A Missouri city with a population of around 3,000 people is taking a regressive stance on the education environment. This school year, the Cassville school district is reintroducing spanking as a form of corporal punishment. This kind of discipline was ditched by the district in 2001, which was really not that long ago.
Kids can be unruly, loud, obnoxious, rude, disrespectful, musty, irresponsible, and a whole lot of other adjectives. I’m sure teachers lose their minds every day over how their students act—particularly high school teachers. Still, corporal punishment is a controversial bridge cross, and spanking is an extreme bridge. A teacher making kids do push-ups because they won’t shut up about “that’s what she said” during a lesson is one thing, but an adult that isn’t family taking a paddle or their bare hand to a kid’s hindquarters is an entirely different ball game. Would you let a teacher spank your child?
There’s been a lot of chatter about gentle parenting these days. I know I did not like getting whoopings—especially for things I didn’t even deserve to get whooped for—and it is the seed of resentment inside of me. However, as a childless man, even though I err on the side of thinking I’d never give my hypothetical progeny a full-on, go get my belt ass-beating, I’ll let the parents decide what’s best for their kids, outside of what’s clearly, not up for debate, abuse. Letting some underpaid and frustrated teacher put hands on your kid probably falls under clearly, not up for debate, abuse, though.
While the idea of corporal punishment is still disturbing to many people, you might be surprised that it’s still completely legal in 19 states—most of them located in the South. It’s not widely practiced in public schools, but who knows, more states below the Mason-Dixon might start rolling out this prehistoric form of classroom punishment. Sure, Cassville is 90 percent White, but if this type of discipline gets unearthed in more Southern schools, what race of students do you think will receive the most lashings?