Paddling in Texas -- Letters to the Editor Paddling in Texas -- Letter to the Editor
From Jeffrey L. Charles
The Paris News, December 26, 2004

Paddling in Texas
From staff reports
The Paris News

Published December 26, 2004

To the Editor:

By itself, school paddling carries aspects of both physical and sexual abuse. That is why in “the good old days” many schools paddled boys exclusively, why some require same gender hitters or witnesses, why some care about the race of the paddler and witness, and why some give parents or students a chance to opt out, etc. None of these sexualized aspects follow non-sexual punishments like detentions the way they do with paddling.

At first, it sounds half-way enlightened to give students or parents an “option” to paddling. They have “discipline choices.” But if one of the choices carry aspects of sexual exploitation and sadism, as paddling clearly does, then the “choice” becomes quid-pro-quo sexual harassment where a teen girl must choose to bend over the desk for a man or have her grades and schooling harmed.

Would we be happy to learn a woman had the “choice” of bending over for a spanking at work or having her pay docked? Why do the tax-funded public schools model this behavior?

School paddling was never taught in the Bible. The best-educated states and schools do not use it, and the prison rate is lower in non-paddling states overall as well. There is no good reason to “offer” paddling, and only the darkest reasons why so many like to do it.

As Rush Limbaugh quipped: “I love the women’s movement, especially when viewed from behind.” Even “conservative men” are not immune to sexual thoughts related to paddling. They may likely ratchet up suspensions for trivial faults for paddling.

Trivial problems should be dealt with in trivial ways that do not result in harm or exploitation. The small problems are actually the only ones students are railroaded into paddling for.

Truly large problems like injurious violence, guns, etc., are rare, and are inappropriate for paddling in any case. They should be dealt with by suspension and/or the police being called. There is no need for physical and sexual abuse and degradation in any case.

Jeffrey L. Charles
Roseville, Mich.

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