Discipline vs. abuse

The line isn't always clear -- except when it's crossed.

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We certainly would understand a teacher getting fed up. As if by evolution, nature seems to endow succeeding generations of kids with new and more effective ways of getting under one’s skin.

Meanwhile, parents and society in general have grown far less supportive of beleaguered teachers over the years – and far too reflexively supportive of little Johnny and his antics. These days, he’s never a remorseless brat; no, he’s a victim of some disability that causes him to involuntarily wreak havoc and which requires medication and the eternal forbearance of everyone around him.

Most of us are old enough, too, to remember when real punishment was meted out at school – and probably was duplicated at home.

But times have changed, in this case for the better: We no longer accept physical or mental punishment in institutions of learning, and for good reason: Too many folks don’t know where discipline ends and abuse begins.

That’s true even in the rough-and-tumble world of men’s college athletics. Rutgers University last week fired basketball coach Mike Rice after video surfaced of him berating his players with anti-homosexual slurs, shoving and kicking them and throwing basketballs at them with great force.

Nor does abuse have to be physical.

In Augusta, a longtime Copeland Elementary School pre-kindergarten teacher was removed from the classroom last month, and is being allowed to retire in May, for putting two children in a dark closet and bathroom as disciplinary measures.

Despite our sympathy for what teachers endure, we have none in this case.

A teacher of 29 years, such as the one in this case, should know better. There are plenty of protocols on handling unruly kids, measures that don’t involve potential trauma.

Indeed, at least one of the children is said to have suffered nightmares, a fear of the dark and other repercussions.

That’s simply not necessary in order to make a point.

As for the notion that many of us encountered worse punishments and turned out fine – well, that’s not necessarily the case. Most folks carry around more baggage than they realize from less-than-stellar rearing methods. Let’s hope society is getting more cultivated as the years go by.

In addition, the teacher’s actions show a complete lack of sophistication – for an adult to resort to verbal or emotional torment. We’re supposed to be smarter than the children we supervise; there are tools in an adult’s toolbox that eliminate the need for such tactics.

This newspaper will always seek first to support teachers in their efforts to keep order in the classroom. But they – and their methods – must be worthy of that support.

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paladin5
311
Points
paladin5 04/08/13 - 03:24 am
5
0
SELF DISCIPLINE

Self Discipline is the hardest discipline to master. Coaches should strive to demonstrate self-control of their emotions. Such conduct as clearly shown by this coach was met with the right disciplinary response, his termination.

nocnoc
49786
Points
nocnoc 04/08/13 - 03:52 am
11
2
I agree

But since Teachers are no longer allowed to discipline, the Parents should be required to come in to the principles office EVERY TIME, their brats misbehave in school.

If a responsible adult loses enough time from work the kid will get a version of home discipline. If the parent(s) don't work, or don't show up then contact the Division of Family and Children Services.

ymnbde
10764
Points
ymnbde 04/08/13 - 05:10 am
10
1
little Johnny sits beside little Sally

and keeps her from learning. But little Johnny has teams of bureaucrats who develop "strategies" to help little Johnny behave, because he really wants to behave, it's just his lack of "strategies" that prevent him from behaving. And the bureaucrats meet and meet and strategize and strategize and write a book on little Johnny and the teacher has to read the book and spend individual time with little Johnny and oh, little Kevin and little Janey also have bureaucrats with their own strategies and the teacher has to spend individual time with them, too.
Poor little Sally. She wants to learn. Her parents want her to learn. But she doesn't have a team of bureaucrats developing strategies, and her teacher has to spend all her time with the bad little kids and their strategizing bureaucrats.
Government schools hurt kids. It's that simple.
School choice is the only way out.

seenitB4
98777
Points
seenitB4 04/08/13 - 06:11 am
4
1
Pllleeeaaassee

And we wonder why we have lost control over the schoolroom....just read this article...the above poster has it right....saying this...

Poor little Sally. She wants to learn. Her parents want her to learn. But she doesn't have a team of bureaucrats developing strategies, and her teacher has to spend all her time with the bad little kids and their strategizing bureaucrats.

