“We should caution you, some viewers may find this video difficult to watch.”
Those were the sober words of NBC reporter Gabe Gutierrez prior to showing a video of a five year old about to be paddled by the school principal in Jasper County Georgia.
My goodness, how many swats of the timber did the poor child receive? 20? 50? 75? 100? No.
And this one – a moderate pop at best – on a fully-covered, thickly-jeaned derriere amid the principal’s gently measured explanation of why she was paddling him. (Although Gutierrez exclaims with horror, “You can hear it!”)
Is he squirming and crying, “Mommy, help me!,” (she’s there – feigning texting while secretly recording the proceedings) in apprehension of the discipline? Sure, just as I probably was (except calling for my dad) when my mom was about to paddle me after I got a little too full of myself. Classic response, but it doesn’t erase the offense does it?
The Jasper County School student/parent handbook specifically allows corporal punishment for conduct violations including spitting – the offense for which the boy was being punished (apparently spitting on adults who were trying to chase him down after misbehavior in a bus line).
Thankfully, the Jasper County sheriff has stated that there will be no probable cause for criminal prosecution (!) of any administrators… Whew!!!!!!!!
The boy’s mother – on the verge of being jailed for truancy due to her son’s multiple absences and tardiness – called the paddling incident “emotionally devastating.”
But what should be more “emotionally devastating” and “difficult to watch” is: 1) the lack of fathers in the home (none mentioned in this story); 2) the inability of liberal sophistocrats (media and otherwise) to distinguish the difference between measured discipline and abuse; and 3) The overreaction by the media together with the me-first, safe-zone, micro-aggression-sensing culture to what in saner times used to be considered standard, nay, mild discipline in schools.
To quote comedienne Chelsea Peretti when her friend whined about having trouble swiping across the new larger iPhone screens: “Men used to hunt.”
I remember year after year in elementary school bringing a slip home to my mom (one of the most kind individuals – especially toward children and animals –you will ever meet) requesting permission to paddle me if I got out of line. And she enthusiastically signed it because she believed it was more important to correct my character than to cater to my selfishness.
If only the mother of this poor child (and the absent father) thought the same.