Saturday, September 30, 2006


Check out this cheeky story run by the NYTimes about paddlin'. It's a classic example of a rule or a policy that may appear the right thing to do under the right circumstances, but is so rarely carried out under the right circumstances that the ethical thing to do is ban the policy all together.

Take the Times' example of Anthony Price of Everman, TX. He's a principal who seems to show discretion when it comes to corporal punishmant, or "pops" as he calls the policy. Student malfeasance at Price's middle school is corrected through a series of escalting punishments, one of which is a choice between the paddle and suspension. The pops policy has apparently worked well at Price's suburban middle school. But for every tale of success, there are cloudy, concealed, and subjective accounts of abuse.

Is the Times promoting a national conversation about whacking kids? Seems like they want one. Cultural traditions aside, hitting kids is bad, umkay. So don't hit kids.


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