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That does it.

I'm sorry, I've just about had it.
Meaning no disrespect to my friend (he knows who he is), I need to talk about this, because this is clearly even more widespread than I thought.

How many of you are aware that corporal punishment is perfectly legal in many US schools? That 220,000 students a year are beaten by their teachers with what are essentially BDSM spanking paddles? That approximately 20,000 of them need to seek medical attention because their dickhead teachers went overboard?

Any of you? No? Yeah, it's a little dark secret your education industry likes to keep under wraps. Along with the restraining and seclusion used in many special schools, including schools where spanking isn't legal such as in good old California. I'm astounded by how many Americans are completely ignorant of this fact, how severe the beatings can be and how quick educators in these states jump to doing it.


Frankly, you can find more with Google and fucking YouTube searches, but more people know who Fred is than have ever seen a video of arbitrarily-initiated, potentially lethal face-down-take-down holds being used on children with autism in the one place we'd expect them to be safe.

Regarding seclusion rooms, many of them are usually normal rooms used quite fairly enough when a child is a clear and present danger to themselves and others. Concerns have been raised since many teachers are using them, as with paddling and restraining techniques, as quick-fix, go-to measures for minor transgressions. Several schools however employ rooms described as "a concrete room latched from the outside, its tiny window obscured by a piece of paper" such as the school where 13-year-old Johnathon King committed suicide after hours of seclusion.

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/US/12/17/seclusion.rooms/i... - yeah that's fucking CNN, how many of you saw that? How many of you remembered that?
OK, let's back away from the sensationalist death-stories. How about this one? http://www.nospank.net/n-r92r.htm
Excerpt -
'"The door is closed, it's totally dark. There is a little tiny beam of light that comes under the door, but that's it." Chris told CBS 5 Investigates. When he was asked if he was trapped, he responded, "Pretty much."
Chris was a 6th grader at Mendenhall Middle School in Livermore. Despite his high IQ, behaviors resulting from a diagnosis of ADHD landed him in a special education class. He quickly discovered that anything considered 'misbehavior', like getting up out of your chair or not completing class assignments meant a trip to the closet.
"You really don't understand what it's like until you actually go through it," Chris said.
He says he was put in the "Quiet Room" a lot, and there was no getting out. "They would sit on the door so you couldn't get out and then sometimes they would put a chair up against the door," Chris recalled. "I sat in there for a whole school day one time."

Worse, how many of you think I was making shit up when I was talking about "residential treatment centers" (aka "Gulag Schools/Camps") in Astray's third chapter? Hm?

"Behavior Modification Camps
Dozens of behavior modification schools have sprung up, in this country and abroad, pledging to cure teenagers of all behavior problems. These "gulag schools" use manipulative marketing to deceive parents in to sending their sons and daughters there at great financial cost. Gulag schools use extreme methods of physical and emotional abuse that have in some cases resulted in death.

Teens, often having committed no crime, are abducted in the middle of the night and imprisoned for months in these abusive institutions." -- http://www.youthrights.org/positionpapers.php#gulag

How about the kidnapping "escort" agencies? Made them up too, right? No, here's a website for one.
Here, have another, this one is "used by" Dr. Phil! http://www.ustransportservice.com/index.amp
Look at those glowing testimonials! None of them by the children taken by them. Hrm. Maybe this will let you know why:
They literally, really, truly do walk into youths' rooms in the early hours, threaten to or actually cuff them, and take them away. Sometimes they even attach a GPS tracking tether such as the one I mention in the story, mostly for the gratification of the parents.

I'm sorry, I was going to do a more professional and thorough* entry on this, but I'm just sick and tired of not only people being unaware of these things, but actively disbelieving me when I mention them. Or worse, trying to argue that these are all good things, or that "only the worst of the worst" are subject to them (that is most emphatically NOT correct!!).

Don't be fucking stupid.

(* - as well as more subtle and less rantalicious, but I apologize: I have a habit of getting pissed off about this topic.)
Viewed: 61 times
Added: 7 years, 11 months ago
7 years, 11 months ago
I feel more sad than mad, I just can't understand how anyone can work at a place where children are being mistreated. Unless the teachers are all sadists with a pedophiliac twist. A gift from good ol' England, where education is still stuck in mediaeval times.

I'm glad to say that all kinds of corporeal punishments have been prohibited here in Sweden since the early eighties.
7 years, 11 months ago
Actually the current mass-education system is more in line with the ancient Egyptian system, designed to create obedient slaves disinterested in self education. It was resurrected in Poland, and then again in America at the turn of the 20th century.

