Letter to the Editor
On January 12th the Gary School Board will take up the issue of paddling in Gary Schools. It is imperative that the Board move out of the Dark Ages and eliminate this archaic practice completely.
Paddling in public schools is a brutal and unnecessary practice. It has absoluterly nothing to do with positive discipline but, instead with the rush some people get from intimidating and hitting kids. The practice becomes a convenient haven for violent, incompetent, and often emotionally disturbed teachers and administrators. Major studies have shown that it actually increases deviant behavior, creates an atmosphere of fear and stress, and contributes to higher drop-out rates.
Twenty-eight states have outlawed paddling completely. Thousands of school districts had learned how to create a positive atmosphere without doing violence to children.
That the teachers' union wants to keep the practice only attests to a neanderthal mind-set. It's scary that people like this are entrusted with the lives of children. On January 12th the School Board will have a unique opportunity to bring Gary Schools out of the cave and into the light of enlightened public education.
The Rev. Thomas E. Sagendorf
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