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Ouch! The Strap!

"Okay you wise guys, say that one more time, and I'm going to send you to the moon". Sounds like a line from the latest TV drama, doesn't it? For real, it could be coming from one of your teachers or principals. Scary stuff, huh?

Did you know that in some states, it is perfectly fine to paddle students who aren't acting right? In others words, If you act up, it could be your butt. Paddling or corporal punishment is legal in 23 states. Check and see if yours is one of them. * In 1997-1998 the word from the Department of Education was that 365,000 students were paddled.

What do you think about that? Does anyone have the right to hit you because of your behavior? It really is a tough question. And does getting hit or spanked or verbally dissed by a teacher make you learn your lesson?

There's no doubt that troublemakers at school make it harder for everybody. They get too much attention, take up too much time and probably get on your last nerve. But you have to give respect to earn respect and paddling just doesn't seem very respectful.

You can trace spanking and education back to Roman times. Then it was thought that kids would learn to be adults by imitation (the right things) and by punishment (if they did the wrong things). School was one place where this would happen. The whack thing is that we are far from Ancient Roman times and this is still happening.

At a time when we are all trying to figure out how to make our schools safer, how crazy is it that we allow violence from teachers and principals? Go figure.

In November of 1999, the United Nations General Assembly came up with a treaty to protect the rights of children. It was called the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It promises children from all around the world, the right to life, liberty, education and health care. Now check this. There are only two nations that haven't signed yet. They are Somalia and the United States (can you believe it?)

If you are in school, and have been physically or verbally abused by a teacher or principal. Tell someone. Talk to an adult. Talk to your parents (they may not know). Tell other students and find out what your rights are as students. Get active!

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