Indeed, Sweden's track record in this area is incredible. While English-speaking nations pretend to themselves that there is some sort of debate about whether or not we should force children to do things by beating them and if there are negative effects to doing so, much of Europe and especially Sweden have banned it for decades.

Though the paddling in schools issue prompted me write this, due to someone denying the truth until I flooded them with sources, the other issue I mentioned (the "gulag camps/schools) is still more horrifying to me, and it is equally ignored. Even worse, these programs are not limited to the USA. There are programs in Denmark, for one.
7 years, 11 months ago
Unfortunately, Sweden is still far from perfect. While beatings in school have been outlawed for a long time, and beatings from parents almost as long, kids in foster homes are the ones who were left behind. It was recently discovered that the authorities that were supposed to monitor foster families and especially foster group homes, failed to do their job. Kids from that kind of homes (usually children who have been 'rescued' from abusive parents or from drug/alcohol addicted parents) have reported not only beatings and solitary confinement punishment, but also verbal/mental abuse, cold water hosings and no meals as punishment. In some cases also sexual abuse.

This is something that truly pisses me off. Kids in dire need of help, kids whom society has an obligation to protect and care for, but who end up worse than before. And it's no isolated incidents; this shot has been going on since the forties and fifties. Even worse, it doesn't stop there. Many of the kids who grew up in those homes ended up as abusive or alcoholic parents, themselves, and many ended up in mental institutions or even as suicides.

Broken children, broken lives, all because the society that should have saved them, failed.

Sorry about the rant, but this shit still makes my eyes water, no matter how many times I hear about it.
7 years, 11 months ago
Yes, but everything you said about foster care in Sweden is true everywhere. In America and Australia, the increased risk of abuse was roughly 14 TIMES that of a normal family. For sexual abuse, 11 TIMES. For DEATH, 9 TIMES that of a normal family. The stats I've got are from last decade, though improvements haven't been that fantastic.

This, in fact, is the key issue I try to discuss with Astray.
Actually, I don't want to discuss it here, but the word "astray" used in the title doesn't mean what people think it means.
7 years, 11 months ago
I had a feeling there was a hidden meaning to the title.
7 years, 11 months ago
I don't think it's just that Americans are ignorant of this problem (granted, most Americans are very ignorant).  I think it's that people don't really feel like talking about the "white elephant" in the room.  Now, in this case, it's not really an elephant.  It's a little more obscure than that (maybe a mouse).
Today in sociology, for example, we were discussing the differences between how men and women are in the workplace and how they are normally raised.  Men are raised to be tough, assertive, disciplined.  Women are raised to be prissy, classy, sweet, passionate, and follow directions.  That is why, statistically, women/girls do better in school than men/boys.  Unfortunately, when this transfers to the workplace women have it hard.  Nobody wants a CEO that's prissy, sweet, and passionate.  They want one that is tough, assertive, and disciplined.  When a women is displays those characteristics, she isn't seen as strong and a good leader.  She is seen as a "bitch."  One of the students pointed out that we "know" that the business world works like that.  We just don't want to acknowledge it as a problem.  "We live in America.  I thought we were past that sort of thinking."  This mentality of America being perfect is adopted by the majority of Americans, and I think it is a big problem.
While the subject matter of these two issues are different, the principles are essentially the same.  While news agencies just use these stories as time-wasters and forget about them the next day, nobody really wants to bring these topics out for open discussion.  I think that issues like this really reflect how immature Americans are as a whole.
7 years, 11 months ago
I see what you're saying (trust me, America is not the only country that demonstrates this phenomenon) but in the case of just the paddling in schools there I've had several Americans outright deny it, demand sources, insist that it was banned in every single state, so on and so forth. Ditto for the use of restraining techniques and seclusion in school -- even though honestly of COURSE they're training at least some school teachers in the use of these things (seclusion and restraining isn't an inherently bad thing, it's the trend of misuse that's worrying).
7 years, 11 months ago
I don't know, honestly. It's a conflicting issue for me.

While paddling is always regarded as some horrible thing, the African American community in its 'prime' (Years of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, the protests for freedom) used it as a respectful lesson for disrespectful kids.  The lesson it taught was, unlike the rest of the nation that had pale skin, when you acted out of line or disrespected someone, you got more than just a few moments in a dark room, a book of law thrown at you, and a fine as punishment. As a person with dark skin, when you were out of line for even the slightest thing, you got your ass handed to you by policemen with billy clubs. If you talked back you got more beatings. Hell, if you opened your mouth in defying the beatings, you attracted more angry men who wanted to beat you.

