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Running amok, Part 2 - SPK Live
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May 2011
Steve K
Wed, Jul. 20th, 2005 02:16 pm
Running amok, Part 2

I appreciate everyone's comments on my latest attempt at discussion.  Believe it or not, I sometimes do these things because I want to learn how other people think or believe!  I will state my case in a (hopefully) logical and informative fashion, and then I urge people to agree or disagree with me.  I just ask that you try to explain your reasons to me!  Simply saying "You're wrong" doesn't change anything, or make me reconsider your view.  Thankfully, no one has done that but I wanted to make sure I said it.

Since these two parts are already public entries, I hope people don't mind me quoting a few things:

I think I would have a problem with someone else smacking my child. (cornfields)
It should be administered with love, by someone who is trusted by that child. (leah_leanna)
I most heartily agree, random beatings are not at all appropriate.  You will notice that I mention the idea of corporal punishment in only one instance, not even to be used by my fellow librarians.  I advocated the use of it at school, under the auspices of approved training and established protocols, under a system of control and accountability.  I would argue that a child's teacher is someone the kid must trust and respect.  Kids are with their teachers at least six hours every weekday; in many households, a parent may not spend that much time with their child in a regular day!  We trust them to give them an education; shouldn't that include teaching social behavior as well?  That's why I was very careful to say, "As long as people know the drill ahead of time, that should be an option."  All potential punishments should be discussed beforehand, perhaps at a meeting of teachers and parents at the start of the school year.  That's also why I said schools should make other options available, such as "exemption classrooms."  I am not insensitive to the fact that some people find spanking unacceptable, but for those who do condone such punishments and have met with the teacher, and understand the basis for it, I think they should also be allowed equal oppotunities.  Right now, they really don't even have the option.

Children understand a lot more than adults give them credit for. (jedibuttercup)
Exactly.  Kids are resilient, and can (with help) recover from some pretty awful things.  This is why I said, "Kids get hurt, but they recover.  Be there to support them, but don't shelter them."  The problem is that many adults don't expose their kids to reality because they want to keep them "safe."  There is a difference between safety and coddling, in my humble opinion.  Corporal punishment would be the last resort to counter inappropriate behavior, but I think it would be a good dose of reality for some people.  Even an episode of Desperate Housewives addressed this issue!  Frankly, I'd rather see a child getting thwacked on the butt once in a while than have his/her brain doped up on Ritalin or whatever other mind-bending drug makes them most "pliable."  To me, that's barbaric!

I am a non-spanker and proud to be so, but please don't for one minute assume that I do not discpline my child, that I let her run rampant thru the streets. (friends-locked on another journal)
I am speaking on a sociological level, saying that we need to reevaluate some of our priorities.  There are many kids who are just fine, who hardly ever need more stringent discipline.  And there are many families who are doing a fine job raising their kids, and they are being accountable for their children's behavior whether they choose to spank or not.  I am not accusing anyone in particular of bad parenting or doing things the "wrong" way.  I am saying that we should consider all options and be willing to take hard steps if necessary.  I am simply asking people to consider the idea that we may have to cause a child a little controlled pain once in a while to give them a sense of perspective, resiliency, and decency -- to ultimately help them achieve a long, happy, and productive life.  If it's not necessary, that's absolutely great!  But I don't want to see people, kids or adults, running amok in the name of political correctness or "protecting them."

Current Mood: working working


Wed, Jul. 20th, 2005 09:14 pm (UTC)

Even if I could legally use corporal punishment at school, I wouldn't do it. First of all, the kids I work with are too big. :D But secondly, there are far better ways of managing one's classroom. Ideally, things go smoothly and your "problem" students will quiet down once you reach an understanding with them; otherwise, it's ALWAYS helpful to call the parents.

For example, I had one girl who was constantly challenging my authority. After about a week of a few little chats and showing her respect, she was not a problem and in fact was one of my most helpful and diligent students.

I like to call parents and get them involved in their child's education. After I've talked with parents, it's amazing how this takes care of the problem.

