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Fri, May 24

Editorial: Violence is never the answer

Being a parent is the hardest thing most of us will ever undertake.

Being a good parent does not always guarantee your offspring will be a good person. Being a bad parent does not mean the child will be bad, either.

I’m a firm believer in people being born the way they are and not forcing them to conform or change.

Spanking a child in school does not correct behavior. What it does is instill a link between behavior and violence. It also instills a serious distrust of authority figures, “If you’re bigger than me, you can push me around to act the way you want.”

That’s not to say I wasn’t spanked as a child or that I didn’t spank my own children. Both happened, but stopped after about age 3. It was used as an attention-getter, not a painful lesson.

The lesson and the punishment came after the swat.

For one child, it was “having a seat” and for another it was a strict discussion. Having a seat always got the attention of the hyperactive child and talking always worked with the youngest child.

Attentive parents find out what works for each child.

Similarly, educators must find what works for the broad group of personalities in their classes.

Spanking after a certain age doesn’t help anyone and it’s sad that corporal punishment is still on the books anywhere in the nation.

It would be nice to see Arizona officials eliminate it. I don’t think this is an issue of legislators overstepping local control more than it is legislators getting rid of archaic laws in the state.

Abolishing it would send a strong message that Arizona has evolved in education and discipline.

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