September 22nd…“IN YOUR DAYS AT GLENWOOD HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, DID YOU EVER WITNESS CORPORAL DISCIPLINE ADMINISTERED TO A STUDENT?”
Even though there’s plenty of hugs n cuddles in childhood, eventually, pain (in one form or another) is one of our earliest “teachers” in life. For instance, a skinned knee, a splinter of wood or even touching a hot stove; all these instances are forms of pain that teaches us to be more acutely aware of the dangers of a particular activity and learn to avoid that same pain again. In many of life’s hurting moments, we also procure a higher sense of respect for the power that caused us that oweee in the first place. Personal case in point; one of my finger tips was taken off by a lawnmower back in 1981. To this day, the agony I endured via that injury has given me a much higher respect of the power of those “invisible” lawnmower blades that spin as fast as 200 miles per hour under the cover of that lawnmower deck.
Being raised in a Christian family, and being a naturally-born little stinker, I also personally found out about how the pain of a spanking can be a learning experience. When needed, our loving Dad and Mom would use spanking as a form of discipline (now notice I did NOT use the word “punishment”) to correct our behavior because they loved us and wanted us to follow a course in life that reaps rewards over time and not incur disgrace or loss of respect. Instead they wanted His best for their children by living out godly lives that would bring honor to our immediate family, but also to the Lord Jesus Himself, as well.
In today’s politically correct climate, spanking is taboo in the school systems of our country. But I remember the day when, as the school’s custodian, I witnessed a swat time that was both necessary AND hilarious, at the same time. In my days there at Glenwood Heights Elementary School, corrective discipline could still be administered to a student as long as the teacher had another teacher as witness to the corrective measure of giving a swat. On this particular occasion, two husky boys in the upper Fourth Grade level of our school had been disrespectful and disobedient to their teacher that day. Their rebellion had reached the pinnacle where the teacher decided it was time to correct that bad behavior with a necessary swat for each boy. The boys were ushered out into the hallway with the two teachers (one giving the swat and the other as witness to the incident). The correcting teacher instructed the first boy to bend over and grab his ankles. After grabbing his ankles, the boy looked up and towards me as I stood down the hall a ways. Now here’s where this situation took on a humorous bend. When the correcting teacher lifted the wooden paddle and came down with a SMACK on that kid’s back bumper cheeks……..the kid who took the swat didn’t utter a word, but OHHH MYYY did his eyeballs POP wide open!!! 😉
The second boy to be disciplined was “Ben”. I could tell, from the moment those two boys were directed to step down to this hallway, that Ben was deeply affected, emotionally, by what was about to transpire as a result of his disobedience in class. From my vantage point in the distance, I couldn’t help but break into a broad smile at Ben’s reaction to the first swat on the other kid. As you recall, the first boy is bent over and holding his ankles. His teacher winds up for the swing and is now on the down swing for the KAPOW! Only thing is,…….when the paddled connected to the first boy’s bottom, it was BEN who screamed out loud, as if HE’D been the one who received the swat! Stifling their obvious laughter over what had just happened, it was only too obvious to these two wise educators that Ben, who was a puddle of tears by this point, would not need to receive the “board of education”, after all. His learning moment in a paradigm shift had come and he fully agreed to turn his behavior to the positive side upon returning to their classroom.
As human beings, we would always prefer pleasure to pain, yet, on this occasion, that little boy’s reaction to his buddy getting a swat was so classic, it brought a smile and a giggle to this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.