Bring Back "Board of Education"!
The Acronym Needed:

   By Dr. John Trotter


   NCLB, QBE, APEG, ITBS, GTOI, GTEP, et al.  All of it "ain't" worth S-H-_T.  None of the acronyms address D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E.  The responsibility for leanrning should rest squarely on the shoulders of the students and their parents.  Give the teachers the authority to run his or her classes with the full backing of the administration.  This is how it worked in the old days, and it did indeed work!  Bring back the paddle.  Yes, the good ole "board of education."  Most people over forty (even educators) grew up in schools where paddling was readity available and used.  It was used on my friends, colleagues, and me, and the paddle did not emotionally scar us one bit.  In fact, we laugh about our experiences with the paddle in the schools that we attended.  I was an administrator in Georgia in the 1980s and used the paddle in two school systems.  The discipline was in check, I must say, and the students respected me for the good discipline.  Now, however, the discipline is out of control.  In fact, a phrase like "DeKalb Discipline" is an oxymoron.  It doesn't matter what program/reform or how much money is thrown at public schooling in Georgia, until the teacher's classroom authority is restored and teachers are treated with respect (meaning defiant students are swiftly removed from the rregular classroom environments), then the educrats are just spitting into against a Category Five hurricane.  Nothing is going to change.  In fact, with people like Crawford Lewis and Alvin Wilbanks in charge of our schools, then things will only get worse.


  You never allow the the teachers to do the paddling because this could become problematic when there are not adult witnesses and the teacher may be very emotional at this point.  The administrator can administer the paddling dispassionately and without the danger of getting carried away, so to speak.  Always have an adult witness.  Only swat the student two or three times.  This makes the point that there are no free trips to the office; there are always consequences for misconduct.  If a parent refuses to give their "blessings" to corporal punishment (by law, it is  not needed), then simply write this on the student's disciplinary card (I doubt that today's administrators even understand this concept) and call the student's parents to come get the student when he or she disrupts the class.  This will get very old for the parents.  Before you know it, this student begins to behave in school.  I have seen this happen so often.  But, the administrators have to be consistent in their support for the classroom educators.  Corporal punishment is no panacea, but simply another tool in the school's disciplinary "arsenal." 


   The Georgia schools are going the way of the Chicago, Detroit, New Jersey, and New York City schools.  Enough said?  Our educrats will no longer dare permit padding but gang-banding is just accepted and swept under the rung.  In their minds, paddling in brutal and barbaric, but these same dimwit educrats benignly overlook the abject bullying which sometimes even leads to tragic deaths.  I heard Newt Gingrich once remark at a forum about school discipline:  "Yes, we no longer allow paddling but we allow drive-by shootings."  For years, the "board of education" was part and parcel with public education.  It was understood.  It worked.  Then came along the Dr. Spock mentality of raising children.  By the way, I am now reading James McBride's The Color of Water.  It was on the NY Times's Best Seller List for two years.  Read it and see how this mother of 12 children raised her children in NY City.  Extremely strong discipline.  All today are very successful
and contributing well to society.  Several of these "childfen" are now living in the Atlanta area.  Without discipline, all of the attempts to "educate" our children will fail -- whether in the home or in the public school setting.  The private schools clearly understand this, and this is why these schools are flourishing.  Enough said.  


  Mr. James McBride did admit that his house seemed like organized chaos when he was growing up, but he also talked about how his "white mama" (Jewish too) "beat" them whenever she perceived that they got out of line -- like when Richie (I think) got stage fright and forgot the Bible story he was suppose to recite in front of the whole church.  I thought that this was a bit much!  But, you can't argue with how all 12 of the children turned out!  Occasionally getting it wrong as far as being too strict in the discipline is better than pandering and coddling miscreant children simply because you don't have the intestinal fortitude to discipline them.  This is what is happening in our schools today.  The thugs are running the show and ruining our schools.  The "äverage" students who have not been sequestered into the "gifted" classes have to "survive" in the classes with the thugs.  It is the "average" students who are suffering so much.  The administrators, as I have said in the past, ought to be metaphorically strung up and horse-whipped because of their lack of guts.  Mama Ruth in The Color of Water may have screwed up many times in dealing with her children, but she did not let them run the show.  She ran the show -- to the best of her ability -- and her 12 children and many grandchildren honor her to this day for her dogged determination that they were going to make something out of their lives.

   The world sends its best and brightest to our shores to study in our colleges, universities, graduate schools, and medical schools, but they would cringe at the thougth of sending their children to attend one of our urban schools.  The urban schools in American are completely in shambles, and as soon as we first admit this, then perhaps can we address the matter.  Burying our collective heads in the sand and acting as if thugs are not running the schools will only exasperate the problems and ensure that these schools will continue to be war zones.  Heck, even SACS's Mark Elgart is AFRAID to venture into one of these  war zones.  Hey Markie boy, I am still waiting for your response to debate me concerning the application of SACS's almighty "standards."  Are you too afraid of John Trotter, the big, bad wolf? (c) MACE, June 20, 2009.


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