Friday, October 06, 2006

Guns & Paddles

Here is a headline from today’s news:

Wisconsin Lawmaker wants teachers to carry guns.

Ok…let me make sure I have this right.

Prayer – not allowed in schools
Corporal punishment – not allowed in schools
Gun toting teachers – lawmakers thoughtfully considering

Don’t get me wrong, I think prayer has practical applications to the individual. Any forced, group prayer is likely not going to get my support. But we do our best to remove God and time honored disciplines from schools and then become so outraged with the ensuing results that we are now proposing a militia of teachers? Am I the only one lifting an eyebrow to this?

There are so many problems with this idea that it would be like shooting fish in a barrel to point them all out. However, I would at least like to mention one: not all teachers should be packing heat. What is keeping Ms. Nearing A. Breakdown from popping a few caps in a fit of rage because the class didn’t read their assignments?

“By the way, Ms. Breakdown…I need to see you after school for some tutoring.”

“Can’t do it Billy…I have mandatory target practice and gun training today.”


The Paddle – What kept me and many generations of school aged kids from acting out too terribly bad was the thought of having Principal Pete paddle your posterior. Normally this wooden threat would just hang on the wall above his desk as a reminder. You always heard rumors of someone getting a good swat on the backside but I never actually saw it happen or had any friends at the bad end of the stick.

The Note Home – This was almost as bad for me as any potential spanking. I have such a highly developed sense of pleasing my folks that to disappoint them was outright scary. I would beg my teacher not to tell my parents and promise all sorts of good behavior if they’d just tear up the note. I am sure some instructors saw my pleading as a sign of abuse at home because of the sheer and utter display of desperation. But I really did not get spanked often. It really was the fear of being a disappointment that worked on me.

The Parents – I had good ones. Not everyone does but this is where the discipline blame game starts and ends in my opinion. It is very rare that I hear of good parents with a devil child. Whether parents are abusive or just neglectful…the kids will act according to their upbringing…period.

There are other things like detention, suspension, standing in corners, banishment at recess, running laps, etc. but the main three I grew up with are listed above and were effective. Some of these techniques still exist but most are laughable if used at all. I also realize that the older the children get (i.e. highschool-aged) the less effective most punishments are. This new generation seems to have no fear of consequences. So I guess the only viable solution is to arm everyone and see who comes out of the fray.

What do you think?


tonymation said...

I am absolutely against teachers being armed. But I think the real problem is the public school system itself. I think public schools receive way too much funding in comparison to their dismal performance.

Homeschool kids are kicking public school kids butts in aptitude and level of literacy without government funding. In my opinion the common denominator is parent involvement. The parents take an active role in the education, discipline, and nurturing, of the child.

At my son's school, there is a teacher student ratio of 1 to 1. My wife, Leslie instructs my son. When I get home the teacher student ratio explodes to 2 to 1. There is no school that will be able to match that, and no school can convince me that they can do a better job educating, or preparing him to be a leader in this society.

As a home school parent I always hear, "What about social interaction?" To that I respond, "You mean social programming? Because my son interacts with several kids and adults and communicates well beyond most preschool kids his age." The difference, I know who he interacts with, and he isn't bound by limiting the age of his peers.

I, for one, did not enjoy the social constructs within my schools. There is far more negative social interaction in public schools than positive. They are definitely not a place that encourages individuality and creativity. If you went to a public high school you know what I mean. If you were different or coudn't afford the cool clothes, then you were a geek. I would rather my son build a healthy self-esteem from a positive and loving environment, rather than the public school method of lowering expectations.

Should guns be in public schools, is not the question for me... Should kids be in public schools is the real question.

Flashman said...

I'm with you. This arming the teachers things is stupid. You are inviting more trouble then you would be preventing.

Detentiong never worked for kids. It was always the same kids in there. And personally, I always used it to do homework, so I could do whatever when I got home.

Of course, not a whole lot of discipline worked on me. I laughed the one time the paddle was presented to me. And by time I was in school, the note home had gone the way of beta.

However, the one thing I feared above all else was the parent/teacher conference. Sends shivers down my spine at the mere mention.

Jon said...

Yesterday the question at the top of MSN was "Should teachers carry guns?" I answered it on my personal myspace under "Absolutely Not." Take a read if you like.

Chris said...

