Monday, January 22, 2007

Montgomery Public Schools Debate Corporal Punishment

By Antoinette Konz
Montgomery Advertiser

It was shortly before noon one day last spring when Monique Jones got the phone call from the principal at her son's Montgomery school.

Michael, 9, was in trouble for talking back to his teacher and disrupting his class.

"She asked me if I wanted her to use corporal punishment or if she wanted me to come pick him up and have him serve a one-day suspension," Jones said. "I went with the paddle."

According to new figures released by Montgomery Public Schools, corporal punishment was administered to students in 1,571 incidents last school year. That number is down 7 percent from the 2004-05 school year when 1,693 incidents were reported.

Although more than half of the United States has outlawed corporal punishment, Alabama law permits it, allowing each school district to decide whether to use it.

In Montgomery, the use of corporal punishment depends on where the child goes to school, said Lois Johnson, an administrator in MPS' Parents Advocate & Liaison for Students (PALS) office.

"Our school board has left it up to the principal of each school to decide whether or not they want to use it as a form of discipline," she said.

Incoming Superintendent John Dilworth said Friday he does not think corporal punishment is a good idea.

"I think there are other ways to deal with misbehavior," said Dilworth, who officially becomes Montgomery's next superintendent on March 1. "I would be interested in talking with my principals and school board about this policy after I take over.


I am glad to see that the new superintendent is against corporal punishment and has plans to address it when he formally takes over.

I am against corporal punishment for a number of reasons. I do not strike my children and I'll be damned if I will let someone else strike them. Using corporal punishment is a lazy persons cop out. It promotes and condones violence while doing nothing to teach the child why what they did was wrong. When I was a kid and would do things I wasn't suppossed to do I got my ass tore slam up with a hickory switch but no lesson in why what I did was wrong. All spankings ever did were make me angry and more determined not to get caught next time.

It's hypocritical to tell kids that violence won't solve their problems yet resort to violence as the first option when a kid is a problem or creates a problem. It's that "Do as I say and not as I do" mentality that never works in any other situation.

For all of you out there who would say "Spare the rod and spoil the child" I'll have you know that I have to very well behaved children that mind their manners, are not spoiled, are very polite and know how to employ problem solving techniques when problems arise instead of lashing out in a violent way at the person who is causing the problem. My kids argue with words but never with blows.

I hope that corporal punishment is soon BANNED in all public schools. It is barbaric, humiliating and a weak, stupid persons cop out.


Roberto C. Alvarez-Galloso,CPUR said...

In the late 1960's and early 1970's, I was a victim of Corporal Punishment for "misbehaving". I was targeted as a US Latin.
My response, I started expressing myself in favor of a total privatization of public schools. I used to say that to teachers and students. Their response was they will lose their job and education.

Revenge was sweet when the school I went to in 4th and 5th grade [late 1960's and early 1970's] becmae private and then shut down because it was unable to function in a private environment. One of the people who used Corporal Punishment said "My School was closed". My response: "Your school? This was a Public School that could not handle anything.You got what you deserved and are unemployed."

Roberto C. Alvarez-Galloso,CPUR said...

I forgot to add something.

Miami Florida in Late 2006, my wife, daughter and I were having lunch at a restaurant. My Wife and Daughter are those who loves practical jokes.

Unfortunately, two people behind us [in another table] treated my wife and daughter like trash. One was an Old Man who was Republican and another was an Old Man who was a Democrat.

As they were leaving the door, I went after them. The two old men said they "were sorry but I had to teach my wife and daughter manners like in Cuba".

My response was "Duh, we are not in Cuba anymore because you screwed things up." I also added that "I Hope when Castro dies, he takes you old geezers and people like you". They fainted.