school authority figures have the right to use it? All that teaches is that it IS okay to solve problems physically if you're more powerful than the other person. And, in the case of what happened to me as a freshman, it says that you could be hit for wearing your heart on your sleeve. Not right! Doesn't even come CLOSE to being right! Don't even get me started on the implications of THAT mindset! What's your take on this?
8 people like this
104 responses
• United States
3 Dec 06
Absolutely not!! As a parent myself I do not like anyone but me or my husband spanking my children and I would not send them to a school where they still did such a thing. There are other ways to discipline other people's children that will be worse for them than the spanking.
2 people like this
• Anderson, Indiana
3 Dec 06
I like Vicar's idea of having the parents come to pick up an unruly child. Then, the ball will be in the family court instead of the school court.
• United States
3 Dec 06
Exactly. I would never agree to somebody other than me or my husband spanking my child. You can't trust people these days.
1 person likes this
• Anderson, Indiana
3 Dec 06
So true! Nobody knows your own kids like you do!
@Nimbus91 (576)
• United States
2 Dec 06
wow. this is so long. Anyway, i think they should have the rights to spank. It is because some people are naughty and being dumb. For that behaviour, it should be punished. otherwise they will do it again. Well that's only my opinion and you should see what others have to say. Are you having this post because you are being spank?
2 people like this
• Anderson, Indiana
2 Dec 06
If somebody spanked me now, I would call the cops! I'm going to be 54 years old on the twelfth of this month. I've made this post because I believe that the right to spank should be limited to that of the parent or somebody to whom the parent has granted permission. Spanking in public schools should no longer be an option for a number of reasons, among them: 1. Students getting spanked for actions that weren't severe enough for that kind of punishment--such as how I was threatened for the "crime" of having a dreamy look on my face when seeing a teacher on which I was crushing. 2. Some students getting singled-out for spankings more than other students such as where the Hollywood-looking cheerleader or the captain of the football team is more likely to get away with something than a fat child or a child who lives in a project. It might still be true that the "golden" kids will get away with more, but, at least, the not-so-golden kids wouldn't be subjected to getting hit should corporal punishment become a thing of the past in public schools. 3. Students who come from homes where spanking isn't part of the discipline agenda going to school and being hit by authority figures might be downright traumatized by this. How you discipline at home (within reason) is nobody's business, but it should become the business of everybody that school authority figures are still allowed free reign with the board of education.
1 person likes this
@the_vicar (1478)
• United States
2 Dec 06
Spanking is usually unfair, especially in schools. I don't think it is necessary. they should call the parent and have them pick-up the child. Parents are not going to be happy about being called to take an unruly child home.
• Anderson, Indiana
3 Dec 06
Great idea, Vicar! It's definitely in the running for the winning post, so please use your own comment section here to suggest calling in the parents so that it will have the opportunity to be recognized as the winning post, if it turns out to be. If you were to put it over right at this moment, it would be the winning one!
1 person likes this
@remaster74 (4065)
• Greece
2 Dec 06
No one, even the parents have the right to spank their children for something that is "light". A total sttranger should be in no position to earn that right. I have a son and I give him a slap whanever he is really bad and doesn't understand with the good and right. But I wouldn't dream a stranger to spank my child.
2 people like this
• Anderson, Indiana
2 Dec 06
Exactly! If--just as long as you aren't abusing your child--you, as a parent, want to include corporal punishment in your discipline options, child welfare services shouldn't have the right to remove the child from your home and label you an unfit parent. However, people to whom you don't assign that right have no business in laying a finger on your child. What if you were a parent who never spanked at home and felt it was wrong, but you send your kid to the local public school, and this child is exposed to this kind of discipline for the first time? I think that would be a really traumatic experience!
1 person likes this
@mkirby624 (1599)
• United States
3 Dec 06
As far as I know of, any school that still enforces corporal punishment has each parent sign stating whether they allow the school to use that type of punishment. If a parent says no, then no corporal punishment can be used.
