Spanking is not child abuse

To the Editor:

First, I read several accounts of violence in our schools and how the teachers are afraid of their students. Then I read an article about a teacher who gently lowered a child’s head to her desk because the kid wouldn’t listen or follow instructions.

Upon examination, it was proven that the child suffered no injury. It occurred to me that any attempt to discipline kids these days, no matter how gently, is met with serious consequences. No wonder today’s children feel like they can do anything to anybody and get away with it!

When I was in elementary school, many years before it was declared that spanking promoted violence, one of the kids in my class was routinely disruptive and rude. One day the teacher pulled him to the side of the classroom, told him that his mother gave her permission to spank him if he “did it again,” and hit his rump with her open hand a few times.

He wasn’t the only kid who learned a lesson that day. The whole class knew that if they did something wrong, they would get hurt and embarrassed. Finally, we could all pay attention to our studies instead of watching disruptive kids showing off. That spanking did not promote violence – it taught respect. It taught all of us kids that doing something wrong only got you something unpleasant.

It appears that, rather than promoting violence, spanking teaches respect. Maybe the reason there is so much violence in our schools today is because children have learned that they can’t be touched, so any negative consequences are easily endured. They don’t care if they’re yelled at. They don’t care if they get detention. And they don’t care if their parents are notified because their parents can’t do anything to them either.

We need to stop seeing child abuse where there is none. Stop tying up our courtrooms with nonsense like the case involving the above teacher. She did not spank the child, or hurt her in any way. She merely attempted to teach the child what her parents could not, so that order could be maintained in her classroom. Stop abusing the teachers and let them teach.

Shirley B. Backus

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