I say arm the teachers with flame throwers and RPG's. Hand grenades are needed also. Hello class my name is John Rambo. You will sit still, not talk,and you will learn dammit.

LeVar said...

I agree with you Edge. The teachers have it rough enough without having o worry about haveing a raging gun battle with little Johnny during 4th period science. And I agree its the parents fault that we even have to consider arming the teachers.. If the law has taken sapking from the parents we should whip the @$$ of the lawmakers and the parents for entertaining the notion.

Johnny Dingo said...


I had good parents. I think they raised me well. They paddled me too!
I had good teachers, they had classroom control.
I had a principal with a big paddle, and he wasn't afraid to use it. BTW, If I got paddled at school, I got another when I got home. Talk about double jeopardy!
Ya know what? It didn't warp me or turn me into a serial killer either. It taught me discipline and respect for authority.

This country started on the downhill path with the elimination of prayer and discipline in schools. Actually, it started with the elimination of prayer and discipline in the HOME!

Nate said...

Obviously, this legislation is in reaction to the recent incidents of violence perpetrated by crazed gunmen on a handful of campuses in America. All of the disciplinary methods you mentioned, while great for dealing with the common smartass, won't protect the students from outside attacks. Even though you might want to give them "The Paddle," we both know it wouldn't be effective.

So, in light of recent events, Representative Shoot 'Em Up has chosen to submit this bill that would allow teachers to obtain training and carry concealed weapons. A tad extreme? Sure. However, there is an ancient ploy in Korean negotiation in which one party makes excessive demands of the other in order to get reasonable demands met. If it takes the terrifying prospect of having our educators armed to get PROFESSIONAL armed security officers on every campus in America, so be it.

Your pal,


TheEdge said...

Instead of doing actual research, I will make some up. Shootings in American schools was unheard of pre 1989. Slingshots? Maybe.

My paddling point for persons to ponder (boy, I love alliteration) is this: Did the removal of such institutions cause or spur us toward our current situation? Had we kept to our tride a true methods...would we even have this debate? Afterall, we've had guns for over 1000 years (more made up stats) and this is a relatively new problem (I think).

However, I do appreciate your point of view and happen to know you pack heat like Hershey's line workers pack fudge. Mmm...fudge. What were we talking about?

tonymation said...

I do not approve of a stranger paddling my child. I don't think teachers paddling a kid will solve this issue by any means. This country has travelled a long road to come to this point. Children do not stay children for long anymore, and it is because of the culture that surrounds them. Paddling a kid is not going to change the rapid information bombardment form peers, and media that forms the child's world view. The change starts at home with the family unit. Family values of today do not compare to those of 50 years ago. A teacher can do only so much to guide a child, especially since they have 25 others to work with. That job is not the teacher's anyway.

Parent's need to do their jobs. You want paddling, then use it on your kids, but let me be the judge of what is best for my kid to guide him in the right direction. Not every kid needs to be paddled. Edge is a perfect example. He feared a note going home more than a mear paddling. I am in the same boat, and my son falls in that category too. I send him in a room by himself and he breaks down into tears. I am not against corporal punishment, but I don't rely on it.

The problem in schools today started in the homes of yesterday.

Flashman said...

I agree with Tony, that todays values do not compare to yesteryear(?). I think that goes hand in hand with slow restraint of using corporal punishment. I didn't fear c.p. either, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't have worked. As a wise man once said, it takes a village to raise a child. Or is it an idiot?

Carolanne said...

One thing I wondered is: Are your teachers allowed to "hug" students? In Australia, they're not supposed to either. So you've taken out prayer, corporal punishment, and even hugs, but are allowed guns.
My colleague asked me how comfortable I would be if a man came into the school and had a gun pointed at one of my students and I had to shoot him, first... could I do it?
I am very protective of my students and I think I would - even though I've never seen a real gun or held one in my hand. On the other hand, I suppose it means the teachers would do police type training.
Rather than being for or against, I think it's so very sad that this is what the world has come to.

Keith said...

I only have time to skim and run, so I may have missed something--but do I understand correctly that you think school shootings are the result of religion not being taught in schools?

TheEdge said...


You did miss something. The only commentary I offer about religion is the prayer issue. I went even further to explain that I do not believe any kind of forced or group prayer should be allowed...just that individuals should have that freedom.

