Star-Telegram, Ft. Worth, TX, September 1, 1999
Letter to the editor by Jordan Riak

Prohibit paddling

I wish to respond to the recent Star-Telegram articles on the subject of school paddling: "The State of Paddling" by Jessie Milligan, August 9, and "Irving schools keep paddling permissible" by Mike Lee, August 12.

Corporal punishment does for a child's development precisely what wife-beating does for a marriage. Caretakers who use it, and persons in positions of authority and influence who condone it, are waving a flag that announces their incompetence and their ignorance. Not one European nation tolerates corporal punishment in schools, and 9 European nations have banned it altogether, including spanking by parents. Soon that number will become 11 when Germany and Belgium join the spank-free societies.

Were the discovery of a cure for cancer to be announced in Europe tomorrow morning, every American would know about it by evening. We'd demand immediate access to the new wonder drug. The respectful, caring, nonviolent treatment of children by their parents and teachers is also a wonder drug - one that has been tested and proven, and is beyond debate. Tragically and ironically, it is stubbornly resisted by the very people who need it most.

Jordan Riak, Exec. Dir. Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education (PTAVE) P.O. Box 1033, Alamo, CA 94507-7033 Tel: (925) 831-1661; Fax: (925) 838-8914 Web site: "Project NoSpank" at

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