Who witnesses the witness? By Jordan Riak, Sent to 9 Members of the Missouri Joint Committee on Education (Ones with e-mail), September 10, 2008

Recent legislation before the Missouri House calling for school corporal punishment to be done in the presence of a witness represents a real advance in the way we care for our schoolchildren. Now, when a student is struck on the buttocks for disciplinary reasons, there will be an extra pair of eyes watching the event just as a precaution against the punisher getting carried away with too much of a good thing. We know that the buttocks are a secondary erogenous zone, and that paddling stimulates some children sexually. We also know that some teachers are similarly stimulated when they administer the punishment. Given these circumstances, schools bear a heavy responsibility to keep this activity on its intended track. The new policy requiring a witness is clearly a step in the right direction. However, I would like to offer a suggestion that I think will make it even better. I say bring in a second witness to watch the first witness -- just in case. A little extra insurance can't hurt. And, while you're at it, a third witness to keep an eye on the second witness. The school could even advertise the event. Surely there will be no shortage of conscientious, civic-minded volunteer witnesses who will rise to the occasion.

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