Dear North Carolina Educator:
When proposed legislation aimed at banning school corporal punishment in NC schools was being debated 2007, Representative Ronnie Sutton stood before the General Assembly and recounted his days of being “beaten like a rented mule once or twice a week at school.” The point he was trying to make is that beating surely must be good for schoolchildren in view of the fact that he turned out so well.
Actually, mules can't be beaten. They are protected by animal cruelty laws. We no longer beat wives, laborers, soldiers or prisoners. Day care, preschool and foster children are also protected. But there's one exception: schoolchildren. And no one has ever come up with a good reason to explain why they were left out of the loop.
Benson, North Carolina celebrates Mule Days on the 4th Saturday of September each year. I am writing to extend a Mule Days Challenge to your school district and every other that allows schoolchildren to be beaten on their buttocks with a wooden board.
We urge you to implement positive, research-based behavioral supports that are successfully used in all the best schools, and scrap the paddles which are used mainly in the worst. Let's give Mule Days a new meaning by making the school experience a positive one for both teachers and learners.
Peggy Dean, RN
Campaign to End Corporal Punishment in North Carolina Schools
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