According to CNN, human rights organizations are reporting that more than 200,000 children were spanked or paddled in U.S. schools during the past year. My own state of Texas leads the pack, with 48,197 students. Well, of course it does.
Now, we can have the discussion about the morality and effectiveness of hitting kids if you like. I'm always ready for that topic, after all. I am very encouraged by the fact that the numbers are down, and that a number of states and school districts have outlawed corporal punishment altogether.
But one line in this report jumped out at me, hiding about halfway down.
In addition, special education students with mental or physical disabilities were more likely to receive corporal punishment, according to the ACLU and Human Rights Watch.
Even if you're one of the people who think that hitting a child is a good way to discipline and to educate, or perhaps especially if you believe that, I'd like you to stop for just a moment and think about that. I'd like for you to close your eyes and imagine how that scene might unfold.
Meanwhile, what's the topic of the most vocal outcry from disability advocates of late? The use of the word "retard" in a movie.
I don't know. To my thinking, those priorities seem sort of, well, you know. There's probably a word for it. I'm sure you can think of one.