Letter to Education Department Heads in Paddling States
By Jordan Riak, May 27, 2008

The following letter was mailed on May 27, 2008 to state education department heads in 21 paddling states. Recipients are listed at the bottom of this page. Their responses, linked from their respective names, will be published upon receipt, and any failure to respond will also be indicated. The letters were sent snail mail on PTAVE stationery.

Superintendent of Education
[department and address]

Dear [name]:

Striking a child on the buttocks with a wooden paddle has no proven educational value. When done to a nonconsenting adult, the perpetrator would face arrest, prosecution for sexual battery and, if convicted, likely prison time.Yet this precise activity is standard practice in some of the schools under your authority. While all credible research conclusively demonstrates corporal punishment’s negative effects, there is one additional risk factor that is typically overlooked. You should be aware of it. Some child abusers, including pedophiles and sadists, are drawn to the teaching profession, especially to paddling schools where they can indulge their peculiar habits while earning a living. That's bad for the children, bad for good teachers, and bad for the system.

If we have mischaracterized corporal punishment and maligned its practitioners, and in fact it is a legitimate educational procedure, then presumably there are established protocols, and teachers are trained and tested for competency. If that's true, can you please send us a copy of same or direct us to a source? Can you identify any college or university in [state] that trains educators in the correct method for hitting schoolchildren?

Thank you for your kind attention. We look forward to your reply which we will share with our membership and other interested parties.


Jordan Riak, Exec.Dir.
Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education (PTAVE)
P.O. Box 1033, Alamo, CA 94507

E-mail: riak@nospank.net

ALABAMA -- No response to date
    Joseph B. Morton, Secretary and Executive Officer
    State Dept. of Education
    5114 Gordon Persons Bldg.
    Montgomery, AL 36130

ARIZONA -- No response to date
    Superintendent Tom Horne
    Arizona Department of Education
    1535 West Jefferson Street, Bin 12
    Phoenix, AZ 85007

ARKANSAS -- No response to date
    Commissioner T. Kenneth James, Ed.D.,
    Arkansas Department of Education
    Four State Capitol Mall
    Little Rock, AR 72201

COLORADO -- No response to date
    Dwight D. Jones Commissioner of Education
    Colorado Department of Education
    201 East Colfax Avenue, Room 500
    Denver, CO 80203

FLORIDA -- Read Response of June 12, 2008
and Jordan Riak's response to Joe Davis, Chief Bureau of Family and Community Outreach, June 12, 2008

    Commissioner Eric J. Smith
    Florida Department of Education
    Turlington Building, Suite 1514
    325 West Gaines Street
    Tallahassee, Florida 32399

GEORGIA -- Read Response of June 5, 2008
    Kathy Cox, Chief Executive Officer
    2066 Twin Towers East
    205 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive SE
    Atlanta, GA 30334

IDAHO -- No response to date
    Superintendent Tom Luna
    Idaho Department of Education
    650 West State Street
    PO Box 83720
    Boise, Idaho 83720-0027

INDIANA -- No response to date
    Superintendent Dr. Suellen K. Reed
    Indiana Department of Education
    State House, Room 229
    Indianapolis, IN 46204-2798

KANSAS -- No response to date
    Alexa Posny, Kansas Commissioner of Education
    120 South East Tenth Avenue
    Topeka, KS 66612-1182

KENTUCKY -- Read Response of June 2, 2008
    Dr. Jon Draud, Commissioner of Education
    Kentucky Department of Education
    Capitol Plaza Tower - 500 Mero Street
    Frankfort, KY 40601

LOUISIANA -- Read Response of June 5, 2008
Jordan Riak's response to Joan Hunt, June 5, 2008
    Paul G. Pastorek, State Superintendent of Education
    Louisiana Department of Education
    PO Box 94064
    Baton Rouge, LA 70804 - 9064

MISSISSIPPI -- No response to date
    Dr. Hank M. Bounds, Executive Secretary,
    State Superintendent of Education
    P.O. Box 771
    Jackson, MS 39205

MISSOURI -- No response to date
    D. Kent King, Missouri Commissioner of Education
    Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
    PO Box 480
    Jefferson City, MO 65102

NEW MEXICO -- No response to date
    Dr. Veronica García, New Mexico Secretary of Education
    Jerry Apodaca Education Building
    300 Don Gaspar
    Santa Fe, NM 87501

NORTH CAROLINA -- No response to date
    State Superintendent June Atkinson
    North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
    Education Building
    301 North Wilmington Street
    Raleigh, NC 27601-2825

OHIO -- No response to date
    Superintendent Susan Tave Zelman
    Ohio Department of Education
    25 South Front Street
    Columbus, OH 43215-4183

OKLAHOMA -- No response to date
    Sandy Garrett, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
    Oklahoma State Department of Education
    Hodge Education Building
    2500 North Lincoln Boulevard
    Oklahoma City, OK 73105-4599

SOUTH CAROLINA -- No response to date
    State Superintendent Of Education Jim Rex
    South Carolina Department of Education
    1006 Rutledge Building
    1429 Senate Street
    Columbia, SC 29201

TENNESSEE -- Read Response of June 10, 2008
    Tim Webb, Acting Commissioner
    Tennessee Department of Education
    Andrew Johnson Tower, Sixth Floor
    Nashville, TN 37243-0375

TEXAS -- No response to date
    Commissioner of Education Robert Scott
    Texas Education Agency
    William Travis Building
    1701 North Congress Avenue
    Austin, TX 78701

WYOMING -- Read Response of June 10, 2008
    Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jim McBride
    Wyoming Department of Education
    2300 Capitol Avenue, 2nd Floor
    Hathaway Building
    Cheyenne, WY 82002-0050


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