Here’s something I didn’t know 15 minutes ago: Corporal punishment in schools remains legal in 19 states.
Here’s something else I didn’t know: Kentucky had more than 400 incidents of corporal punishment during the most recent school year, up from the prior school year.
I now know these things thanks to the efforts of Saints linebacker Demario Davis (pictured) and Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin, who have on behalf of the Players Coalition written a column for TheHill.com calling on the 19 states that still allow corporal punishment in schools to get rid of it.
“For states that allow corporal punishment, a minor offense or mistake can lead to lasting mental, emotional and physical effects for students,” Davis and Baldwin write.
Amen to that. In 1972, as a six-year-old first-grader, I made the mistake of accidentally bumping into the teacher while returning to the classroom from recess. She grabbed me by the upper arm and dug her nails deep into the flesh, leaving an ugly bruise with a red perimeter where the skin had broken. I don’t remember much from 47 years ago, but I definitely remember this.
I’d just assumed that teachers no longer impose corporal punishment on students. Plenty of you probably thought the same thing. If you, like me, are horrified to think that teachers still have license in 19 states to strike children who behave at times like (wait for it) children, let your elected representatives know that this nonsense must end, now.
And let Davis and Baldwin know in the comments that you appreciate their efforts to ensure that all kids growing up in today’s America — who already have more than enough crap to worry about in school and elsewhere — won’t have to also worry about being beaten by their teachers.