Letter to Louisiana Legislators
April 14, 2002

Dear Legislator:

We have just received a copy of the article "Spare the Rod" in the 4/15/02 issue of People. It describes a how a Louisiana schoolgirl was legally beaten and injured in a public school by the school principal. That's what prompted us to write this letter. We hope to learn each Louisiana legislator's position regarding corporal punishment in schools.

It seems only fair, then, that we tell you our position.

There is not a shred of evidence that corporal punishment of schoolchildren has any lasting benefit whatsoever -- not for students, not for teachers, not for school systems, not for society in general. (Only one exception comes to mind: lawyers who will represent the litigants in paddle-related lawsuits like the one discussed in the above-mentioned magazine article.)

But there is abundant evidence that corporal punishment contributes to bullying, vandalism, attacks on teachers, school drop-out, poor academic performance, chemical dependence, eating disorders, suicide risk, poor social skills, poor impulse control, cruelty to animals, deviant sexuality, date rape, road rage, unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, reduced likelihood of college acceptance, increased likelihood of arrest, poor employment prospects, domestic violence, child abuse, failed marriages and poor health.

That's why advanced democratic societies protect schoolchildren from the kinds of maltreatment pictured below, and why educators who are true professionals never hit students.

Now that we've told you what we think, please let us know what you think.

Jordan Riak, Executive Director
Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education (PTAVE)
P.O. Box 1033, Alamo, CA 94507
Tel: 925-831-1661   E-mail: riak@nospank.net   Web site: nospank.net




See related article, "Lawsuits Touch Off Debate Over Paddling in the Schools," By Jodi Wilgoren, The New York Times, May 3, 2001 at www.nospank.net/n-h65.htm
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