The Other Side

I’ve never served on a jury. The whole story is that I’ve been called on twice to do so, but in both cases I showed up, waited a while and then was told I wasn’t needed and sent home, with thanks.

So I wonder how I’d react to this situation if it ever came to court and I was on the jury:

A primary school teacher accused of putting a sock in a pupil’s mouth in a bid to quieten him down has been banned from the classroom.

Of course, I’d have the man’s pee-pee whacked by a bailiff simply because “Put a sock in it!” is just a figure of speech, not a recommended action. But I have to say that I’d want to hear his side of the story first before determining on the number of whacks, so to speak, e.g.:

“How many times has the little shit done this before?”
“Has he given you lip on previous occasions, when you told him to shut up?”
“Is this the only thing he does: talking when he’s not supposed to, or does he get up to other kinds of mischief as well?” (no odds on that one)

…and so on.

If the recipient of the teacher’s sock was in fact an incorrigible little bastard who was wrecking the discipline of the entire class, then yes, I’d call for the teacher to be reprimanded. But not as massively as if he’d just picked on a first offender for some oral sock insertion.

Because I’ve been a parent of small kids myself, and let me tell you, there are times…

But of course, we can’t do that anymore because Crool & Unusual, or some such rubbish. [10,000 word rant deleted]


  1. I went to NYC public schools during the transition away from Corporal punishment, IIRC during first and second grade (Sept 1969 thru June 1971) male (because sexist) miscreants from the day before were taken up on the stage during morning Assembly, bent over with hands on knees, and whacked on the ass with a paddle wielded by the Principal. Oh, he had two paddles, one solid one for “normal” use and one with holes drilled in it (so he could get more speed due to less air resistance) for more extreme violations.

    This meant that (1) you had the anticipation of the next morning’s punishment all night, (2) your parents were contacted, so next morning your ass was probably STILL sore from the punishment your father doled out the night before, and (c) you had the humiliation of getting your ass whacked in front of the entire student body. I personally was never on the receiving end (pun intended), it was MOSTLY the upper grades that were subjected to such discipline. I DO recall one of my first-grade class-mates getting his mouth washed out with soap by the teachers for swearing in class, with all of us gathered around to watch.

    Not sure if we’re better or worse off now, but I DO know I’d never have been allowed to act the way kids routinely do now in public (like the two kids playing tag in the drugstore yesterday while beta-dad was getting a prescription filled). Not sure I’d like the current crop of Education majors applying punishment to one of my hypothetical children.

    1. “Not sure I’d like the current crop of Education majors applying punishment to one of my hypothetical children.”

      John Derbyshire raised this issue, and it’s the only objection to corporal punishment that I thought held water. Even the most wretched kid has the right to be caned by a responsible adult. Not the hysterical ninnies that congregate in the Government school systems.

  2. 1. After the second question, possibly even after the first, no lawyer in his right mind (particularly one in his left mind) would have you on a jury. “Hang ‘im” is not an answer that would endear you to either defense or prosecution.
    2. These days, in public schools, if you so much as threatened a child with corporal punishment, he (or she – whatever!) would be punching your lights out, while his/her/its buddies were kicking the cr*p out of your kidneys.

  3. Way back in kindergarten, I was starting to become my usual somewhat-misbehaving self at school. That came to an abrupt end when my parents told me they’d authorized the principal to break out the paddle if there were any further instances of trouble.

    That was in 1977. If some brat’s parents tried doing that now, the principal would probably sic CPS on the parents.

    1. Hmph. The honest truth is that I believe that corporal punishment should be required by law. And used with a generous hand, both at home and in school. Certainly I grew up knowing that each and every infraction meant a dose of the belt.

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