A rattlesnake in the classroom
By Doyle Weaver
August 2003
There's a rattlesnake winding its way through the Dallas school district. It's name is corporal punishment. It's a poisonous viper that can cause terrible damage to young minds. I am sure you read the startling letter from Martin about his experiences in the Carrolton school district, a suburb of Dallas. Of paramount importance was the damage that the spankings he saw, heard or experienced caused him, such as the sexual fetish that has altered his entire life. Martin said that all he could think about for hours every day was paddles and butts. It all started when Martin was six years old sitting in a first grade classroom in the Carrolton school district. The regular spat, spat, spat on the underwear of little boys and girls was like having a front row seat to watch and hear sex acts performed on kids. He told of how his heart would pound with excitement as he witnessed these acts, although the teacher would do it behind something where the class could not get a good look.

I understand that the Carrolton - Farmers Branch school district has since abolished corporal punishment. But what about Dallas? When two of my sisters were about three and five years old they were playing outside our farm house when they heard a noise. They did not know what it was but they could tell it signaled danger. They ran inside and told their dad who investigated and sure enough, it was a rattlesnake. Even little kids have enough natural sense to know that something is wrong when they hear the rattle of a rattlesnake. But corporal punishment advocates don't.

What happened to Martin should serve as a warning to all of us. It is like hearing the rattlers of a rattlesnake. Stay away from it. Don't mess with it. When we hear of students being beat up we are seeing some of the results of school boards playing with the rattlesnake. Don't try to get the rattlesnake to be more careful, just get rid of the blasted thing.

We almost got rid of student beating in Dallas but Superintendent Mike Moses wanted to give something to the child beating advocates on the school board. So he ignored all the warnings about corporal punishment and took the old rattlesnake and gave it a bath, polished its rattlers, powdered it down good, and told it to only bite those whose parents wanted it. But guess what? It's still a dangerous, rotten rattlesnake and someone is going to get hurt one way or another. We've got to do better.

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