By Jerrold J. Schreibersdorf
I would like to comment on the letter from John Amato (“Schools should stand up to bullies,” Aug. 26, 2016).
First let me say that I am against bullies. In school, on the street, or in the home.
However, using corporal punishment is not the answer. One of the reasons that it was stopped was because it didn’t work.
Let me say that corporal punishment meant hitting the child. This goes back to “Spare the rod, and spoil the child” and the hickory switch.
I grew up at a time, the late 1930s, when corporal punishment was still being used. It meant you got hit. This was after you stood in the corner and wrote on the blackboard.
How does one respond after the actions taken, non-violent in nature, don’t have the desired effect? You call the parent into school? So, then the parent hits the student. Still no change. Then the teacher hits the student on the knuckles. No results. Then the principal hits the student with the paddle. Still no results. What’s next, the electric chair?
I was one of those students. I refused to write on the blackboard. My father would beat me up. Then the teacher would hit me. I would hit the teacher back. Then my father would beat me up. Then the principal would hit me. Then I would hit the principal back. Then my father would beat me up. This is all before I was 9 years old. Yes, 9 years old.
I was thrown out of school. The cycle continued. I was thrown out of another school, which meant my family had to move.
My conduct didn’t change. I was possibly the smartest child in the school, IQ wise. The teachers and the administrators didn’t know how to handle me. Actually, no one did.
Does anyone notice a pattern here? Continual escalation of violence against me. I would say that I would, in this day and age, be called an “abused child.”
I learned that writing, anything, was punishment. My handwriting hasn’t passed what was then the fourth grade level. My script is patently illegible. My block printing, all in caps, is a little bit better.
I would like Mr. Amato to look at the records. He will probably find that the children who are beaten have a greater likelihood of being bullies.
When you hit a child, you teach that child that the way to resolution of a problem is violence. Any problem.
Jerrold J. Schreibersdorf