Times have changed dramatically and these are rare and uncommon cases nowadays, but I was raised by a parent who was a part of the first wave of integrated black students into white schools. The kind of parent who put up with people throwing rocks at her when she was trying to catch the bus home, and the riot squad being called consecutively to beat down the "gang" (3 or more black people walking together) of black children who merely wanted to leave as soon as possible. She knew that if she retaliated she'd be spanked for it, as she was for doing terrible wrongs in the house and in the community otherwise. In turn, I was spanked for my misdoings when I should've known better; For throwing chairs, having tandrums, striking other kids and being a little arsehole from time to time. I never grew spiteful of her for it or thought she was wrong at all, and even now I don't find the thought violating or horrible.

No, it was an instantaneous punishment as a direct consequence of my own bad actions, and I learned it that way; a way better than the current American penal system, where criminals grow to hate the system rather than recognize that the system is acting because they themselves screwed up. It wasn't an abusive action taken to give joy to my parent, but a measure taken so that I immediately associate my wrong-doing with the consequence and learn to stop it.

Having worked in a school system and revisited the classroom, what I see coming up is a generation of kids who have no respect for their parents. They dare their mother or father to put their hands on them, and they threaten to maim or sue parents because of society's fear. As you mentioned in earlier journals, kids are not as innocent as the world tends to pretend they are, and they abuse this very system of "don't touch the kids." Even having endured early years of consequential spankings and paddlings, I and the spanked peers I grew up with would never dream of laying a hand on our parents because we know they'll fight back, we know what pain inflicted from an external force feels like (the kind resulting from stupid personal actions, not bullies), and we know we wouldn't want to ever apply it to someone else on impulse.

Perhaps it's just personal circumstances across a minor culture, but the lack of understanding and respect is really decaying the society.
7 years, 11 months ago
OK, now this is one hell of a comment... it's 4:30am here though. XD
I'll have to respond later.
7 years, 11 months ago
Haha... I understand. Rest well. |3;
7 years, 11 months ago
There IS a change in how kids act and react to discipline. I remember seeing this one 10 year old on TruTV's Smoking Gun, he STOLE a car and didn't regret it one bit. Even told the camera "It's fun to do bad things." and acted like the cops couldn't harm him.

Just yesterday I saw on the news an 8 year old had a temper tantrum, a VIOLENT one, which came to the point where a teacher and helper locked themselves in an office next to the class where the kid was because he had a piece of broken wood that had a very sharp point. They called the police, and the when they couldn't talk the kid down they were forced to pepper spray him when he tried to stab the cops!

And what's more the cops are being ostracized by the public for it! They're acting like the cops can just say one word and the kid will stop and behave. During an interview the kid admitted that he was angry with the whole world and he would have killed the cops if they let him! And then he said he'll do it again next time he gets angry, and nothing will stop him FROM getting angry. It's 'who he is' and nothing will change that.

The kid's parents looked like they were at wits end, and the teachers can't control him at all in class, and he's gotten more and more violent that this incident was the THIRD TIME that they had to call the cops to the school.
7 years, 11 months ago
I never got the time to reply to Ava's comment, but I really want to step in here: the massive flaw with what you're saying here is the insinuation that these cases are without precedent, having never occurred before this generation. You're very much wrong.

These cases are not unique to this generation and isolated incidents don't indicate a general trend towards a lack of "respect" or "lawfulness" in today's generation. As I've already said, it is a FACT that kids today commit less crime than previous generations. Not the other way around.

In the case of the kid with the pointed piece of wood (heard of this off the exact same person I mentioned earlier in this very journal) the fact is it has nothing to do with a general lack of morality or "respect" in today's youth. That kid has clearly got behavioral issues and that's certainly not unique to any generation. The point to remember is that this case is only getting such controversy because the cops pepper-sprayed the child -- did you even hear about the case where a cop tasered a 10 year old for refusing a shower? No? This is just a sensationalist news piece either trying to make you hate the cops for pepper-spraying the child, or to fret about how horrible today's kids are.

