The Debate on Spanking is Closed Revised and expanded version of "Spanking and hitting are perilous," which appeared in The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, September 1997.
A letter of criticism to Professor Barton D. Schmitt, M.D., F.A.A.P., professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and director of both General Consultative Services and the Pediatric Call Center at the Children's Hospital of Denver
An Open Letter to Catholic Educators in Australia and New Zealand By Jordan Riak and J. M. Wright,
Published in The Catholic Weekly, June 21, 1981, Australia, followed by "MEMO TO STAFF" from Brother McIntosh (who was "not impressed" with PTAVE)--a memorandum from the school administration to the teachers at a Catholic boys' school in a Sydney suburb, April 15, 1981.
Aggressive Denial: Correspondence between Riak and Jill I always marvel at how people can, on the one hand, say they disapprove of spanking, but on the other, seem compelled to distance themselves from any effort to stop it. They seem to have an inexhaustible supply of reasons why this is not their issue, why it is not an issue at this time, or in this place, or why other issues must take precedence. I struggle to understand those arguments. Perhaps the spanking debate triggers painful, unresolved guilt about their own feelings and/or behaviors toward children. Perhaps it subjects their loyalty to their parents, who were spankers, to an intolerable test, or threatens to strain fragile social arrangements with family members, friends or colleagues who are, or might be, spankers. Perhaps economic or political considerations compel them to sidestep this thorny issue. This much is certain, and well illustrated, I believe, by this correspondence with Jill: they take the matter personally, as though someone were pushing them toward deep water and their desperation is palpable. Of course, my attempts to enlist the support of such people are doomed from the start. Engaging them at any level in productive dialogue on strategies to curb or end corporal punishment is like trying to coax a jellyfish into a spoon.
Where Oh Where Does the Money Go?
A quick, close-up look at phony child-protection law, wily politicians and how politically-correct campaigns aimed at children's needs spring into existence upon the availability of funding, then vanish just as quickly when the last dollar is spent.
Letter to The Tennessean
A response to Deborah Mathis' pro-corporal punishment article of August 22, 1997, "Perils of sparing the rod can be ominous."
Parents Ask Advice
Riak's letter to the President and Mrs. Clinton asking their advice about how to protect one's child from being beaten by a teacher or a school principal. They quickly toss this hot potato to subordinates who, following the example of their betters, toss it to their subordinates, and so on. Read this file for an interesting journey through a modern, real-life equivalent of Alice's Wonderland.