Sep 26

On spanking in Texas (and other red states)

By now, you’ve all heard about the girl in Texas who was spanked* by a male assistant principal until she was “burned and blistered”.

Putting aside the whole opposite-sex spanking issue, which others have covered pretty well**,  what struck me most about the story when I saw it was this passing mention about which states allow corporal punishment.

In Oregon and 30 other civilized states, this [redacted] vice-principal would be behind bars right now.  But not in Texas and in 19 other states.  (See list, and not surprisingly, almost every one of them is a red state).

So let’s take a good look at which states are spanking:

Spanking states are in red. Coddling nanny states that don’t get it are in blue**
(color coded per the info please list, as of 2008)

Here, in red, are states that vote Republican (color-coded as per RCP’s “no toss-ups” Electoral
College prediction as of 09/25/2012

Here’s the break down









Another way to look at it is that Republican spanking states outnumber Democratic spankings states 3-to-1, while Democratic non-spanking states outnumber Republican non-spanking states by (a bit less than) 3-to-1.

Further, if you look at the actual percentages of students spanked for the five Democratic spanking states, they are all very tiny (less than 1% of all students), as opposed to a fine, upstanding, representative of good  Republicanism state like Texas, where greater than one out of every twenty-five students will get spanked or hit
by a school official at some point.


Democratic non-spanking states in blue, Republican spanking states in red, and states that set their spanking policy in the reverse of the majority policy by party in purple.

It is also interesting to note that, of RCP’s eight toss-up states, four are non-spanking, while the four that are spanking states are Dem states in the no-tossup map, and have very tiny spanking percentages.

I wonder if we have stumbled onto a solution to the Republican problem.

To a school-child, teachers, principals, and other school officials are the face of the state. That state punishes violations of its rules by hitting them. You get told what the rules are, you have no say in what the rules are and, if you break those rules, the state hits you.

By graduation day, you have learned that, in order to maintain a morally acceptable society, it is quite right and proper for the state to do so by threat of physical punishment.

By the time a person is an adult, they probably have segued quite comfortably from feeling they are personally at risk of punishment, into thinking, “Only people who break the rules get punished; I got that out of my system when I was a kid. Anyone who can’t do as they are told after eighteen, well, that’s their choice, but it’s not my problem if they get shot by the cops or my neighbors, or end up on death row. Can’t say we didn’t warn ‘em.” In that context, using state power to impose ultrasounds may not seem very shocking. What’s a little trans-vaginal ultrasound compared to the intentional infliction of pain, when it comes to the state just doing its job?

Perhaps there is a message here for those who fear seeing their states evolve from red to blue****: beat your children more.

Seriously. I bet Republicanism is reinforced by the combination of physical violence done to children and approval of that violence by authority. That’s the kind of mentality that leads to probe laws and lots and lots of use of the death penalty, while yanking pissant funding for things that actually work, like Drug Court and Planned Parenthood.

In the GOP’s view of America, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you,” isn’t a joke, it’s a problem. To them, “I’m from the government and I’m here to punish you,” won’t be a joke either. To them, it’s the solution.

Something to ponder.

* It’s yet another indicator of how Texas policy-makers think that Taylor “chose” to be hit as an alternative to spending another day in detention, because she didn’t want to miss another day of class.

Apparently, in Texas, detention means missing school. What a great idea! Take your kids who act up and make it even harder for them to learn anything. All while teaching that punishment is more important than education.

No wonder they scoff at science. Scientists weren’t spanked enough as children, so they spent all their time in less important pursuits, like taking notes and learning their subjects.


** Oh, and the school district just ended the policy that the school violated. Nice retroactive action there.

*** Virginia outlawed corporal punishment in schools in 1989, when the state Senate was about 30/10 Dem/Rep, and the House was about 60/40. See, Democrats believe that protecting the welfare of a child means leaving that child’s discipline up to the parents. Obviously, the smaller-government Republicans believe it means forced trans-vaginal ultrasound probes.)

**** It would be interesting to see if we could track the political inclinations of states as the generations coming from the era when they stopped spanking took over the setting of those states’ policies. The majority of states stopped spanking in, roughly, the ten-year stretch from 1985 to 1995. Those schoolchildren–the ones who were first in their states never to be threatened with being hit by school officials–would now be in their 20s and 30s. We should just now be seeing the early signs of any lasting effect.


Share this:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumbler Email

Permanent link to this article: http://doorbellqueen.com/?p=6680


  1. Stevens Miller

    If you really want to see some howlers, look at the Web sites that report on local Dallas/Ft. Worth news (like wfaa.com), and read the comments from Texans that approve of hitting children in school to punish them. Not a few are from folks who proudly declare themselves to be morally upright Americans today becuse they were beaten in school. Yup, that’s the right wing, friends: the state should beat your children into frightened little robots, so they will grow up into law-abiding adults who know how to do what their government tells them; it’s the only way to protect our liberty!

  2. Joe Maloney

    Poor republicans’ children. Beaten physically and mentally abused into thinking it’s okay and right. Then, let’s give them guns! Honestly, if not for the laws that are national, I think the red states would devolve into an ugly middle-east type environment where kids walk around with rifles and murder/torture was the norm more than the abnormal.

    These reds actually have no clue how far they actually are from being civilized. They discount the few things that make humans so much more capable than animals and rely heavily on those animal instincts. They really don’t understand that they not the far right of the famous evolution morph, but somewhere in the middle.

    I actually think Texas and other red states are the key to us finding the missing link. I’m pretty sure the missing link is a republican…

Comments have been disabled.

Social links powered by Ecreative Internet Marketing