Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Whupping? or a Padded Cell?

This day has been prime news fodder. One more tonight...

The story is a woman was fired for reporting a corporal punishment incident to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Service.

White woman claims she was fired for reporting spanking wins $200K

The story tries to focus on a racial divide, and indeed, the main story does appear to be a discrimination case.

I want to focus on the story within the story.

When it comes to abuse, Schandelmeier-Bartels is probably more sensitive than most. She has worked with the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, and in 1996, she coordinated a video for the organization that got global attention. "I don't believe in ever spanking or hitting a child no matter what," she told me.

Right. No spanking or hitting of a child, no matter what. Instead, punishment is left to the police. Tasers, after all, aren't "hitting".

But tasers are a last resort! Probably. In the prelude years to high school run-ins with the law, trouble makers are kept safe in padded rooms.

I pulled this photo from a local paper. It is the punishment room for a local government school.

"Time out" in a Skinner box.

You've been a kid once. Which would you prefer? A spanking that stings a bit, and then it's done? Or a couple hours banished from society in a padded room? Which is better for a developing self-esteem?

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