Bring Back Corporal Punishment!

by Sonny Bunch on April 27, 2012

Photo by flickr user Gwen

Police arrested a six-year-old boy after he threatened, and then struck, a principal. Notes Reuters:

Police in a small Indiana town hauled a six-year-old from his elementary school and charged him with battery and intimidation after he kicked and threatened a principal, police said on Wednesday.

The incident followed one earlier in April where police handcuffed a 6-year-old girl who was screaming and crying and had injured a principal and damaged property at an elementary school in Milledgeville, Georgia. She was not charged.

The Indiana student, who had been suspended from school recently for biting and hitting a staff member, was arrested April 18 at Hendricks Elementary School in Shelbyville, which is about 30 miles southeast of Indianapolis.

On Twitter, David Kozin flagged Radley Balko: “@radleybalko I dislike this theme. RT@youranonnews: Police arrest 6-year-old who threatens, kicks principal.” Balko, whose writing focuses on civil liberties abuses, retweeted in endorsement (I assume, anyway, since he’s disapprovingly linked to similar stories in the past).

Now, to be clear, I’m with Balko on this one: Arresting little kids for getting into fights in school is asinine. But it’s not the school’s fault or the principal’s fault or even really the police’s fault. Rather, the fault lies with our ridiculous society and its tendency to permit lawsuits over every stupid little thing. In a sane and rational world, a principal would, after being threatened by a child, be allowed to place his hands on said child and physically move him into a “timeout” chair or (some-such nonsense) and then, if the child struck the principal or one of his employees, be allowed to (gently, always gently) show the child the error of his ways physically. Possibly with a paddle.

If you touch a kid as a teacher, however, you’re liable to get sued into oblivion. (Of course, parents are forced to resort to lawsuits to fire even the worst educators since teachers unions have made it virtually impossible for school systems to fire lousy teachers, but that’s a post for another day.) And maybe that’s the way this generation of namby-pamby parents wants it, what with their “self-esteem building” and other various and sundry bullshit. But let’s ask ourselves what’s more sane: A world in which a principal can give a demon-child a quick swat on the butt, or a world in which said demon-child is dealt with by local PD because trial lawyers and whiny parents have tied his hands?

(And……CUE outraged parents in the comments. It’s fine, I deserve it. Go ahead. I am, how do you say, a “terrible person.”)

(Don’t waste my time with “physical punishment doesn’t change the behavior of children” comments, though. I find that line or reasoning to be absurd. Worked for millennia, still works today.)

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kira Davis April 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm

My in-laws run a private Christian school in inner city IN where CP is still legal. While public schools don’t use it anymore, they do. Parents have to sign a waiver. Mom said in 25 years they only had one parent opt out of the CP…and she came back later and said she changed her mind. She noticed her kid was getting in trouble more than the others. I sent my own kid there until we moved away. I’ll tell you something, that school was tiny and underfunded, but quiet and organized. They graduated kids who scored way way way above the city average. I agree. Bring back CP!

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C. Craft April 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm

A few years ago, when he was in junior high, my son was attacked in class, by another student. A black belt in both karate and taekwondo, he repeatedly pushed the kid away until the other kid fell and made a scene. Both kids were ticketed. We had to make a court appearance and attend classes.

The bailiff approached us after our court appearance and asked my son about his martial arts experience. He told us the only way to avoid prosecution according to how the laws are worded is to stand there and allow the other kid to hit you until a teacher steps in. (The same teacher who was doing so well in class that he didn’t notice that the skirmish was happening?) My son noted that his punishment would have been the same if he had actually beat the kid up instead of just pushing him away.

In order to protect themselves from lawsuits, the schools are teaching kids the wrong lessons.

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salvage April 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Yes, if you talk to prisoners you will find that not one of them was beaten as a child. If violence doesn’t solve every problem than you simply are not doing it enough.

Idiots.

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Atul April 17, 2013 at 5:41 pm

I don not ever want to bring fucking stupid corporal punishments back! NEVER!

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