I remember my brother getting spanked at school with a paddle as a teenager. I also remember that his response was, well, best left unwritten. All these years, I thought the spanking was due to the school being private and due to the times. I never in my wildest dreams (or nightmares) imagined that this type of punishment still existed and that I could be sending my daughters to a school that would allow them to be spanked. It was time to find out what the scoop was on spanking in schools.
Who is doing the spanking? In one case, a mother objected not to the spanking, but to who did the spanking. The woman, a Dallas/Fort Worth area mom, gave permission for her teenage daughter to be spanked at school for allegedly helping a student cheat. By all accounts, this was a "good kid" who didn't like the idea of getting paddled, but also didn't want the alternative, a school suspension, on her record. What this parent didn't know was that a male vice principal did the paddling. Not only was it a man, but there were also obvious signs of blistering and redness on the girl for days after the spanking, which was observed by a female administrator. Another female student reports that she was spanked by the same male administrator, with a male police officer in attendance. Her mother objected as well and while these mothers and school district agree that paddling should only be administered by an individual of the same gender, this simple rule doesn't seem to be followed at this school. Official Texas law forbids school paddling by a member of the opposite sex, but how can you know for sure that it won't happen in your child's school?
Why are they doing the spanking? In the two cases mentioned, one reason for the paddling was for "cheating" and the other was for "smarting off." I don't know many teenagers that don't "smart off" at some point during their high school years, so it would seem that a large percentage of students could be spanked at some point. One school in the Houston, Texas area used paddling as a punishment, upon the permission of his parent, after a student received three consecutive zero grades. For this particular 13 year old student it was not his first spanking, but it may be his last as he came home with bruising, welts, and blisters not only on his bottom, but all over his body.
What's the difference between a spanking, paddling or "swatting? Personally , "swatting " sounds like something you do with your hand on a well - padded (quite possibly diapered) bottom to get a child's attention and, in some cases, even in a playful manner. After all, football players do it and no one says anything about that . But spanking to me implies hitting with your hand, or any other object, against a child's (and in these cases a teen's ) bottom. Some bottoms are fully clothed when spanked while others are bare . A paddling is similar to a spanking, but often administered with an instrument, usually one that looks similar to a cricket bat.
Which states permit paddling? There are nineteen states in the U.S. that consider paddling or spanking to be a legal form of discipline in schools. Many of them are in the south and western states. Do you know if it is legal in your state? I do now and I'm not happy about it.
What is your school's policy? I was thrilled to find out that, though spanking is legal in Texas, my school district does not permit it. In Texas, it varies from one school to the next, but I can't stress enough the importance of reading your school's official rules and knowing what your school's discipline policy is. If spanking is permitted, find out what the school rules and regulations are regarding spankings in schools, and get all your questions answered. Some schools have a form, which parents are requested to sign, that either denies or grants schools the right to spank. What other policies and safety measures do they have in place regarding spanking your child? As a parent, you will not know for certain unless you ask.
I'm not condoning spanking in schools. Personally I think it is wrong. That's why I wanted these questions answered. But whether or not to spank your child is not really the issue here. The issue is who gets to spank your child and why, and only a parent should be able to make that decision. But before they do, parents need all the facts. Don't be surprised like I was, especially when your surprise could come in the form of a bruised and battered bottom on your child when you least expect it.
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Stop Hitting.com - States and stats regarding spanking in schools