1 person likes this
• Anderson, Indiana
3 Dec 06
I think that's the way it is in Indiana--but I don't think that this is going far enough. It should be stopped altogether at the school level. If the parents of the kids want to spank the kids when they get them home, that's one thing. At least, the spanking would be something for which they would be totally responsible.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Dec 06
I grew up to where my parents spanked and asked questions later. When I was in fourth and fifth grade we had one really bad boy and he was always in the principal's office getting paddled. I would go to the bathroom just to watch because i thought it was funny. I was never paddled in school just sent to the corner. I don't believe they should be doing that now in school but I think there should be a No tolerence policy for name calling, hitting and defacing a persons locker. They should either get detention or get kicked out of school. May then they would learn
• Anderson, Indiana
2 Dec 06
I totally agree! I'm involved with a wonderful program called Operation Respect, and a link to it can be found here... http://www.dontlaugh.org/
1 person likes this
• India
3 Dec 06
Thats a very good site ( operation respect)
2 people like this
• Anderson, Indiana
3 Dec 06
Thanks! I've always enjoyed the folk-singers, Peter, Paul, and Mary and believed that they've made a positive difference in our world, but I admire them that much more since Peter (also supported by Paul and Mary) played a major role in getting this group launched. Operation Respect has already made a big difference, but it still has a ways to go, because there's a lot of ground to cover!
1 person likes this
@clownfish (3276)
• United States
3 Dec 06
Hi! To be honest, I used to agree with spanking in schools. I also went to a school where the principal's paddle was prominently displayed as a reminder that he would use it. Now that I'm a parent, though, I don't want anyone administering punishment to my daughter except me and my hubby. I would be livid if I found out someone at a school spanked my daughter, especially since she very rarely needs to be disciplined. This is a hard issue because I know there are so many problems with kids in schools today, but as far as my daughter goes, I don't want anyone touching her.
• Anderson, Indiana
3 Dec 06
Kinda like: "Spank the other kids as much as you wish, but don't lay a hand on my little girl!" I know where you're coming from, because you know your daughter so well when it comes to her feelings, motives, etc. and you can't imagine anyone else in this world knowing what makes her tick well enough to give him/her the right to lay a hand on her. Yet, looking in from the outside, you can observe some other kids and see them as fit to be spanked. But this--keep in mind--is an outsider's view, and an outsider's view is the same view as what most school authorities have of the kids. This isn't to say that they don't care, because most of them do. But it's just to say that there, generally, isn't that ultimate bonding there as there is between parent and child. With some children, they can actually care less when it comes to spankings. There are your average spankees who don't like it but aren't really affected by it long-term. But, then, there are those eager-to-please children who might somehow end up having the decision made to spank them over some infraction, and not only is the spanking physically-uncomfortable but, also, it will break their hearts and spirits. It's truly best to leave the decision of whether or not to spank to the parents--and even they sometimes make the wrong decision.
1 person likes this
@ChewySpree (1832)
• United States
2 Dec 06
I grew up in an environment in which we could have been spanked at school. It rarely happened but I distinctly remember kids warning others about the possible repercussions of getting a spanking as a form of punishment. Just the possiblity of getting one was enough to keep many kids in line. Even when it did happen, I never thought of it as abusive.
2 people like this
• Anderson, Indiana
2 Dec 06
Funny, but I never thought it was abusive, either, for the most part. However, my nursery school teacher hit me on the top of my head one time before tasting my ice cream before everybody had been served. Would you believe that I never told my folks about this until many years later--but it wasn't because I was afraid of getting the same at home. I knew that I wouldn't get the same at home--and, even at barely five years old, I somehow sensed that she really wasn't supposed to be doing something this extreme. However, I had decided that I was in the wrong, even if her response had been extreme, so I didn't rat on her, because I didn't want her to end up going to the electric chair.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Dec 06
I might not be the best person to answer this, but my answer is from personal experience. My parents disciplined (not abused) me and I am a better person for it. If my dad hadn't been strict on me, it's hard telling where I'd be now. As for teachers, principals, or whatever, NO. I have been paddled in school, 3 times between 2nd and 5th grade, never for a good reason. The second paddling was by my 4th grade teacher, who also was a minister. This man literally broke the "board of education" on my 9 year old behind because I refused to cry for him. If a teacher or principal were to ever strike my child, it would end up being a very ugly court date for that person.
• Anderson, Indiana
8 Dec 06
If you had been the daughter of your fourth grade teacher, CPS would have been involved, and he would have gotten in big trouble! That sounds like child-abuse to me if I've ever heard of child-abuse. I wonder how he treated his wife and kids, if he had them...
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Dec 06
He had a wife and 2 girls. I always felt sorry for those girls, but his wife was a mean as he was according to kids in my neighborhood who had her at the public school. It's really odd that this subject came up when it did. I ran into a girl from my class just yesterday that even commented to her mother as we parted ways in Wal-Mart that I was the one Mr. X had been so mean to back then. Strange coincidence. The only reason I didn't tell my mother is that she knew I was getting whacked and I was at trouble at home. 9 year olds sometimes don't think clearly when it comes to being in worse trouble or knowing your parents would have come unglued on that guy. My parents still don't know about that, why make them feel bad about it now?
