25 April 2005
I don't remember what I did, but I'm sure I only did it once.
Whatever I did, I had to stand up in front of the class, hold out my hands, while Sister Mary Somebody-or-Other slapped me five times with a ruler. It stung. What stung more was the embarrassment of having to stand in front of my classmates and be punished. My face turned as red as my hands.
Nowadays teachers can't do that. I dunno--maybe public school teachers couldn't do that then either. Parochial schools weren't subject, I don't think, to inspection by the Board of Education. But it is my memory that our class size was significantly larger than the "large" classes today, and the actual problems were minimal. We respected the teachers, and if we didn't respect them, we at least feared their power.
Things have definitely changed. It's a result of many factors. There are fewer stay at home moms, which may be responsible for less discipline for some kids. Some parents are also getting more demanding about what teachers can and can't do to discipline students, which has resulted in rules about touching kids, and tying a teacher's hands with obstreperous students. Students are in charge and they know it.
I understand that these are difficult times for teachers, but I'm afraid that I can find absolutely NO excuse to call the police to a kindergarten class and to handcuff a five year old girl. I especially don't know why it takes four policemen to wrestle a small child into submission and yank her arms behind her back, while she screams, in order to handcuff her.
THE KID IS FIVE YEARS OLD!!!!!
Is this how children are treated in Florida? I don't care how out of control she was, handcuffing a five year old is just plain cruel, to say nothing of irresponsible, and ineffective.
I was thinking back to the day I found a police helicopter on the lawn of a local grammar school
It was police day at the school, the day when the police were there to show the kids that they were friends, to talk with them about how police work, show them the helicopter and the attack dogs, explain to them about how to deal with strangers, stress that they can always bring their problems to a policeman.
How is this young child....have I mentioned she is FIVE YEARS OLD?...going to ever think of the police as her friends when four of them came to deal with her and three of them held her down and handcuffed her.
I'm thinking to my friend David, who adopted an 8 year old who spent a lot of time testing him and how when he was out of control, David would grab him in a bear hug and hold him until he calmed down, reassuring him that he loved him and wasn't going to give up on him.
Did David call the police to have him handcuffed?
Surely two adult teachers could calm a five year old child without the assistance of police and handcuffs.
To say nothing of a police department that would actually send FOUR policemen and overpower a five year old child, putting her in handcuffs while she screams!
I first heard this report on CNN where the newscaster was talking with the attorney for the child. When the attorney stated that this was no way to discipline a five year old child, the newscaster said, "but she was hitting her teacher!" as if the newscaster herself approved of the actions of the police.
The girl is five years old.
What has happened in this country?
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Public Enemy #1