Crazy kids acting up big time in school is NOT EVEN SLIGHTLY a recent phenomenon. The fact the police resorted to pepper-spraying one isn't either. In short: neither of the cases you mention there are examples of a new, widespread phenomenon in today's youth. They're just actually rather normal cases that you got to see on television. As has been said before: "You're seeing more of what has always been" meaning this stuff has always happened, but your perception of it and its commonness is intrinsically tied to HOW OFTEN AND HOW THE MEDIA PORTRAYS IT.
7 years, 11 months ago
Very true, I hadn't looked at it like that.
7 years, 11 months ago
OK, finally got my chance.

I’ll try to keep things brief, especially because of the bloody character limit to comments (making it hard to have meaningful discussions… gah!). So I apologize if anything comes across blunt or offensive, I’m writing this QUICKLY because I’ve been so slow and trying to keep it small. Still gonna take 2 posts.

First and foremost, I put off answering your comment for so long because you raised anecdotes specific to a culture I’ve got no experience with. Growing up when and where I did, as an Australian white kid in the 90s, I don’t know jack about the level of racism you mother experienced. This is off topic, but: America in general has got so many culturally specific things to do with race and racism that simply don’t apply elsewhere. Australians weren’t always fair-winded, but when I was growing up, there was none of that. None. I had Singaporean friends, Indian friends… best friend was half-Burmese. One of my closest friends in high school was Kenyan. It never made a difference.
I can't talk about it at all, aside from to say: there is evidence that corporal punishment in schools is used more on minority children. It's a carte blanche for racism.

So instead I’m going to focus on the other two things you raise. Firstly, did you look at the links I posted in the journal? This isn’t a subjective thing. No pediatric association, or board of psychologists, or whatever you can think of, anywhere in the first world, will debate this fact: spanking is damaging. It’s not an opinion and there’s no debate on it – the PROBLEM is that it’s being presented as if there is in America; it isn’t, your pediatricians say this as well. Especially not when it’s causing physical trauma (roughly 1/10 of kids paddled in the USA require medical attention for it) and it’s certainly not something kids should accept from teachers – and they don’t. States/schools that use paddling see high drop out, truancy and violence levels. What’s more, we’ve only mentioned paddling and spanking so far, when some US schools are going beyond that.

There are a great many institutions calling for the banning of spanking in all forms in the USA. It has been banned in Sweden since the 70s, and for almost as long everywhere else. It’s banned here (though I’ve personally been assaulted by a teacher anyway) for cripes’ sake. Parents I admit I can somewhat understand in bad circumstances, but not teachers equipped with paddles that send 1-in-10 children to the checkup room for talking in class. And yes that IS a common reason for it – this isn’t done “only to the worst of the worst” kids, it’s being used as a go-to.
See here http://nospank.net/a-adams.html it mentions that even US pediatricians and psychologists strongly advise against spanking, despite them being based in a country that accepts it. With the NYRA and other advocacy groups becoming more active, you might even see spanking in schools illegal in the next five years.

And: “According to the bill’s findings, this arcane practice can cause physical problems such as abrasions, bruising, severe muscle injuries, hematomas, whiplash damage and life-threatening hemorrhages. However, such "discipline" is frequently applied for minor school infractions. According to A Violent Education, an ACLU and Human Rights Watch report, children have been paddled for behavior as minor as being late, small violations of dress codes, talking back to a teacher or going to the bathroom without permission.” – same site.

More incoming.
7 years, 11 months ago

Now, the other thing to address is harder to even identify. Kids being “more disrespectful nowadays” does not gel with the lesser rate of crime and schoolyard violence – these things have all been declining.  As for kids “daring” parents to hit them, I’ve been accused of that despite the fact that I only started doing it when I was old enough to stand up for myself, whereas before that my father was rather abusive. If we’re going to mention anecdotes here: my dad did not engender my respect or admiration by hitting me, my mother did by not doing so. My dad has left me with a slew of psychological issues, including timidness. In short, because I got beat as a kid, I have trouble dealing with violent situations in real life.

I’ve seen no evidence here or in the USA of youths being less respectful overall. Only vague anecdotes (which every last generation has made of the current), up against the statistical evidence that children are better behaved now than ever before. That doesn’t work. In fact, there is a powerful link between punishing young people physically and then lashing out in return – being less respectful because you’re not treating them with any. I don’t mean anything personal here, but: certain folks, especially educators and strict parents, find it “disrespectful” when a child stands up for their independence and their own respect (physically overpowering and beating someone for minor, possibly arbitrary/unfair transgressions against YOUR will doesn’t make them feel respected or see any reason to be respectful – fearful at best, resentful at worst). This isn’t a lack of respect, it’s a shifting of the social paradigm: children feel they deserve respect and freedom from unnecessary domination. Why? Because they do, and we’ve told them that. Even still, I don’t know that this is even the case.

