sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Monday, February 21, 2005

Interesting article in Saturday's Charlotte Observer on corporal punishment in Union County:

"Critics of corporal punishment maintain that minorities and other groups such as the disabled receive it at a higher rate........The (National Association of Schools Psychologists) estimates more than 250,000 children are being struck each year, with a dispropotionate number being minorities and disabled children.....A federal study of the 1999-2000 school year found Union used corporal punishment on disabled students more than any other district in the state, with 85 instances."

Dear God, I thought to myself, they're slapping kids in wheelchairs down there in Union County.

But, "Union school officials have pointed out that children with leaning disabilities and emotional difficulties are classified as disabled."

I understand that using corporal punshiment on any kids is a much-debated topic. I also understand that using it on kids with learning disabilities is not fair because their well, disability, prevents them from learning. In their frustration, these students have a greater tendency to act up in class. I concede that corporal punshiment is simply treating the symptom in this case.

Still, I think the reporter could have done a better job of explaining this instead of just running the term "disabled" up the flagpole. Did she know what type of imagery she was prompting as she was writing the article? Probably.


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