Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Disabled Students are Spanked More

I was a little surprised to read this.

When I was growing up, corporal punishment was still allowed in Pennsylvania. I experienced it first hand. In first grade I was paddled for jumping off of a table in the classroom while the teacher was talking in the hallway. I didn't think it was a big deal. The paddling I got from my teacher was nothing compared to what my dad could dole out at home. (I can't begin to imagine Hank treating our children this way.)

Then, in second grade, I had one of those teachers everyone talks about. The one who would put kids in the closet and tape over their mouths. A friend spoke to me while we were supposed to be quietly waiting in line. The teacher slapped us both across the face for this. I didn't tell my mom, until my friend's mother called to let her know what happened. My mom wrote a letter to the school and it was supposed to be put in her file. My brother had the same teacher 5 years later. Again there were problems with her being physical with the kids. And to all those who think teachers like this don't exist anymore, my daughter had her for a substitute last year. She spent the day yelling at the class to shut-up.

And how about my gym teacher that had children sign the paddle after he spanked them with it?

I'm glad to see Pennsylvania banned this type of discipline. However, I wonder how many children with disabilities are still subject to corporal punishment? I know of a mother whose son was slammed against the wall by an aide. He has autism. The school would argue that they were keeping him safe because he was trying to leave the building. I don't have a child with autism, but have managed to keep all of my children safe without hurting them in the process. It takes creativity and planning sometimes, but I think it can be done.

1 comment:

SunflowerMom said...

It's very frightening to think about for our kiddos. I also got spanked once by a teacher- kindergarten, refused to hop on one foot. Those memories stick with you.