@avonrep1 (1862)
• United States
5 Dec 06
I don't think anyone other than parents have the right to spank their kids. I don't even think that they should very often. Only when the child is in danger of hurting themselves or someone else. I think there are better ways to punish a child. I for instance don't spank my children unless they are going to hurt themselves or another and had be warned. I make them do push-ups, sit-ups,leg lifts, cherry pickers and other physical activity when they act up. They hardly ever act out in public or at home. My family members also think my children are the best behaved children in the family.
1 person likes this
• Anderson, Indiana
5 Dec 06
Good for you! How's that homeschooling coming along? I remember spanking you when you were a little over a year old. You and your mom were getting ready to go somewhere, and I was getting ready to go over to Ball State for some reason. You were still in your highchair from breakfast. Your mom was a few feet away, and I was right there with you when you started to climb out of your highchair, and your mom yelled at me to stop you (which I was already in the process of anyway). I smacked your little diapered butt about three times, sat you back down hard, and yelled, "NO!" This amount of discomfort was, in my opinion, certainly much better than what you might feel had you managed to climb out and fall to the floor. You gave me the most pitiful look. You looked like the little guy in the movie, Pay It Forward, when he was disappointed about something. I had to leave in order not to be late for whatever appointment I had over at the college, and I went to kiss you goodbye. You were usually so receptive and responsive, but, this time, you just sat there and glared at me. When I came back by after going to BSU, you were your old huggy self again, and I was glad!
@avonrep1 (1862)
• United States
16 Dec 06
Homeschooling is going good so far. Karl started working on 2nd grade science. They are all thriving well. Thats too funny of a story. I can even picture myself pouting because you were my favorite person back then. Sorry if I hurt your feelings back then. :)
@mkirby624 (1599)
• United States
3 Dec 06
This is a tough one because you make some REALLY good points. Your situation with crushing on a teacher and the teacher trying to paddle you was ridiculous though. That teacher sounds like a complete idiot. However, for a lot of my students, detention, ISS, OSS, etc DOES NOT WORK. They come from a home that their parents don't care, so they don't care. They are failing; they are disrupting class; they are the definition of defiance. A lot of days, I feel like a swift board to the rear would mend their attitude.
1 person likes this
@mkirby624 (1599)
• United States
3 Dec 06
Also, at the school I teach at, teachers are NOT allowed to paddle. The principal is the only one allowed to paddle, and that method has not been used since I have been here simply because it would definitely bring up some legal action because a lot of parents don't like anyone disciplining their child. Even if they don't want to do it themselves.
1 person likes this
• Anderson, Indiana
3 Dec 06
It sounds as if some of these students don't belong in your school and need to be in an alternative school. Many times, the worst of the worst will thrive in a more personalized school setting. Part of the change in behavior could also come from the students feeling free to reinvent themselves in a new place and toss aside the label of being unruly. I think that's a great idea to delegate the use of the board to the principal alone, if the board has to be used at all.
@notguilty (121)
• India
2 Dec 06
i think the only people who should be allowed to spank you are boyfriends and husbands.and only in the bedroom.
• Anderson, Indiana
2 Dec 06
LOL A different kind of spanking altogether!
• India
3 Dec 06
no comments sorry
• United States
20 Dec 06
The last year spanking was allowed in the school system I went to was when I was in Kindergarten(approx 24 years ago
• Anderson, Indiana
20 Dec 06
I wonder what became of that little boy. It sounded as if he had issues, and there's a good chance that spanking might have made those issues worse. There's something that falls somewhere in between getting the board and getting a fun vacation, and that's called detention. This would remove the child from the classroom but not get him out of school. Instead, he would have his school day extended--and made to include one day of the weekend. If he were Jewish or a Seventh Day Adventist, his day to be in school would be Sunday. Otherwise, his day to be in school would be Saturday. It might also be good if students would have a special ID card they would have to present in order to get into sporting events, dances, clubs, and other campus activities. Any students racking up demerits would have them entered into their ID. One or more demerits per day would make them ineligible to attend any sort of extracurricular activities that day. Get three or four in a week, and that would keep you from being able to participate in extracurricular activities for the week. Get more than five, and you're unable to take part in extracurricular activities for a month. On top of that, you will be required to be in detention. There might be ways--such as doing extra homework and being extra well-behaved--to have demerits removed. However, if you play games with this, the demerits would be harder to remove the next time around. It would be the responsibility of the faculty to make sure that, if the star basketball player is doing something to get demerits, the demerits need to be added, even if basketball season has gone into the state finals.
