U.S. SCHOOL SPANKINGS: BLACK, NATIVE AMERICAN, AND DISABLED STUDENTS ARE PADDLED MORE

While corporal punishment in schools is declining, racial disparity persists

updated 11:24 p.m. CT, Tues., Aug. 19, 2008
 
 
WASHINGTONPaddlings, swats, licks. A quarter of a million schoolchildren got them in 2007 — and black children, American Indians and kids with disabilities got a disproportionate share of the punishment, according to a study by a human rights group.
 
Even little kids can be paddled. Heather Porter, who lives in Crockett, Texas, was startled to hear her little boy, then 3, say he’d been spanked at school. Porter was never told, despite a policy at the public preschool that parents be notified.
 
“We were pretty ticked off, to say the least. The reason he got paddled was because he was untying his shoes and playing with the air conditioner thermostat,” Porter said. “He was being a 3-year-old.”
 

In its study, which was being released Wednesday, the group Human Rights Watch used Education Department data to show that, while paddling has been declining, racial disparity persists. Researchers also interviewed students, parents and school personnel in Texas and Mississippi, states that account for 40 percent of kids who were paddled in the 2007 school year.
 
Porter could have filled out a form telling the school not to paddle her son, if only she had realized he might be paddled.
 
Yet many parents find that such forms are ignored, the study said.
 
 
Legal immunity

Widespread paddling can make it unlikely that forms will be checked. A teacher interviewed by Human Rights Watch, Tiffany Bartlett, said that in her Austin, Texas, school, the policy was to lock the classroom doors when the bell rang, leaving stragglers to be paddled by an administrator patrolling the hallways.
 
 
 
 
 
And even if schools make a mistake, they are unlikely to face lawsuits. In places where corporal punishment is allowed, teachers and principals generally have legal immunity from assault laws, the study said.
 
“One of the things we’ve seen over and over again is that parents have difficulty getting redress, if a child is paddled and severely injured, or paddled in violation of parents’ wishes,” said Alice Farmer, the study’s author.
 
A majority of states have outlawed it, but corporal punishment remains widespread across the South. Behind Texas and Mississippi were Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Florida and Missouri.
 
 
Facing the paddle

African American students are more than twice as likely to be paddled. The disparity persists even in places with large black populations, the study found. Similarly, Native Americans were more than twice as likely to be paddled, the study found.
 
The study also found:
  • In states where paddling is most common, black girls were paddled more than twice as often as white girls.
  • Boys are three times as likely to be paddled as girls.
  • Special education kids were more likely to be paddled.
More than 100 countries worldwide have banned paddling in schools, including all of Europe, Farmer said. “International human rights law puts a pretty strong prohibition on corporal punishment,” she said.
In rural Drew, Miss., Nickolaus Luckett still remembers the paddlings he got in fifth and seventh grades. One happened when he called a teacher by her first name, the other when a classmate said, wrongly, that he threw a spitball.
 
“I didn’t get any bruises, but they still hurt, and from that point on, I told myself and my parents I wasn’t going to take any more paddlings,” said Luckett, who is about to be a sophomore at the University of Mississippi.
 
It’s not an easy choice. In many schools, kids can avoid a paddling if they accept suspension or detention, or for younger kids, if they skip recess. But often, a child opts for the short-term sting of the paddle.
 
And sometimes teachers don’t have the option of after-school detention, because there are no buses to take kids home later.
 
 

‘Negative effects’

During the three years Evan Couzo taught in the Mississippi Delta, he refused to paddle kids, offering detention instead. But others — teachers, parents, even kids — were accustomed to paddling.
 
“Just about everyone at the beginning of the year said, ‘If he or she gives you any trouble, you can paddle them. You can send them home, and I’ll paddle them. Or you can have me come out to the school, and we can both paddle them.’
 
“It’s really just a part of the culture of the school environment there,” Couzo said.
 

There is scant research on whether paddling is effective in the classroom. But many studies have shown it doesn’t work at home, said Elizabeth Gershoff, a University of Michigan assistant professor of social work.
 
“The use of corporal punishment is associated almost overwhelmingly with negative effects, and that it increases children’s problem behavior over time,” Gershoff said.
 
Children may learn to solve problems using aggression, and a sense of resentment might make them act out more, Gershoff said.
 
