Parents won't and can't discipline their children with physical force because it's frowned upon and grounds for a visit from child protective services.
So a school in Alabama has taken the initiative to do it instead. Yep, you read right. Wendy Chandler, an Alabama mother, was outraged and baffled when she received a "corporal punishment consent form" from Leeds City Schools in her daughter's back-to-school packet asking permission to "administer physical force as a form of discipline on her child." Even worse? It's opt out, not opt in.
Unfortunately, we apparently have to break down why this is flat-out wrong on virtually every level because apparently school districts in 19 other states didn't get the memo as well.
As Wendy Chandler made sure to write on her permission slip, "Hitting a child is disgraceful." Considering the authorities snatch children from their parents at the sight of the faintest black and blue mark, why would we allow schools to do it? Probably because coupling physical violence with education is a sure way to get the U.S. education system back on track. Duly noted.
New Jersey banned corporal punishment in 1867. Take a hint.
Even if these school districts were on to something, it's a complete insult to parents to think a yes or no permission slip was enough. How about you tell us exactly what form of physical force? What infractions would warrant the punishment? Who would be administering it, and who's in place to make sure it doesn't go too far?
Two Texas mothers stopped the Springtown Independent School District in their tracks when they learned a "male assistant principal had severely paddled their daughters." To completely omit that from the consent form would surely set schools on the fast track to lawsuits if they didn't think they would get them before.
It's simply not okay. Yet we have school districts in 19 states and hundreds of thousands of students physically punished in their schools with little to no recourse. Republican Carolyn McCarthy introduced a bill in 2011 to ban the barbaric practice but we can't wait for each state to get their act together.
Of course, banning corporal punishment would actually force schools to re-evaluate their mission and values and actually teach and shape the future of America. Hang up your paddles and hit the books.