Taylor Santos' story about choosing paddling rather than serve two days of in-school suspension for "allegedly letting another student copy her classwork" is a choice that no child should have. Children should not have the option for corporal punishment - if an adult hit another person it would be assault. Why are schoolchildren offered paddling in any circumstances?
As a mother of two children, I do not believe in physical punishment of any kind. After 16 years of parenting, I have never hit my child. I believe in setting high expectations with firm, consistent discipline. I believe modeling appropriate problem solving behavior, using communication, to teach my children right from wrong. My strategies for parenting my children, ages 13 and 16, has always been to model in myself the kind of adults I want them to be.
When my daughter was in kindergarten, I told her that her job was to be a student and to do what the teacher asked of her, and not to be sent to the principal's office. With a teacher-mom, she took me seriously. One day I picked her up after school, crying. She said she had slipped in the mud and was sent to the office to change and was worried I would be mad at her. She understood my expectations for behavior, but lacked the maturity to consider all the nuances of being sent to the principal. At that point, I realized how much she looked to me for guidance, and how careful I needed to be with my words.
Taylor Santos should not have been paddled. No child deserves to have a parent, teacher, vice-principal, or anyone else use physical force on them for any reason.