The practice is banned in 29 states, most recently in Delaware and Pennsylvania. While some education groups haven’t taken a position on the issue, the national PTA believes paddling should be banned everywhere.
 
“We teach our children that violence is wrong, yet corporal punishment teaches children that violence is a way to solve problems,” said Jan Harp Domene, the group’s president. “It perpetuates a cycle of child abuse. It teaches children to hit someone smaller and weaker when angry.”
 
 
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
This report does not surprise me, especially in reference to the beatings that Black and Native American children receive:
 
 
“Paddlings, swats, licks. A quarter of a million schoolchildren got them in 2007 — and black children, American Indians and kids with disabilities got a disproportionate share of the punishment, according to a study by a human rights group.”
 
 
Black children have been whipped, beaten, lashed and pummeled ever since slavery, and the punishment that many black parents have given their children is an extension of what was done to not only keep the enslaved in line (whippings by the master, and the overseer), but, also whippings by many a black parent to save their black child’s life from destruction by racist whites:
 
 
 
“Lena (Eldreway Stearns’s aunt) and Eldreway walked across the old courthouse square and passed a group of black men in overalls, chewing tobacco and trading yarns. AS they approached the Brookshire Brothers General Store, an old white man in his late sixties was barely making it out the door. He was carrying “six ‘number 8′ tubs —- the kind we used to bathed in every Saturday —- on his shoulders. “You’re totin’ too much there, Jess. Let me help you,” another white man cautioned. Old Jess just grunted something like, “Outa my way, I’m all right.”
 
“Then the old man slipped on something. His long, boney legs went out from under him and the tubs went rolling down the cobblestone streets. The startled horses tried to bolt with their wagons. A crowd of black men was looking from across the square.”God knows I was laughing like my insides was going to bust open,” remembers Eldreway. “I couldn’t  wait to tell my cousin.”
 
“When Jess finally landed on the bottom tub, he looked around. A big black washerwoman was giggling as she walked by. Old Jess jumped up and “smacked the smile off her fleshy face. He kept beatin’ on the left side of her face. ”  “Somebody help me, please!”, she kept crying. “I’ll teach you to laugh at a white man, you black bitch. Don’t you know better than to laugh at a white man?”
 
“Please, Mr. Jess, don’t hit me no more. I’z sorry. I swear I is. So help me, Jesus, I ain’t gonna laugh at no white man no more. I swear I ain’t.”
 
“Jess stopped  beating the woman. Then he wheeled around to see who else was laughing. “This tall, blue-eyed, white-wrinkled-face son-of-a-bitch —– I’ve been waiting to say this for forty years —- looked at me,” Eldreway recalls:
 
“Like a Texas jackrabbit, I jumped behind my Aunt Lena’s wide dresstail. She turned and slapped me full in the face. The day turned into a night of stars.
 
“I got that little scamp for you, Mr. Jess,” she yelled. “He knows better than to be laughin’ at white folks.”
 
Old Jess was almost tickled pink.”You better get him, or I sure will.” He looked all around for more black-faced laughter.
 
No one made a sound.
 
Right then and there I solemnly swore to God that I would answer a call to see that such inhumanity would never be visible to my eyes again.”
 
 
SOURCE:   “No Color Is My Kind:  The Life Of Eldreway Stearns and the Integration of Houston”, by Eldreway Stearns and Thomas R. Cole. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas, 1997, pgs. 121-122.
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Old Jess was a representation of all the malignant racist hatred that this country showed towards black people and the beatings that black people would incur if they acknowledged, at least publicly, the moral weaknesses of whites.  Many black parents then knew that if they did not beat their children to instill into them the annihilations that awaited them in the white world, then that black child as they grew up would face more vicious hells at the hands of racist whites.
 
(Notice that Old Jess in this anecdote never turned his anger on the whites milling around who may have laughed. No. Only towards defenseless black people did he turn his rage.)
 
The whippings that many black parents have given their children is a remnant of the physical and mental abuse that slaveholder masters, their jealous white wives, angry spurned white male overseers who were fought back against  by black women who did not wish to be raped and impregnated, and many whites after Reconstruction and during segregation, dished out to millions of black citizens just because they could. Just because black life was so devalued then —-  and now.
 
