From Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education, March 25, 2009
It has come to our attention that the Memphis Academy for Health Sciences, a charter school in Memphis, Tennessee, has a discipline policy involving a public buttocks-beating ritual. The event occurs weekly. Viewers include children enrolled at the school. The ostensible purpose of this activity is to discourage student misbehavior. The effects on children, however, according to the overwhelming preponderance of research-based evidence, are exactly the opposite. An authoritative resource on this subject can be found on the Web site of the Family Research Laboratory, University of New Hampshire. See: http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ .
We believe that corporal punishment at MAHS is a just-under-the-radar form of lewd entertainment of the kind one encounters in venues targeting adult-only audiences. Hitting children on the buttocks with a board has nothing to do with education or improving children’s behavior, and not one teacher training program in Tennessee instructs future teachers in the correct method for doing it. In addition to the psychological damage it causes, the risk of serious physical injury is high. Typical injuries to schoolchildren resulting from school corporal punishment can be viewed on this Web page: www.nospank.net/violatn.htm (WARNING: Some viewers find these images profoundly disturbing. Do not open this page if children are present.)
We wish to remind Tennesseans who are concerned about the quality of education in their state that the habit of child beating closely correlates with high rates of school drop-out, poverty, illiteracy, domestic violence and crime. We believe the schools should be setting a better standard.
Jordan Riak, Exec. Dir., Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education (PTAVE); P.O. Box 1033, Alamo, CA 94507; Tel: 925-831-1661; On the Web at www.nospank.net