BEFORE you reply, bear this in mind: yes, I did say that kids aren’t all sugar and fluff. Neither are adults, and it’s not okay to go punching them in the face all the time. Why? Because it’s inappropriate and disrespectful ironically. But in a situation where, if he were an adult, a sixteen year old should be physically reprimanded, then I’m for it. Responsibly, of course. But you’ve got the opposite idea: I meant that we should treat young people the same way as an adult if they behave in such a way that they should be punished for it if they were an adult, within reason. Especially if they attack someone (I’ve seen fully grown men fucked up by teenagers, so don’t tell me he shouldn’t fight back!). What you’re defending, probably not deliberately, is punishing them MORE severely and for lesser things because they’re younger and smaller. Would you punch a person at work for being “disrespectful” to you when you’ve been riding him all day, telling him what to do and insulting him for minor mistakes? And he has no choice, no say in whether or not he has to put up with you? How about for dropping his pencil? What if he was half your size? This sort of emotional/physical domination and beating is illegal to visit upon violent criminals but doing it to school kids for dress-code violations in a school.

In short, man, everything you’re saying is an anecdote, which I can not only match with my own, but with an army of psychologists, doctors, teachers, parents and youths who have good reasons for saying spanking, especially in school with specialised paddles like you’d find in a BDSM store, should be outlawed or used as a last resort. Whether or not to allow spanking isn’t a major social issue outside of the United States – the rest of us, and your own experts too, all know it’s bad news.

Like I said, maybe parents, but teachers should not be doing this. The rest of the world gets along fine without it (and indeed the schools in America that don't allow it are performing better than the ones who are).
7 years, 11 months ago
"I’ve seen no evidence here or in the USA of youths being less respectful overall. Only vague anecdotes (which every last generation has made of the current), up against the statistical evidence that children are better behaved now than ever before."

Statistics are nothing more than numbers crunched outside of actual experiences. You haven't seen evidence because you don't live here and you haven't worked in the educational system. It's not an anecdote when I'm working as staff and being called out by someone 7 years younger than me while I'm walking down the hall and she's standing in line, waiting for her utterly scared teacher to usher her into the classroom. It's an eyebrow-lifting experience that occurs on occasion for all who work here. It's been that way for years; I grew up in it, not looking down at it, and as much as statistics may show, the up and coming generation is no more lolipops and gumdrops than the one before it.

But I digress, spanking was a tradition and solution to instilling a sense of a non-caring authority. You know, the kind of authority that doesn't care if beating a person isn't considered 'good news' by a psychological association; they do it because it gets the job done. Without it, they grow up thinking they're immortal and untouchable, and end up not only throwing away their own lives (through death or the legal system), but taking the lives of others who actually wanted to make a difference in life. What do the professionals suggest we use as an alternative to remind kids that the police are not their parents? Show them videos of people being brutally beaten and try to toughen them up with cheap scares and staged events? Talk with them about the methods someone will eventually use on them to shut them up?

It seems like quite the stretch for a solution that isn't universal yet, and sometimes an asshole is just going to be an asshole until the ass is beaten and one is left with a hole. We see this in adult life all the time. Should we be shielding our kids from learning this important lesson?
7 years, 11 months ago
I'm sorry if I got carried away with something else at any point though... personally, the whole "no spanking" thing seems like a strongly encouraged push toward something without acknowledging all of what it stood for. It's trying to remove something that was once commonplace and vital without replacing it with something that serves all of those same purposes.

Like arguments for abolishing unions, it leaves room for so much exploitation. Sure there were people who abused it, but there were others who needed it to prevent something horrible.
7 years, 11 months ago
I really don't mind if you get carried away and whatnot. The thing is, debating online is a frustrating, adversarial pastime (it's why I don't do it -- you and Alex Reynard are the only two people I've bothered to 'play with' in the last 2 years after growing up with online debates, because I know you guys aren't assholes). That said, I'm only interested in it if it's going to stay self-contained, in the thread where it belongs, and participants are going to be sort of civil.

If you're alright with that, then I'm happy to continue the discussion. Just bear in mind that I got no interest in making an enemy or being a dickhead. XD I'll respond properly later in the night, for I must be off.

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