Quotes From Kids
The Center for Effective Discipline has designated April 30 as National SpankOut Day for schools. In its most recent research (the 2006-07 academic year), the center estimated that more than 200,000 children received physical punishment in public schools. Children's PressLine, a news organization of journalists ages 8 to 18, interviewed students about the issue.
14 year old female—Groveton, Texas:
"I got popped - paddled - because I didn't work a problem out right in math. It made me feel very degraded. When my mom found out, she took me to the police station and they took photographs. They couldn't take any legal action because he had hit me on the leg and not on the butt. When your parents hit you and leave a bruise, CPS (Child Protective Services) can take you away, but if the principal hits you and leaves a bruise, nothing happens."
13 year old male—Sharon, Tenn.:
"I was in my classroom and I threw this little piece of clay and hit this boy in the back. My principal saw and told me to march to his office. When I got in there, he took me into this room and shut the door. He told me to bend over and then he paddled me three times. Once he hit me on my leg and then my butt. He was yelling right in my face and spitting all over me. I was crying when I went back to class. When I came home, I told my mom and she was in disbelief. She called the police and they came to my house. They took pictures and made me write this statement."
16 year old female—Clayton, N.C.:
"Corporal punishment is a really primitive way of dealing with discipline. Society is so inundated in this idea that violence solves problems. What kind of message is that sending out to kids? I saw a news article about a kid who was hit in school and suffered some pretty serious injuries on his backside. He came down and met with our youth committee. He told us that he was talking in class and his teacher sent him to the principal's office. The way that the law works in that county is that the principal is supposed to execute corporal punishment. But the principal got a male teacher involved. He beat him pretty severely. He had blood clots on his backside. (His mother) went to the police department and they basically told him that if she had inflicted those wounds on her own son, then she wouldn't be allowed to be a parent anymore."
Permission was granted to the Center for Effective Discipline from Children's PressLine for reproduction of this article.