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:
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.
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?
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.