Jeff Charles' comments on the role of education department legal counsels in paddling states
April 18, 2002

April 18, 2002

Dear Jordan,

"Legal Counsels" in places like Tennessee that do a lot of paddling serve only one purpose in this regard: Protect any and all paddling, and protect any and all paddlers. They have no concern for the abused children that their bills and policies create. This is clear from the "teacher protection act" type laws that nearly all of them have to various degrees, where bruising is common, but where injured children cannot sue for harm. It is also clear from the ratcheting up of more and more severe paddlings for ever lesser and lesser "offenses" that Tennessee's recent "Discipline Act" is a prime example of. Instead of being a "last resort" for a rare and serious offense severe paddlings are now meted out for trivial first time offenses, including not saying "sir" or "ma'am" or, in Tennessee's case, even if the teacher "thinks a student is showing disrespect." Paddling under this bill would be totally arbitrary. If a paddler thinks a pretty teen girl "has a nice rear" he can paddle her "because of attitude" (his judgment) and she has no recourse, no matter how perfectly behaved she is. This is nothing more than blatant "slave mentality." You almost expect the "Tennessee Discipline Act" to be further amended so students can be whipped at a post if they forget to say, "Yes massa." There is little difference as it is.

The "legal response" you got from Tennessee was just one more attempt to "silence the messenger" who is bringing an uncomfortable message that they know is true but don't want to hear, and don't want others to hear either. It is all a "deep dark secret." If they are so proud why don't they "shout it from the rooftops" that, "yes, we bruise kids--but its good for them and for us." They know, however, that the less said the better. They are not really proud of what they do to kids.

Instead they attempt to intimidate the messenger, to keep complete silence about their systematic abuse of children.

Keep up the good work Jordan.



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