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School CP - July 1994

Corpun file 00985

USA Today, 18 July 1994

Spankings benefit students

Only a half million spankings per year? Why is the Anti-Corporal Punishment League alarmed at that statistic?

Look at the numbers: With 50 million kids enrolled in K-12, a mere 1% is "spirited" enough to justify paddlings.

That's not a big deal. And if the rod is applied early enough, with its purpose clearly defined, many of the miscreants will be saved from worse penalties years later.

It's a perfectly legitimate way to focus the attention of the worst of youthful troublemakers. Infantile criminality by junior misdemeanants demands drastic action.

Of course, people warped by the Benjamin Spock school hyperventilate at the slightest mention of paddling. They still believe the Socratic method can be applied to youthful Al Capones.

They deserve our sympathy, but not our attention.

We shouldn't expect teachers to be psychologists, police officers, prosecutors, judges or jailers. All we should ask of them is that they teach.

We must provide an atmosphere where they can do just that. For the meanest of the classroom crowd, corporal punishment is part of the formula.

In addition to reforming many young ruffians, there's another positive to the process: The object lesson for kids is that as they approach adulthood, violations of others' personal or property rights result in punishments much worse than minor taps on the tush.

Still, the ACPL protests: "It's violence!" Excuse us? Isn't this the same "liberal-progressive" hive that executes its agenda through government coercion? Does the threat - or use - of state-initiated violence to spread the blessings of socialist gods ever bother them? Hypocrites.

We owe the spankees apologies. They're victims of general incompetency in a government system that stresses "self-esteem," touchy-feely curriculums and condom distribution rather than academic challenges. So, many students are bored. A few get into trouble.

Legislators and educationists should be included in the floggings until they institute vouchers, competency, competition and excellence. Until then, part of the education of at least 1% of students will continue to be in arrears.

Copyright 1994, USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co., Inc.

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