• China
20 Dec 06
This is really an interesting topic and a hot issue. For my part, I think it is the right of parents to dicipline their children. i mean to spank their children. We know that saying: spare the rod, spoil the child. sometimes it is neccerary for adults to use special means to teach these unruly children. Schools as a place to teach students to learn knowledge.It is not a good way for teachers and principal to teach their students this kind of knowledge. and it is easily arouse conflict between school and parents.
• Anderson, Indiana
20 Dec 06
Very true! If parents choose to spank reasonably, that's their right If children don't get spanked in school, it doesn't interfere with the parents' right to spank at home. However, there are homes where spanking is never done and is strongly disapproved of. If the teachers spank such a child at school, they ARE interfering with what the parents are trying to teach, which is that hitting people to get a point across is NEVER the right thing to do.
@borg_queen (2535)
• Philippines
16 Dec 06
No. Only parents should do that.
1 person likes this
• Anderson, Indiana
18 Dec 06
Exactly! In some homes, no spanking goes on, so could you imagine a child receiving his/her first spanking at school!?! That would be traumatic!
@lsen06 (5000)
• India
16 Dec 06
no they donot have the right to spank--under any circumstances.
1 person likes this
• Anderson, Indiana
18 Dec 06
I agree! Instead of responding by hitting, they need to be trying to find out what's going on inside of the child. E.R. Braithwaite (or however he spelled his name--I don't have it handy now) whose story was told in the movie, To Sir With Love, had his work cut out for him with the kids put in his care, but he didn't resort to caning or paddling any of them, though he wasn't afraid to touch them such as to hug them, either. He was a success--so it goes to show that hitting isn't the only way to shape up students.
@nhtpscd (1418)
• Australia
16 Dec 06
Well I have a mixed emotion on this one. I worked in a school recently and saw how bad some of these kids get. I witnessed a student verbally abuse teacher go through in school suspension then destroy school text books get day suspension after consultation with parents to 10 mins after going back to school deface school buildings. His parents stated that they wished the principal could have smacked the child with the canes as it worked years ago with the father. In australia they are very strict on how a teacher or another can touch a child whilst in the schools care. Most teachers now are too afraid to give an upset chils a simple cuddle if they are crying
1 person likes this
• Anderson, Indiana
18 Dec 06
I think that smacking that child with a cane would have solved absolutely nothing--and, in fact, might have made things worse. This was obviously a very emotionally-disturbed youth. This law against being able to hold and comfort a hurting child is also an unhealthy one. No wonder there are so many emotionally-disturbed children in our schools these days.
@beverly1 (1129)
• United States
15 Dec 06
you have a right to spank your kid long you dont hurt them i dont think its right for a teacher to hit any child
1 person likes this
• Anderson, Indiana
15 Dec 06
Exactly! I'm not going to go so far as to have CPS intervene when parents spank a child as long as it's not abuse, but I no longer believe that this right should extend to teachers, principals, etc.
• Philippines
6 Dec 06
I am an educator my self. I believe that authentic education can only be gained free of rigidity and coercion. It must be a pleasurable endeavour. Punishment should not be corporal. Else you'll be sued for such.
1 person likes this
• Anderson, Indiana
8 Dec 06
You sound like a great teacher! Your students are blessed to have you, and I bet they learn a lot and will have wonderful memories of being part of your class!
• India
6 Dec 06
Nope they dont have the right to spank.teachers can make us understand and small beatings are fine because after our parents they have the second most important place in our life.so they too have a responsibility to make us grow good and disciplined.
1 person likes this
• Anderson, Indiana
8 Dec 06
I think that teachers can make kids understand without laying a hand on them. If they can't, perhaps, they shouldn't be teaching.
@neon2000 (2761)
• Philippines
4 Dec 06
Sometimes it's not good. Maybe if the children at school are so abusive and hard headed then I have reason to say, they have that right but not all the time. Call their parents to the spanking and paddling.
• Anderson, Indiana
4 Dec 06
I would say to call the parents to take them home and/or get into a conference, but don't try to force the parents to spank them. I heard of this case where the school wouldn't spank a child but, instead, called in his mother to do the job. The mother didn't believe in spanking, and the school was trying to force her to do this.
@amy0214 (1513)
• United States
4 Dec 06
No, I don't think that teachers have the right to spank the children.
1 person likes this
• Anderson, Indiana
4 Dec 06
There's actually no law against it, so they do have the right--but they shouldn't. I'd like to get the laws changed.