 
Even little children as young as three years of age are not spared this violence of paddling/spanking:
 
 
“Even little kids can be paddled. Heather Porter, who lives in Crockett, Texas, was startled to hear her little boy, then 3, say he’d been spanked at school. Porter was never told, despite a policy at the public preschool that parents be notified.
 
 
 
A 3-year-old child beaten. How the hell can a 3-year-old child comprehend the punishment meted out to her/him just because they are a little child that is just setting out exploring their world?
 
But, then again, black children are not supposed to explore, reach out, and learn about the world around them.
 
They are supposed to shut up and never be accorded their humanity. Then again, America as a nation, has never cared much for the humanity of black girls and boys. Even when a black child and a white child are both caught doing the same thing in class. When push comes to shive, or shank, the black child will always get the long end of the dull, rusty shaft of the worst of punishment.
 
It is seen in schools, it is seen in the criminal justice system, it is seen in the prisons of this country, it is seen in how America denigrates and defiles her black citizens.
 
Per the article, not only were black girls and boys paddled more, so too, were Native American children and disabled children beaten.
 
 
 
African American students are more than twice as likely to be paddled. The disparity persists even in places with large black populations, the study found. Similarly, Native Americans were more than twice as likely to be paddled, the study found.
The study also found:
  • In states where paddling is most common, black girls were paddled more than twice as often as white girls.
  • Boys are three times as likely to be paddled as girls.
  • Special education kids were more likely to be paddled.”
 
 
Native American children have faced a gauntlet of this country’s desire to beat them into submission as well. Many NA children after the many bloody so-called “Indian Wars” were sent to missionary schools to further learn the ways of the white man. One such way to teach the NA children to cease seeing themselves as autonomous human beings with agency, was to strip them of their tribal customs/traditions —–and to stop them from learning and speaking their native Indian languages.
 
NA children who were caught speaking their native Navajo, Cherokee, Apache languages, were severely and brutally beaten. This cultural assimilation, and destruction, was one last attempt by racist America to destroy the NA people by tearing to pieces their culture:
 
 
 
RICHARD PRATT — “KILL THE INDIAN, SAVE THE MAN”
As we have taken into our national family seven millions of Negroes, and as we receive foreigners at the rate of more than five hundred thousand a year, and assimilate them, it would seem that the time may have arrived when we can very properly make at least the attempt to assimilate our two hundred and fifty thousand Indians, using this proven potent line, and see if that will not end this vexed question and remove them from public attention, where they occupy so much more space than they are entitled to either by numbers or worth.
 
 
 
 
 
Native Americans have, like Black Americans, faced attacks upon their bodies, their minds, their right to exist in this country with their traditions and humanity disparaged on a daily basis as this quote attests to:
 
 
 
“The policy pursued toward the Indians has resulted favorably, so far as can be judged from the limited time during which it has been in operation. Through the exertions of the various societies of Christians to whom has been entrusted the execution of the policy, and the board of commissioners authorized by the law of April 10, 1869, many tribes of Indians have been induced to settle upon reservations, to cultivate the soil, to perform productive labor of various kinds, and to partially accept civilization.They are being cared for in such a way, it is hoped, as to induce those still pursuing their old habits of life to embrace the only opportunity which is left them to avoid extermination.
I recommend liberal appropriations to carry out the Indian peace policy,
not only because it is humane, Christian like, and economical, but because it is right.”
 
 
 
 
But, it is the beatings of disabled children that boils my blood. A disabled child? A child who has reading, writing, and mental comprehension skills is subjected to abuse by teachers paddling them because many cannot understand some verbal commands? That shows a lack of human regard for them by the so-called teachers and administrators. They show their lack of control and human compassion when they beat and pummel little disabled children who have a hard enough time getting through in this world.
 
Not to mention the psychological abuse that corporal punishments in schools leave.
 
Might does not always make right.
 
Might oftentimes imparts the belief and action that beating, bullying and using force/violence, is the only way to get your point across, the only way to make it in this world.
 
Paddling does not impart any lasting positive effects. Paddling only sends the message that as a teacher/adult, you have the right to beat down a child because you can, and when that child gets older she/he will come to see that force is a more socially accepted and sanctioned fact of life in this country, instead of reason and deliberation.
 
