-By Alden Roosevelt
A 12-Year-Old Reporter Speaks Out on Corporal Punishment in Public Schools
It is well known among my friends, family, and readership that I have been on a mission to stop corporal punishment in public schools. So, it was no surprise when a relevant article in the Wall Street Journal hit the news, that they all sent it to me. It has come to my attention that Cassville County School District in Missouri, has recently made this topic come to light by sending forms home to parents asking for permission to beat their children. I am working on a letter to the Missouri governor concerning corporal punishment, though to my understanding it is not Governor Mike Parson who did this, it is the school district and I will do everything in my power to bring the importance of changing this old law to the governor’s attention. Hopefully he can make this practice illegal in Missouri.
It has also come to my attention that a principal in Florida, in a school district that claims not to tolerate corporal punishment, was caught on camera beating a six-year-old girl with a wooden paddle. The girl accidentally scratched a school computer. The principal allegedly called the child’s mother over to pay $50 for the damaged computer. Since the mom couldn’t speak any English, the mother secretly recorded the principal beating the child. The principal has not been fired, but is under investigation. In my opinion, if the mother had hit the principal the mother would be arrested. The principal has committed assault and battery, and in my personal point of view, should lose her job.
If I had children, I would certainly have second thoughts about leaving them with someone who had hit a child before. I don’t know him yet, but I bet Governor DeSantis wouldn’t like coming home from the Governor’s Ball to find that his babysitter had hit his kids for acting up in his absence, or breaking something by accident.
This has upset me greatly. It is such a shame that the law supports this kind of abuse, and there are still 19 states in the USA who actively practice corporal punishment including Florida, though, supposedly not in Hendry County District, where the incident occurred.
Along with a handful of others, one of the governors I’ve written to is Governor DeSantis. I had hoped to get him to include getting rid of corporal punishment in schools, as part of his Bill of Parental Rights in Education. Surely it must be in a parent’s rights to know if their child is getting physically abused in school? On the bright side, at least the parents in Cassville Missouri School District get the chance to know what is happening to their kids at school. They actually have a say in whether they want to participate, or not. Most of these practices are happening rampantly and in the dark, without parent’ss’ knowledge, or consent. I’m glad this issue is getting mainstream attention finally.
In response to my first published article three years ago, I received a letter from a journalist who pointed out that most of the 19 States in question were red States. However, at the same time, a republican woman wrote a heartfelt letter to me. She wondered whether if her father, a prominent attorney, had never beat her, if she would have lived a happier, more fulfilling life. She was against corporal punishment in schools.
We have to get past this red state, blue state division that does not serve us as a Commonwealth. Partisan also means a 16thth century weapon with a long shaft and a broad blade. We should put the weapons down and use the tools of reasoning instead. We need unity. A divided country can get nothing done and is ripe for conquering. We shouldn’t be The Divided States of America.
I can only imagine what is happening in States like Georgia that allow such treatment. I want to go to the States with my friends who feel the same way as I do, and raise awareness like I did in DC. In all branches of the United States government and all work forces, corporal punishment is illegal, so I ask anyone listening, should children in schools be any different?
A society can be seen clearly by how it treats it’s young and its elders. This should resonate across party lines. Our country is reckoning with its grave mistakes of yesteryear like slavery. When we look back on this treatment of children, I believe we will see yet another failure of empathy and humanity.
Maybe there should be a kid’s cabinet to act as a moral compass when the grown-ups lose their way? We’d have to choose some stalwart children, who wouldn’t fall prey to the corporate candy lobbyists.
If you know a governor, or happen to be a governor please let me know so we can work together and talk about this issue. Please spread the word about Westview News, and my article. Thank you, and have a great week!
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