To members in CA, CO, KY, NH, NY, PA, TN, VA and all the others....

I know some may think of this as "a cause" but I hope you will hear me out and please view the links.

On April l5th, a subcommittee of the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee will begin hearings on banning school corporal punishment. The measure would link corporal punishment bans to federal funding and, if successful, would probably be added to the ESEA (formerly "Leave No Child Behind") re-authorization measure.

Even though this is a bill that would affect the whole of the U.S., the reps on the U.S. House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Healthy Families and Communities can only be contacted by their own constituents. Since my state (MO) has no rep on the committee I am appealing to my fellow atheists in the represented states (CA, CO, KY, NH, NY, PA, TN, VA). Even if you don't participate I think you will find the following to be informative.

20 states still paddle children in public schools:

States that paddle have passed legislation granting themselves legal immunity from prosecution by parents when children are injured requiring medical care. Legal immunity for the same injuries that would put a parent in jail.
School "discipline" injuries (graphic NSFW)

Corporal punishment is linked to poorer academic achievement.
Facts vs. Opinion: School Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment is disproportionately used on poor children, children with disabilities, minorities and boys.

States have already determined corporal punishment is harmful. In almost all states it is banned in childcare, foster care and institutions for children. It should be banned in schools too.

More than 50 national organizations oppose the use of school corporal punishment. These include the National Education Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Bar Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Psychological Association.

Over twenty African American leaders have signed a proclamation opposing it.

Corporal punishment is illegal in schools in over l00 countries in the world.

One example of PUBLIC school teachers who love their corporal punishment:
The teacherswhopaddle blog is written by PUBLIC elementary school teachers in AL/GA(?) promoting corporal punishment. In one of the first posts they were making fun of a 50 yr old man who had written about still being so affected by school paddling that it made him cry. They thought that was hilarious, completely ignoring the point that they could be creating the same issues for any of their students. They agree high school students are too old to be paddled, but pre-k (3-4 yr olds) thru elementary are the perfect age. The stories featured on the teachers paddling site include descriptions of children crying and begging to not be paddled and a middle school cheerleader being paddled while the paddler holds her short skirt down. The stories are very descriptive and sound like a sadist's/pedo's dream . When they first started posting I wrote them often asking asking why they continue to ignore all the child health organizations who oppose corporal punishment, why they don't use positive programs, what about the kids' mental health? They never post any comments. They just post a short "Memo to:" if they hear from you too often. My email was soon blocked and I do have a "Memo to Sheryl" on their site! HA! The main writer, Renee, is particularly aggressive and since the blog first appeared Aug. 08 she has been promoted to middle school principal, a position which she says includes disciplining the students. I don't think this is a coincidence.

Another thing I particularly criticized was their blogroll links. One of the blogroll links was to the spankwithlove site whose logo was an actual photo of a child's red naked bottom in a heart. (I just tried the site and it seems to be gone.) The other was to Reb's Paddles, that promoted paddles as an adult fetish. They removed these links in the first few months but defended them in the Oct. 08 newest faq's post. They are an interesting read in an anthropological sort of way but I always come away feeling disturbed. You can look them up if you like. I'm not linking to them. These are not private school teachers. THEY ARE PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS!

Even though this bill would not affect the "religious freedom" of private schools, It will force PUBLICLY-FUNDED schools to abandon the use of their archaic methods of threats of pain, fear and humiliation. Child abusers purposely put themselves in positions of power and authority over children and it's naive to think they haven't been taking advantage of this opportunity.

If you are in one of these districts, will you please contact your rep and ask that they support the Banning School Corporal Punishment Bill?

CA Buck McKeon (R-CA 25th District)
CA Judy Chu (D CA-32)
CO Jared Polis (D CO-02)
KY Brett Guthrie (R-KY 02 District)
NH Carol Shea-Porter (D NH -01)
NY Carolyn McCarthy, Chairwoman
NY Yvette Clarke (D NY-11)
NY Paul Tonko (D-NY-21)
PA Russell Platts (R-PA l9th District)
PA Glen "GT" Thomson (R-PA 5th District)
TN David P. Roe (R-TN 01 District)
VA Bobby Scott (D VA-03)

Thanks for reading...

p.s. In case anyone's wondering... Yes, I was paddled in front of my 2nd grade class when I was 7 years old. It has been 38 years and I still remember her name (Mrs. Flynn) and I still hate her!

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Comment by Warren on April 14, 2010 at 9:37am
I don't remember the districts ( I do know one of the principals had a kids TV show though or something along the those lines). It was in the 80's. It did not work on me either - I have always been a bit rebellious.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on April 13, 2010 at 6:46pm
Hi Warren,
What district were you in and how long ago. I know when I was in grade school in Denver (back before the invention of fire) I saw the business end of a paddle on my ass but that was loooong ago. But, it didn't work I remained a little shit.
Comment by Warren on April 13, 2010 at 11:11am
Hi Carver,
I was a student in Colorado and I was on the receiving end of a paddling by 2 different principals at 2 different schools. So, yes, corporal punishment did occur in Colorado schools ( at least in my experience) . I am not sure whether or not it occurs now though.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on April 13, 2010 at 10:25am
I was a teacher in Colorado for 30 years and I never witnessed or heard of a student being paddled - maybe it occurs in some schools but where I was teaching you didn't lay a hand on students unless it was to restrain a violent student.
Although Jared Polis is not my congresscritter I'm sure he would be opposed to corporal punishment.
Comment by Sheryl on April 12, 2010 at 11:40pm
@ Robert -Missouri is in the top 10 most paddled students. I'm in Springfield and none of the Springfield public schools paddle. It seems to be the rural areas now. Same with Oklahoma. They are in the top 10 most paddled students as a state, but the city of Tulsa does not use cp either. The one exception was the Deborah Brown Community charter school (not under TPS) that Langston University took over last year. In 2006 with a mostly minority student population of 250 with half of those being under 6 yrs of age they reported 150 incidents of corporal punishment. Personally I think it's disgusting. I'm not one for telling people what to do in their personal lives but it shouldn't be federally funded in a public school. I also don't want my son to have to witness it. He would be horrified.
Comment by Robert Madewell on April 12, 2010 at 11:23pm
Growing up in Southern Missouri, I have plenty of experience with corporal punishment. My first grade teacher would administer the paddlings in front of the entire class. Seems that all the kids laughed and that they laughed louder when the one punished would cry or beg.

Being ever the experimenter, when it came time for me to be paddled, I fought off the tears and didn't cry. The class stopped laughing. The teacher seemed mad to me and she hit me again. I still wouldn't cry. She hit me yet another time. She ended up giving me six swats before she let me go. My mother noticed the bruising and asked the school about it, but not much was done.
Comment by Rusty Gunn. on April 12, 2010 at 9:41pm
The corporal punishment that I remember most was not a paddling, it was a fist to the solar plexis by my sixth grade teacher because he mistakingly believed I'd hit a girl. Of course, even if I had it would not have warranted that response. I didn't have enough sense at the time to call the police because I'd been physically and emotionally abused by my father so a fist to the stomach didn't seem all that much excessive to me. However, it's been quite some time ago and I certainly don't "hate" the teacher that did it.
Comment by AgeOfAtheists14 on April 12, 2010 at 8:12pm
What's funny is how they won't allow kill the man with the ball at schools for fear of lawsuits but they'll let the kid get beat with a stick for being a kid!? We never got paddled when we were allowed to let out our aggressions; seems the adults need to let their aggressions out elsewhere sometimes...

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