 
 
 
“There is scant research on whether paddling is effective in the classroom. But many studies have shown it doesn’t work at home, said Elizabeth Gershoff, a University of Michigan assistant professor of social work.
“The use of corporal punishment is associated almost overwhelmingly with negative effects, and that it increases children’s problem behavior over time,” Gershoff said.
Children may learn to solve problems using aggression, and a sense of resentment might make them act out more, Gershoff said.”
 
 
 
Some school districts have banned paddling in their schools:
 
 
 
 
“The practice is banned in 29 states, most recently in Delaware and Pennsylvania. While some education groups haven’t taken a position on the issue, the national PTA believes paddling should be banned everywhere.
“We teach our children that violence is wrong, yet corporal punishment teaches children that violence is a way to solve problems,” said Jan Harp Domene, the group’s president. “It perpetuates a cycle of child abuse. It teaches children to hit someone smaller and weaker when angry.”
 
 
 
 
Paddling. Swats. Licks. Beatings.
 
They are wrong, and they have no place in a so-called civilized society, in how it treats, or better yet, mistreats, its littlest citizens.
 
If one must punish a child who has  been declared unruly, then be an adult about it:
 
 
-Withhold viewing the television
-Withhold using the computer
-Withhold going out with friends/neighbors
-Withhold going to special events that the child holds dear
-Take away telephone privileges
 
There are many ways to correct and bring up a child, but always resorting to physical force undermines that effort.
 
The lasting effects of child corporal punishment can be devastating.
 
Or they can be positive, if done in a more rational and reasonable manner.
 
Force and violence are not always the way to go.
 
The lasting and enduring messages being sent to children have had too much of a negative impact.
 
When the adult loses composure and hits, kicks, swats, paddles, switches, slaps, beats and pummels a child —-then they have lost, in the eyes of the child, and the child has learned a new and more virulent way to solve their problems.
 
 
[Hattip to Gina of “What About Our Daughters” for this article.]
 
 
*********************************************************************
Read the Human Rights Watch report, “U.S.:  End Beating of Children In Public Schools”  http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2008/08/19/usdom19655.htm
 
Audio – A Violent Education: Corporal Punishment of Children in U.S. Public Schools”:  http://hrw.org/audio/2008/english/us08/usdom19655.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

RELATED LINKS:

Black girls are being punished for being assertive.  Black women have paid, and continue to pay for speaking up for themselves, their fellow black women and girls, and for not standing down to all the verbal and physical assaults that are hurled their way, as the following report states: 

 

National News: New Study: Making Black Girls “Ladylike” Discourages Achievement?

Date: 7-Aug-2007

 

 

 

 

 

Courtesy of Flickr Photo SharingWASHINGTON –  A new study shows that teachers tend to view the behavior of black girls as not “ladylike” and therefore focus disciplinary action on encouraging behaviors like passivity, deference, and bodily control at the expense of curiosity, outspokenness, and assertiveness.

 

Based on two years’ observation at a Texas middle school, the Ohio University study found that teachers’ class- and race-based assumptions of black femininity made them more likely to discourage behaviors and characteristics that lead to class involvement and educational success.  The teachers’ actions appeared to be less the result of conscious racism or sexism than an unwitting tendency to view the behavior of black girls through a different lens than that of their peers.

 

Among the findings of the study: black girls who actively sought out the positive attention of their teachers in class by asking questions were reprimanded by teachers, while boys and girls of other racial and ethnic groups behaving similarly were rarely disciplined in the same manner for their actions.

 

“As teachers, we are taught to encourage student curiosity and confidence because they’re great indicators of academic engagement. If our own unconscious stereotypes are prompting teachers to ‘correct’ those behaviors in young black girls, school systems need to look carefully at including this problem of teachers’ perceptions and assumptions in their diversity training,” said Taneika Taylor, director of the Gender Public Advocacy Coalition’s Children As They Are program.

 

One reason why educators might emphasize “ladylike” behavior unfavorable to academic success has to do with their perception of black female students as prematurely adult — particularly with regard to their sexuality.

 

“A lot of the females, especially Black females here, try to have some authority over me in class. I say to them ‘Uh-uh—I’m the only adult in here.’ But they think they are adults too…” said Ms. Duncan, a teacher at the observed school.

