Paddlers' state of mind
By Jordan Riak, July 3, 2008

"...Yet such is the temper and moral culture of teachers themselves that it is exceedingly unsafe to leave too wide a discretion in their hands. The nature even of instructors of youth is fallible, and there is a kind of intoxication in the exercise of unlimited power, though it be only over little boys and girls, that may wisely be checked and controlled... " New York Times editorial, Jan. 22, 1871
Teachers who paddle students live in a world all their own. For some, that world is essentially a trance state. Apparently, the prospect of picking up a wooden board and whacking a victim's pelvic area is so enthralling, that they totally lose the ability to reflect critically on what they are doing. Ask any paddler if he or she can cite any professional field other than prostitution, pornography, or teaching school, in which buttocks beating is part of the job description, and all you'll get is a blank stare. Ask if prospective teachers learn paddling technique in teachers' college. Another blank stare. And maybe some grumbling about kids' lack of respect for authority these days.

One school principal with a fondness for inflicting corporal punishment, recently announced at a school board meeting where the subject was being discussed that he wants the students he paddles to see his face when they go to bed at night. One wonders what part of their anatomy he sees when he goes to bed at night.

The above photo shows paddling injuries inflicted on a high school senior shortly before graduation. The paddler wanted to give him a final reminder of who's boss -- a kind of parting gift. The boy was 18 years old at the time -- old enough to drive a car, get married or join the military without anyone's permission. He was unaware that he could have reported the incident to the police, and the paddler would have been arrested and charged with sexual battery.

Here's important advice for students who have had their eighteenth birthday. No one can legally spank you. If someone does, call 911 or head for the nearest police station. If you're under 18, and attend school in a paddling district, and your parents have come to realize their limited power to protect you, that's bad news. You're still fair game.

Jordan Riak, Exec. Dir., PTAVE


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