We’ve talked about whether or not we believe in spanking and the jury is firmly split — some of us would never put hands on our kids and others follow the “spare the rod and spoil the child” philosophy. But doesn’t corporal punishment sound like one thing when you’re doling out the spankings and a completely different, kind of messed up other thing when your child’s teacher (and not you) is doing the beating?
NPR reports that corporal punishment in public schools is legal in 19 states, most of which located in the South or Midwest. Although most school districts have chosen not to support teacher spanking, many rural counties continue the practice, including almost every county in northern Florida. In fact, in 2011 a Florida state representative proposed a bill outlawing in-school spanking statewide that didn’t even make it to the early stages of debate.
There is also a variation in the beatings that’s just begging for lawsuits, with standards surrounding these punishments left up to the discretion of each school’s principal. Many schools use paddles made of wood or fiberglass, which can be any size, shape, or weight. Additionally, teachers do not need parents’ permission to paddle children — and may even do so against the parent’s wishes — because the school board and principal have already approved it as part of the education process. As one would expect, disgruntled parents have filed lawsuits after their children have been paddled without their permission.
Does this sound right to you? Whether you have children or not, or whether you spank them or not, a whole lot of trust goes into unleashing a relative stranger with a paddle on your kid. Would you want your child’s teacher to spank your child if he or she deemed it necessary?