 

The study found that many teachers described black female students as too sexually provocative in dress and behavior, a finding consistent with a 2004 study which found that girls of color are pre-tracked for underachievement because of teacher beliefs that they are hypersexual and willing to invest more energy in their appearance than in academic pursuits.
 

“Young girls need to be encouraged by educators and parents to achieve and explore, not to curb their enthusiasm for life and learning in order to be ‘proper ladies’,” said Taneika Taylor, director of the Gender Public Advocacy Coalition’s Children As They Are program.

 

Children As They Are supports parents and educators in creating environments that are safe for all children to express themselves authentically and explore all of their interests, talents, and feelings — whether or not they’re considered “right” for boys or girls. For more information, visit www.gpac.org/cata.

SOURCE:   http://www.gpac.org/archive/news/index.html?cmd=view&archive=news&msgnum=0680

[Hattip to Gina of “What About Our Daughters”]

Black girls are forced by this society to devolve into what much of this country thinks a black woman/girl should be:

-Silent. Passive. Uneducated. Mules of the World.

INVISIBLE.

But, no matter how much this world tries to beat down and crush black women and girls, still they rise.

They have had to.

They still have to.

In a world gone mad with hatred and disrespect of black women and girls, we have had to resist the most against all that continues to seek our demise, all the seeks to obliterate our womanhood, all that seeks to tear apart our humanity.

About these ads

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

6 responses to “U.S. SCHOOL SPANKINGS: BLACK, NATIVE AMERICAN, AND DISABLED STUDENTS ARE PADDLED MORE

  1. steadycat

    Under no circumstances should a child be hit as a way to prove a point or teach a lesson. If I had a child, woe is the adult who hits them. Their job is to let me know of the problem. My job is to solve the problem. I recall when I was beat in school as a child. The teacher did it in front of the classroom and all the students laughed. I was quite smart, the teacher was white and thought I needed to be put in my place. The students (black) were the ones that laughed. Being humiliated in that manner left scars. No child should have to deal with that. But even worse, I saw a black teacher beat her own daughter in a classroom. She beat the poor child until (the child) threw up on herself. The mother/teacher only stopped after another teacher pulled her away. Violence is always wrong.

    http://steadycat.wordpress.com/

  2. Making Black Girls “Ladylike” has ruined my life. When we get the anti-male sexist assumptions in my previous sentence you will know how serious I am about this. I’m glad you found this story!

    You call my woman “African woman”
    She no go ‘gree
    She say, “I be lady”

    The “lady” is the wife of a “lord”… for Black ladies they are often the “wife” that is never really married.

  3. Ann

    “Making Black Girls “Ladylike” has ruined my life.”

    How has making Black girls “ladylike” (whatever that word means to you), ruined your life?

    “The “lady” is the wife of a “lord”…”

    That is true. . . .if you consider the word “lady” the same as say. . . “Duchess”, which is a counterpart of “Duke”.

    The word lady eventually became synonymous with woman of genteel birth and station, until now it means a woman who demures to a man.

    To me “lady’ means you stand up for yourself, and do not lay down and take anything off anyone. “Lady” means you speak your mind, and still have composure. “Lady’ means you speak the truth, and do not lead others astray.

    Lady” means you are there for someone when you say you will be.

    “. . . .for Black ladies they are often the “wife” that is never really married.”

    In other words, a “Black lady” is someone to be used and never given any human regard, then dumped along the wayside?

    Someone to be taken for granted?

    Someone to be discarded as not worthy of marriage the way women of other races are considered as humans, and as worthy of being married?

    Explain what you mean by the comment:

    “. . . .for Black ladies they are often the “wife” that is never really married.”

  4. Pingback: the rasx() context » Blog Archive » Making Black Girls “Ladylike” Discourages Achievement?

  5. Ann

    Steadycat.

    I am sorry to hear about what you experienced in school.

    Punishment of children is often done in a rage and often accomplishes the opposite of what is intended.

    And that little girl of the teacher. . . .sigh.

    Thanks for your comments, and thanks for stopping by.

  6. Pingback: Black girl students reprimanded for behavior no one else was | The Hathor Legacy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s