Take your child out of gov. schools....

scoobynews
3896
Points
scoobynews 04/08/13 - 06:22 am
4
1
You can bet Sally comes from

You can bet Sally comes from a home where both parents finished high school and maybe even college. It is a good bet little Johnny's mom never read to him as a child or tried to work with him on homework in his first years of school. Children will never value education unless they see it valued by their own parents. Also it has to be reinforced daily by asking your child "what did you learn today?" and taking real interest in it.

dstewartsr
20393
Points
dstewartsr 04/08/13 - 07:10 am
2
0
Losing sight of one thing

One of the reasons physical discipline went out of schools is the lack of uniformity or even moderation by those entrusted with administering it. The same mentality that calls the cops when little Sally is branded a terrorist as she has a picture of her daddy in a uniform carrying a gun in some a-hole of the world under "zero tolerance" against guns in school. Policies enforced by the selfsame clowns without common sense or restraint that pushed PARENTS to take away the option.

And while there are always calls for discipline in homes, how many of those doing so would be willing to today, facing a real chance of investigation or court or even the loss of ones children when the nanny state, exercising their self awarded "right" to determine what constitutes abuse, --using that same "zero tolerance" mentality-- decides discipline and abuse are one in the same thing?

seenitB4
98777
Points
seenitB4 04/08/13 - 07:06 am
2
0
Easy to sit behind a desk & say...

We certainly would understand a teacher getting fed up. As if by evolution, nature seems to endow succeeding generations of kids with new and more effective ways of getting under one’s skin.

I don't think you do understand....try teaching a classroom for a month or so & get back with us..

deestafford
32304
Points
deestafford 04/08/13 - 07:21 am
4
0
Too many parents are raising children

who are the type they don't want their children to play with. How many times to you read or saw ion TV some mother saying after her son is arrested for some violent crime, "He was a good boy. He just fell in with the wrong crowd." I want to scream at these people, "Lady, YOUR SON IS THE WRONG CROWD!"

dstewartsr
20393
Points
dstewartsr 04/08/13 - 07:24 am
1
0
Seenit,

... it is certainly remarkable, isn't it, how many start off with, "We certainly would understand...," when they haven't an inkling of a lead on a rumour of a clue?

seenitB4
98777
Points
seenitB4 04/08/13 - 07:28 am
1
0
stewart

"They" don't have a clue..

itsanotherday1
48433
Points
itsanotherday1 04/08/13 - 07:29 am
4
0
Indeed!

"I don't think you do understand....try teaching a classroom for a month or so & get back with us.."

Little Sally, AND the teacher both have to put up with disruptive special needs children as well as the undisciplined.

Trust me, I understand the desire, and even the benefit of mainstreaming children with "needs"; but it isn't fair to the rest of the class when the teacher spends a good chunk of their time dealing with one student and having to ignore the rest.

When will we wise up?

Riverman1
94432
Points
Riverman1 04/08/13 - 08:11 am
3
0
A couple of points...A cruel

A couple of points...A cruel coach can stay within the rules and administer far worse physical punishment than that coach. That's not to excuse either type of cruelty.

As far as a disruptive kid in school, that's why we don't need laws to make kids stay in high school. Those kids don't want to be there and are a negative influence on behavior and classroom instruction. Those kids may be better off working and the classroom will certainly be better off.

Bizkit
35764
Points
Bizkit 04/08/13 - 09:16 am
1
0
Looks like assault-will the

Looks like assault-will the coach be doing time or just lose his job? Gee if it were dogs he was pushing around he would be getting 5-10 years in prison. Strange world we live in.

dichotomy
37677
Points
dichotomy 04/08/13 - 09:29 am
5
0
"There are plenty of

"There are plenty of protocols on handling unruly kids, measures that don’t involve potential trauma."

Name them. Apparently NONE of them are effective. Given the TOTAL lack of discipline, and TOTAL lack of punishment in our school systems, surely you are not suggesting that ANY of the "protocols" actually work. If you are you must be deaf and blind.

I am not talking about the Rutgers coach. That is a totally different situation in a private school where the players stayed on the team voluntarily. I don't agree with what he did but that has nothing to do with classroom teachers in public schools. Whatever protocols you suggest are available for them to use are definitely NOT working.