And if it doesn't, I bring in the parents and the student for a conference with a detailed report of "here's what your child did and here's what I did to try and remedy the situation."

There may be times when a teacher wishes to spank a child, but I feel it is highly inappropriate, even if there were a "system" in place. I just don't feel it is right and there are so many other ways to work around the issue that caused the child to misbehave in the first place - even if it's a social issue not pertaining to school. With high school students especially, they deserve respect. I think humiliation (which spanking creates) is the worst form of punishment, especially in a public realm like a school funded by tax dollars. I'm of the opinion that humiliation only creates fear and anxiety in the student. This compromises the student's right to a fair education because fear and anxiety gets in the way of a student's learning.

my two cents... :) (well, I guess it's more than two cents, but there you go)

Steve K
Thu, Jul. 21st, 2005 02:11 am (UTC)
17 cents?

And if it doesn't, I bring in the parents and the student for a conference with a detailed report of "here's what your child did and here's what I did to try and remedy the situation."
Interesting thoughts, I appreciate you taking the time to share. If you go back to Part 1, you can see that some people took issue with the fifth paragraph which dealt with corporal punishment. That's why I addressed it in Part 2. However, I want to make it clear that I think it should be an option, but very preferably the last option. My real point was that we need to reevaluate our priorities and some of the things we say & do. As a society, we need to address the "decline" that so many people seem to perceive (as seen in the comments on Part 1). Some of these thoughts had been swirling around in my head for a while, but it was reading about frogs_n_turtles attending the funeral service of a student who had been killed by gang violence that really inspired me to write all this out.

What has happened in the last 30 years or so? What has changed, what are we doing or not doing? While I agree that our species has made some considerable strides in the last century, we also seem all too eager to discard much of the "wisdom of the ages" that was passed down for millenia. I think that's a mistake, and the most noticeable effect has been on children and upcoming generations. That's something that should definitely make us pause and think.

ReplyThread Parent
Thu, Jul. 21st, 2005 01:12 am (UTC)

They have made interesting points that has made me think about how we raise children today. I agree that they should not be so sheltered (it is ok to a point but we have to learn where to let them fall so they can learn to pick themselves up again). As for the discipline part, I'd say it varies from child to child- for some, spanking works, for others it could be time out, for someone else it could be positive reinforcement. My parents raised me and when I had to be disciplined, they sat me down and had a talk with me. That was good enough for me. With one of the kids I babysit, I give him a warning or two, and then he has to go into time out for whatever rule he breaks (really simple rules to remember).

This is also interesting for me to think about from a teacher's perspective today. Since I'm studying to become a teacher and will soon be on the job market looking for a job, I need to realize how I can adjust my consequences and reinforcements (negative or positive- hopefully more positive than negative) to each student's needs. I'm currently taking Classroom Management (sadly, this isn't required for general education students but I believe it'd benefit them to know the information I've learned from that course this past week). Being a teacher takes on many different roles for the students depending on the situations and times- we are a listener, a parent, a mentor, someone they can trust.

While it's true that many people are being criticized for being bad parents, they should be applauded for trying to raise their children in a TOUGH world today. I mean if you look everywhere out there, there are violence, there are terrorists, there are cussing, etc. It's how we react and deal with it (and the children see how we act and they learn from us- meaning they will learn to react in the same way). Some of those parents are single too and we have to realize that they "need" to work two jobs to make ends meet. Or the child comes from blended families (stepfamilies) which can be hard to deal with sometimes.

Steve K
Thu, Jul. 21st, 2005 02:03 am (UTC)
Classroom Management

They have made interesting points that has made me think about how we raise children today.
I'm all about getting people to think about stuff, especially more unusual topics! Hee, hee. Thanks for the thoughts. :)

ReplyThread Parent
Thu, Jul. 21st, 2005 05:12 am (UTC)
Re: Classroom Management

No problem... You made my fiance one of your friends and he mentioned you adding him to your list. I got curious. Heh.

ReplyThread Parent