Ye Olde School of Hard Knocks

Meg (my 4th grader) brought home a sheet for social studies all about being a kid in colonial times.

One of the sections was about discipline in the schools.

Here are some of the ways teachers disciplined the kids, way back when. If a child talked too much they would strap a whispering stick in his mouth so you he couldn't talk, or they would clip their noses shut with pinchers. They hung signs around students' necks that said "crybaby" or "lazy." They also made children wear dunce hats.

We were cracking up reading this!

I remember in junior high our Principal had a paddle in his office that he would use on students. We actually had a corporal punishment permission slip sent home to our parents. If they signed it, then our teachers had permission to use physical force to keep us in line.

Fast forward to 2009, things are so politically correct!! I think it would be fun to do a "Colonial Times Day" at school. We could bring in some stockades and yardsticks and instill some old fashioned respect in our kids. Okay, calm down, I'm KIDDING don't you go calling DYFS on me.

But seriously, thank goodness we've moved beyond those days. So far beyond, in fact, that teachers are almost afraid to punish children. My father taught in a public high school and parents would freak out on him if he wanted to penalize their children for not doing their homework. The pendulum has swung in the complete opposite direction from 200 years ago. It seems that the teachers are on trial more than out of control students.

My children are very well behaved in school, but if they ever start acting out I want their teachers to have the authority to discipline them (not physically, of course ) and I want to hear about it. If parents aren't teaching their children how to behave and to complete their assignments they shouldn't complain when the teachers come down on them. They're just doing their job.

What do you think?