Jordan Riak's letter of May 13 to the Tribune-Review re: "Wilkins Twp. case raises punishment debate," by Jonathan Potts, May 12.

Dear Editor:

I read with interest about the Christian school principal and teacher who appear to have run afoul of the authorities with regard to punishing a student ("Wilkins Twp. case raises punishment debate," May 12). Of particular interest to me were the remarks of Louis Chandler, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Pittsburgh who suggests that paddling, "if done correctly," doesn't lead to violence as "some people" believe, and "With the advent of more violence among children in schools, there are people who are resorting to more extreme measures to curb that behavior." Dr. Chandler, who has a penchant for coy language, doesn't say exactly what he means by "extreme measures" but considering the context, one can guess.

As a teacher, I'd like to offer a first-hand observation on this topic. Virtually all of my students come from extremely authoritarian families. I know that because periodically I poll my classes on the subject. In my most recent polling, I asked 60 students if any came from non-spanking families. Only one answered in the affirmative. The results of these informal surveys suggest that my students rank well above the national average in this regard. They learned early that when they stepped out of line, there were swift, sure and painful consequences. It's a lesson they never forgot. My students are men in the Pre-Release Program at Folsom State Prison, California. is a good site to visit for readers who are interested in more on this subject.

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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