Peggy Dean, RN
April 26, 2006
First Lady Laura Bush
Dear First Lady Laura Bush:
My name is Peggy Dean, and I am on the Board of Directors for a national organization called Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education.
I am writing to ask for the opportunity to meet with you to share data on the subject of corporal punishment in schools, and to introduce you to children who have been injured as a result of school paddling. I am sure that you will be as horrified as I am by this barbaric practice. Surely, our educators have better tools in 2006 than the "paddle," and all properly trained teachers and school administrators understand that classroom management techniques worthy of the name never include violence.
I read with great interest your remarks at the UNESCO Education for the All Week Luncheon about UNESCO's noble effort to make sure that every child has access to a basic quality education by 2015, and I commend you for your comments about your visit last month to Pakistan. You said:
“... Last month in Pakistan, I met with teachers and students involved in UNESCO and Children Resources International programs that improve teacher training and promote family literacy. I talked with Mehnaz Aziz, the Pakistan country director for Children's Resources International. Mehnaz shared with me how over the last three years, CRI has been training teachers in new methodologies. Before, teachers lacked instructional materials, and they used rote memorization and corporal punishment. Now they have money for school buildings, teaching aids and materials, and children can learn through drama and art...”
I am so proud of you for making the public aware that rote learning and corporal punishment have become things of the past in the schools in Pakistan. Now, I would like to challenge you to join our struggle to bring those same reforms to the schools of the United States.
Recently, in his "The True Goal of Education" your husband said this on the subject of school violence:
“... First, we must do everything in our power to ensure the safety of our children. When children and teenagers go to school afraid of being bullied, or beaten, or worse, it is the ultimate betrayal of adult responsibility. It communicates the victory of moral chaos... No parent in America -- no matter their income -- should be forced to send their child to a school where violence reigns..."
Those words have a very special, personal meaning for me as a parent who may be obliged in the coming school year to send a child to a school that is administered by a principal who believes in beating children.
Please help us guarantee the safety of all of our school children. I look forward to hearing from you, and arranging a time to share the concerns of many parents whose children have been struck and injured by educators in our nation. I am certain that you will then wish to join our efforts to end the violence of corporal punishment in all schools in the United States.
A response to the above letter will be posted here immediately upon receipt.
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