The days "when real punishment was meted out at school – and probably was duplicated at home" is EXACTLY what we need to revive and encourage.

" Most folks carry around more baggage than they realize from less-than-stellar rearing methods. Let’s hope society is getting more cultivated as the years go by."

We are not getting cultivated.....we are getting PLOWED UNDER. I've seen the results of our "no baggage" rearing methods and I'd rather see our kids toting the baggage and the "trauma" of fear of violating the rules of society, common decency, and consideration of others. Our "protocols" of no physical punishment, no punishment that might publicly humiliate someone, and no expelling has left us with NO FEAR OF ANY PUNISHMENT. Well, I hate to tell you this, but the only effective way of teaching someone that there are rules of society that cannot be violated is FEAR of something bad happening when you do. We have nothing left in our arsenal and we are seeing the results. You look at the incidents happening every day in our schools, the overall education level of what's coming out of our schools, and the number of school aged kids involved in SERIOUS crimes, and tell me with a straight face that we are better off today because we have not traumatized any of them with the fear of punishment. You know what? We've got a lot of them that NEED to be traumatized a little. If they can tote what it takes to deal with what's going on in the schools today they can certainly tote the "trauma" of being disciplined....to include a good paddling....and they would be much better off for it.....and so would we.

Instead we have articles like this telling us that we are better off because we have ridden our progressive ideas on the disciplining of school kids all the way to the bottom of world's education rankings while turning out more and more illiterate high school graduates and teen criminals.

Cultivated? What the hell does that mean? If what we have today is cultivated, I say it's time to slash and burn the fields and re-plant.

dahreese
4914
Points
dahreese 04/08/13 - 09:35 am
0
5
"School choice is the only
Unpublished

"School choice is the only way out."

"Take your child out of gov. schools...."

NUTS!

The backbone of this country isn't the White House, Congress, Wall Street, the Pentagon, Homeland Security, the Corporate Media, private or charter schools, the Democrat or Republican party, nor the Church.

Even with its faults, the backbone of this country is public education.

Destroy public education and you've destroyed the country.

seenitB4
98777
Points
seenitB4 04/08/13 - 09:36 am
2
0
AMEN Dichotomy!!

100 uppers for you....our schools are not working & we all can see that.

GnipGnop
12764
Points
GnipGnop 04/08/13 - 09:38 am
5
0
The problem is...

The education system has hired what it bred. When there was discipline in school and consequences for your actions (at school and at home) kids learned. When little Johnny can disrupt class and the teacher is more afraid of what will happen to her than little Johnny and the school system refuses to put little Johnny out of school because of laws like "no child left behind" you reap what you sow. When I was in school we had a rule...if you misbehaved we had "no child will be able to sit on his behind"

seenitB4
98777
Points
seenitB4 04/08/13 - 09:40 am
2
0
Where have you been

Destroy public education and you've destroyed the country.

The headlines don't lie.....we have more failing school systems than ever before......we need to make major changes or get the gov. out of it.

justthefacts
25499
Points
justthefacts 04/08/13 - 09:51 am
5
0
Dahreese

Dude or Dudet, that boat has sailed. Sending your kid to public school is almost child abuse.

pgapeach2
1414
Points
pgapeach2 04/08/13 - 10:52 am
0
0
When teachers could paddle

I remember a time when teachers could paddle a student acting up in class, but that was also during a time when you used your fists for a fight not a gun. It took one time for me to act up in class because I got it in school and when I came home.

ymnbde
10764
Points
ymnbde 04/08/13 - 10:52 am
2
0
Destroy public education and you've destroyed the country. HA!

and ha again! that is so laughable, it must be from someone working (working! ha once again!) as a public school bureaucrat.
Actually, dahreese should have said, "in destroying public education, we have destroyed the country."
I agree with the above poster who said sending a kid to public schools is akin to child abuse.
Our public schools exist primarily to serve the teacher's unions.
They have forgotten who they teach, what they teach, and why they teach.

