Letter from Barbara Neff to Assistant Principal Anthony Crawford
February 2, 2004

Mr. Anthony Crawford, Assistant Principal
Mountain View Elementary School
2600 Judson Bulloch Road
Warm Springs, GA 31830

Dear Mr. Crawford:

News of your treatment of a six year old boy two weeks ago at your school is circulating quickly across the internet and among groups opposed to corporal punishment in schools. While I have participated in a number of discussions about this unfortunate incident, I decided I would write to you directly.

Let's set aside discussion of state laws concerning corporal punishment, your school and school district's policies concerning it and what the parents of students might allow and even recommend. Let's set all that aside so we can focus on the heart of the matter at hand, and that is how a grown man, any grown man, should be expected to treat a small child, any small child. Let's use common sense and a dose of compassion.

My guess, Mr. Crawford, is that you outweigh kindergartners by at least one hundred and fifty pounds and probably tower over them by at least three feet. I would like for you to try to imagine a creature five times your weight and nearly double your height striking you on the buttocks so hard for so long you were left bruised, in pain and terrified. Imagine that, Mr. Crawford. I doubt you would consider such treatment fair under any circumstances. I am sure you'd consider such treatment cruel and criminal. Why should adult on child violence be viewed any differently? How can you justify your treatment of children when you'd never tolerate such treatment of yourself?

My fervent hope is that you feel such profound remorse for the injury you inflicted on this child you will turn your life around and turn your views on corporal punishment around. The best that could come of this child's suffering is that you, and those you are able to influence, will discard the paddle and other instruments of child mistreatment. Please, do the right thing and vow never to strike another child. Open your mind and accept that violence begets more violence and children who are humiliated and battered typically grow to be angry, insecure and violent. They also typically grow into adults who strike children.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. Thank you for considering my views.


Barbara Neff
40459 Barington Drive
Palm Desert, CA 92211
(760) 360-2392

See Mom seeks action against teacher, Assistant principal paddled 6-year-old

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