Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Idiots and Bullies

Those are the kind of people who hit children. But in North Carolina, many of them seem to have found employment as teachers. Now, for the first time, parents will be able to opt their kids out of corporal punishment. Some wanted to ban it entirely. But the idiot lobby has apparently held firm, and are going to allow people who can't imagine a better alternative to continue hitting children.

We're studying The Good Earth in a few of my classes, and there's a scene where the protagonist watches an old teacher sleeping at a desk. Then the old teacher wakes up and smacks a kid, and the protagonist determines this is truly a worthy pedagogue. One of the kids asked me what I'd think of a teacher hitting my kid.

"That would be one dead teacher," I said.

The kid pressed me about whether I meant it literally, and I amended my statement to, "OK, that would be one ex-teacher."

Honestly, I don't hit my own kid, so what right do I have to hit anyone else's? I think as a teacher or parent it behooves you to coldly calculate revenge in the most evil and insidious manner. Losing your temper is tantamount to losing altogether, and hitting is even worse.

Now my dad used to hit me sometimes, but every time he did I went out and committed an atrocity. I'm not sure that was what he intended, but it's not what I want for any kid in my charge. I want to make it as inconvenient as possible to mess with me, for both my child and my students, and that requires thought, not violence.

Self-defense may be one thing. But other than that, anyone who needs to hit kids is unfit to teach, plain and simple. And teachers, from North Carolina or elsewhere, who hit kids ought to be shipped off to prison, where they can meet other like-minded individuals.
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