My point, if I had one, is that we are doing things VERY differently in schools nowadays. They resemble prisons more and more as each year passes. The exact cause of this circumstance is debatable but solutions are what we need. Gun toting teachers does not sound like a viable solution to me...which is all I really wanted to point out.

Flashman said...

I think if you had meant what Keith said, you wouldn't have been too far off. As we have gradually taken religion out of schools, chaos has started to reign. Did you ever hear of school shootings 20 years ago? Probably not.

As we as a nation have moved towards getting rid of any mention of God or Jesus or Christianity, our society has started going down the proverbial crapper.

Geez, even the pledge of allegiance is under attack.

Captain Amazing said...

No, they didn't.

The removal of disipline from the home (it's bad to spank your kids EVER), parents more concerned with day care/money than child rearing, and a general lack of respect for any authority probably contributed to this.

I personally wouldn't want some of the wack-job teachers that I've had having a weapon or disiplining me or my children with anything physcial.

I think it would be an excellent idea to arm administrators, terrible idea to arm teachers.

Michael said...

As a soon-to-be (think 2-3 years) teacher, I think it is a horrible idea for teachers to be armed. These are students that are the problem, not terrorist. And look yeah probably the parents are to blame in most cases, but while the children are at the schools it is the teachers' RESPONSIBILITY. At schools (and pretty much everywhere nowadays) people need to step up and take the heat for what they did wrong. Being held accountable and showing some backbone to your character would be the most beneficial way to teach the students. The way I see it the school environment is not all that different than the rest of the “real world”, meaning that there are going to be a few crazies every now and then who will cause problems. The high school I went to had a police officer on campus that carried a gun and I think that ought to be enough. Like all things it is a tough issue that deserves consideration, however I think there are more appropriate solutions.

Adam said...

parent teacher conferences are bad enough without the threat of a colt .45!

Zaphod said...

You didn't even address the logistics of the issue.

Most non-college teachers are female (~70%, another made-up stat). Most women would store the firearm either in their purse, which in turn is inside their desk. This is an ineffective location for an outbreak in the hallway or other side of the classroom.

In a high school environment, a student can overpower some teachers to obtain the weapon.

There exists other non-lethal restraints for unruly or dangerous students (pepper sprays, tasers / tazers, etc).

I believe that those persons that are properly licensed for a Consealed Handgun License (CHL) should be allowed to enter churches and schools under the guidelines of the CHL. This means that if others know about the firearm, then it is no longer 'consealed'.

Angry Young Man said...

Bring back corporal punishment. Make an example of the bad kid(s). It'll scare the good ones more gooder, and maybe set the bad ones on the right path. Maybe.

Sugar Plum said...

That's the most ricockulous thing I've EVER heard of. If I found out my son was sitting in an ARMED teacher's classroom I don't know who I'd beat bare fisted first, The teacher, or the District that put them there.

There is NOTHING that might require the presance of a handgun inside of a school. We have been fighting against students choosing to bring weapons into school, and now we're gonna play "Who's glock is bigger" with the teacher???

What's next, the postman? Maybe the milkman feels threatened?

For crying out loud...IDIOCY IS CONTAGIOUS!

Shaun Diggity said...

that is ridiculous. what the hell happened to this country??? if only these "parents" (the 20% of garbage who has kids) would give a damn and raise them properly instead of having television raise them...we'd be fine. a child should be taught manners and respect...also have a parent as a friend who teaches them and guides them through their years. look at other countries....their schools are perfect, their kids are respectful. then we look at the good old USA...i think every one is taking this freedom thing way to loosely. yes we are free to do whatever and say whatever but i saw an ad on FX for a show called dirt. the preview was blowing dirt like a line of coke through the straw. now don't get me wrong...i love a good joke about cocaine as much as the next person----BUT IT SHOULD NOT BE GLAMORIZED IN FRONT OF MILLIONS OF VIEWERS!!!! it is cocaine. a very bad drug...why the hell would we showcase this for younger eyes to view?? i dunno...the pledge should be done in school. if you don't like it...send your kid to a private school that does not offer that. prayer in school...not public, but catholic private schools most definatly. and kids need to get smacked. a lot of them have weak parents and their kids run them, please you are a child, we will speak when spoken too and be polite to people.

that's my 2 cents---keep the change everyone---thanks