Bizkit
35764
Points
Bizkit 04/08/13 - 11:09 am
1
0
Our colleges and universities

Our colleges and universities are the backbone of America and the best in the world. Our public schools have been languishing for decades. I can honestly say ,that other than socialization, my public school years were a waste of time and actually enforced negative knowledge-where they taught me things wrong. Course I never tried and had other things on my mind. hee,hee,hee. I got the basic three R's and that's about it-which actually came from my Mom-come think of it. In any case, an education is a life long process and not some period or static event. Now kids aren't interested in an education (on the whole) just the outcome of what it brings. They miss the whole point of the journey. Even if they make an A in your course, by next semester they've brain dumped everythink back to a blank slate. No drive to build a body of knowledge-just get that A and move on. I think the internet drives this nearsighted short term memory attitude because they know they can always look it up at their fingertips-the Google effect.

justthefacts
25499
Points
justthefacts 04/08/13 - 11:48 am
0
0
Here's your Liberal viewpoint

“We have to break through our private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families,” says the professor of political science at Tulane University, where she is founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South. Kids belong to whole communities, she insists, and once we realize this we’ll make “better investments” in government indoctrination of children.

http://www.infowars.com/your-kids-belong-to-the-collective/

allhans
24988
Points
allhans 04/08/13 - 02:04 pm
0
0
I would make all sacrifice to

I would make all sacrifice to keep my child from public school

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 04/08/13 - 11:59 am
2
0
"Little Johnnies"

waah, waah, waah, on undisciplined kids and their uninvolved or overindulgent parents! dichotomy was oh-so correct with his/her comment...and I liked GnipGnop's pretty good too!

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 04/08/13 - 12:24 pm
3
0
"Even with its faults, the
Unpublished

"Even with its faults, the backbone of this country is public education."

I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when I read that. There is NO WAY that someone wrote that without laughing. Please tell me that there is no one on this planet that is so deluded as to actually believe that, given the overwhelming evidence of public education's failure.

dahreese
4914
Points
dahreese 04/08/13 - 12:52 pm
0
4
The "overwhelming evidence"
Unpublished

The "overwhelming evidence" is there has never been a time when public education was not criticized as a failure.

Everyone who has been to public school thinks he or she knows how it should be run; as evidenced by critical comments above from those who have nothing to say, but just have to say something anyway.

Public education is the backbone of this country whether you can admit it or not.

And anyone is so certain that public education, even with its faults, is not the backbone of this country, then it should be too easy for the really deluded to say what is....?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 04/08/13 - 12:59 pm
6
0
"Public education is the
Unpublished

"Public education is the backbone of this country whether you can admit it or not. "

Well...that settles it then. Let's not put up facts to back up our comments...we'll just tell everyone that what we say is true, "whether you can admit it or not."

"And anyone is so certain that public education, even with its faults, is not the backbone of this country, then it should be too easy for the really deluded to say what is....?"

The above "sentence" is a good example of the failure of public education.

seenitB4
98777
Points
seenitB4 04/08/13 - 01:01 pm
2
0
At one time it was the backbone

But not anymore....
http://atlanta.about.com/od/governmenteducation/a/atlanta-school-accredi...

Read about the school systems failng in the Atlanta area...sad & not what I would want my children to attend...some of my friends/kin have told me they spend more time on discipline than on teaching....some have retired early because of the headaches.....very good teachers btw...

Red Headed Step Child
4496
Points
Red Headed Step Child 04/08/13 - 01:28 pm
1
0
Private vs. Public

I can remember some folks my age that went to private schools, and their education wasn't any better than my public school education. I think it boils down to 2 things - 1. The TEACHER can make all the difference 2. The STUDENT has to want to learn and has a family that supports and expects nothing less than total commitment to their education.

There are some VERY bright kids coming out of public education in our area - I think if we were to look closer at them, we'd see there is a drive in those students to succeed and a family that supports and encourages them. The STAR students all named teachers that were impactful in their educations, so there are good teachers out there.

Unfortunately, we have a society where the excellent teachers and students are a minority - where Laissez-Faire leadership is the norm and the positive family structure has taken a back seat.

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