Tom Johnson's letter to the Austin American-Statesman
June 28, 2011

Touching not tolerated

Re: June 22 editorial, "Latest session add-ons don't deserve 2nd chance."

I see a parallel between the issue of Transportation Security Administration pat-downs (the target of Gov. Rick Perry's anti-groping effort), and that of paddling students (a practice the governor abides in Texas' public schools). In both cases, we have government employees making aversive contact with erogenous zones, which normally would be considered sexual battery or harassment, or at least very compromising to modesty. Both are supposedly justified, one in the interest of security and the other in the interest of discipline.

It would be nice if Perry broadened his proposal to acknowledge that it is not only government workers at the federal level who may engage in "official oppression." He should also consider whether the right not to be touched in certain places by those in authority is something we should ask young people to surrender just because they were late to class or caught smoking on campus.

Tom Johnson
People Opposed to Paddling Students


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