Tuesday, August 16, 2016
OUR OPINION: Should Schools, Parents Bring Back Spanking?
One complaint you'll hear often from public school teachers today is they're expected to raise other people's children -- and discipline them -- when they're supposed to be teaching in the classroom.
Hey, we know there are still plenty of great kids out there, from good families. But there's no doubt times have changed over the past few decades. More single moms and deadbeat dads, and less respect for once revered institutions, have meant big time consequences in small and big schools alike.
One reason more youth misbehave today is because they can. Fewer modern-day parents discipline their children in meaningful, memorable ways that would deter kids from being repeat offenders.
In 1954, the Gallup organization asked Americans to reflect on their teenage years and name the most effective form of punishment for "children your age who refused to behave." The top answer, given by 40%, was what the original Gallup news release reported as "whipping" -- encapsulating a variety of responses that included "beating," "shellacking," "spanking," use of the "strap" or "stick," and other forms of punishment. "Taking away privileges" was a distant second (25%), followed by being kept at home -- or, in today's parlance, being grounded (11%).
Problems with youth did not show up as a major public concern in Gallup's data on the most important problem facing the country in the 1950s. Today they do.
Example: The breaking story of the South Carolina teens who shot and killed a good Samaritan who stopped to help the kids get their car out of a ditch. Or the new story about two teens in nearby Beatrice who broke into the public library urinated and defecated on the floor and on a statue, and then deployed the fire extinguishers.
Wanna bet these kids were rarely, if ever, disciplined growing up?
Back to the 1954 Gallup poll: 55% of adults said they thought school officials should have the right to give pupils a "licking." And when asked to name the oldest age at which a child should be spanked, 32% thought this was appropriate through the ages of 12 to 14, and 17% said 15 or older.
Many among us have been brainwashed to believe all corporal punishment is wrong, whether carried out by parents, other relatives or school teachers/administrators.
But the social order, in many corners of our country -- including in our own state -- is no longer in order. And some of today's kids are mirroring this fact; they will eventually pay an awful price for their parents' unwillingness to do their job.
Better for a child to get a spanking for his misbehavior and disrespect today than to get a life behind bars -- or worse -- tomorrow.