The Associated Press article “Education official calls for end to paddling students” (Page A3, Nov. 23) says that Maine has no law prohibiting corporal punishment.

Corporal punishment of students was outlawed years ago. Before that, it was a matter of American jurisprudence, a precedent set by a court case in the late 1800s. However, the judges said it was no way to treat children and should be outlawed.

In the AP article, Education Secretary John B. King Jr. calls for an end to paddling. But corporal punishment can be more than paddling: It can include striking students with a pointer, shaking or slamming them against a wall, slapping and more.

Maine’s law allows teachers a reasonable degree of force to quell disruptive behavior or to remove a student from the classroom.

Some teachers feel that the inability to use corporal punishment has diminished the respect for authority. I do not believe this is true. Teachers have found more positive ways of dealing with problems.

I was a substitute math teacher in several districts, and I was aware of classroom problems and how teachers handled them.

I would like to have your paper inform your readers of the exact wording of this law. It protects students and teachers.

Dora Lou Pakulski


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