A letter about exercise as punishment from Linda Carpenter, Ph.D., J.D., Professor, Department of Physical Education, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York to Bill Honig, Superintendent, California State Department of Education.
Dr. Bill Honig, Superintendent
State Department of Education
721 Capitol Mall
Sacramento, CA 94244-2720

Dear Dr. Honig:

California's ban on the use of corporal punishment demonstrates the state's commitment to the future of its students.

However, if reports recently published in the Sacramento Bee correctly reflect the position of your office on the exclusion of exercise related punishment from the ban, I must express my grave concern over the wisdom used in reaching your decision.

One of the primary reasons for including physical education within the curriculum is that students will be able to obtain the skills and appreciation necessary for a lifetime involvement in the health-promoting aspects of exercise. This is laudable.

However, when teachers convert the same activity which they are trying to have students interpret as valuable to their lifelong health into a punishment, all positive pedagogical and logical principles have been abandoned. This is foolish, inappropriate and abusive to students.

Before your office continues to suggest or even condone such an abandonment of pedagogical and logical principles, I urge you to rethink your decision concerning the exclusion of exercise-related punishment from the corporal punishment ban.

Linda Carpenter, Ph.D., J.D.

cc: Jordan Riak, PTAVE

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