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Note to Americans

Posted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:11 pm
by Steve
We have a "moment" happening, a huge one.

HR5628, the Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools act was introduced in late June. This covers public as well as private schools. Facts regarding it copied from TheHittingStopsHere:

• Every 20 seconds during US school hours an American school child is beaten by an educator or other “school authority figure.”
• Every 4 minutes an American school child is beaten severely enough to require medical treatment.
• Primary targets: minorities, children from poor homes, and children with special needs
• A bill for ending American “school corporal punishment” in public, private and charter schools throughout the US and its territories, was introduced to Congress on June 29, 2010 by NY Rep. Carolyn McCarthy.
• All Democrat Congressional Leaders have signed this bill.
• All Republicans have failed to sign this bill.
• There must be a minimum of one Republican vote for a US bill to become a law.
• If the Republicans fail to cast a single vote for having McCarthy’s bill pass, the bill can die; its expiration date is only months away.
• If the bill dies the opportunity to reintroduce it will be a year away.
• More than 1.5 million cases of American school abuse occur each school year (reporting is optional, so it is difficult to know the true “higher” number).
• This statistic will only increase if the bill dies due to the gross display of indifference by US lawmakers toward the April 15, 2010 Congressional hearings that disclosed widespread and numerous cases of American school abuse, some leading to fatalities (view Congressional hearings:, Home page).
• Having 10,000 signatures on the petition for supporting Rep McCarthy’s bill is a way that US citizens can support having this bill passed, located at:

In my opinion the more hopeless it may seem to contact your congressional representative the more important it is to do exactly that. Please do. And please consider as well breaking the social wall by trying to persuade family, friends and colleagues to take a stand.

One other particularly noteworthy link: ... n_KEY=4323

"To be a free soul, happy in work, happy in friendship, happy in love or to be a miserable bundle of conflicts, hating one's self and hating humanity—one or the other is the legacy that parents and teachers give to every child."--A.S. Neill

This is important. Thanks,

Re: Note to Americans

Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:49 pm
by Bernard
I hope the "Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools" bill stands a better chance than the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Senator DeMint of South Carolina said last week....
"And when we have a parent that abuses a child, in our country, we have laws to protect our children. So we don't need an international law that was developed for a third world country."
EVERY country in the developed world (except the USA) has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including all the leading industrialized nations in Europe. So that's downright insulting. Maybe the Senator's mother didn't wash his mouth out with soap when he spoke insultingly as a kid (there's no law against that type of abuse). Or maybe she did.... that's the sort of thing a lot of republican parents do (see this survey). Maybe that's what turns many of those kids into adults with attitudes like that of Senator DeMint.

DeMint is lead sponsor of Senate Resolution 519, a resolution to give "parental rights" priority over children's rights. It has been co-sponsored by 30 republican senators. Only four more senators need to sign it to demonstrate that Obama doesn't have enough votes in the Senate to ratify the treaty. Under the U.S. Constitution, treaties must be approved by a two-thirds majority in the Senate to take effect.

PS. Another thing that happened last week was that the government of Bangladesh banned corporal punishment in all schools, including religious schools called 'madrassas' (BBC News). And the United States Government hasn't even banned it in public schools up to now.

Re: Note to Americans

Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:14 am
by Steve
What's great in that survey is that it shows more than three-fourths of us already want corporal punishment out of schools. Thanks, Bernard, that could really come in handy.

It seems to me that if the US ever signs any UN treaty at all The Convention for the Rights of the Child ought to be it. The behavior of the rest of the world regarding this and likely most other treaties seems to be "SURE we'll sign that piece of paper. You BET!" and then just go along doing whatever they feel like. Which seems to usually means looking the other way and coming up with lame excuses when crap happens. So that means the slippery slope "UH-oh look out we got us a World Government a-comin'!" argument holds little or no water. The same little or no water that the "Well-everybody-ELSE________!" argument holds. Pretty sure that last one is an official logical fallacy with its own name. Personally I see arguing that "everybody else" does one thing or another is really just employing a deliberate shaming technique. Democracy's great, or at least better than the alternatives I can think of, but simply conforming to "normal" or to the group isn't and never has been a solution to any issue, particularly those dealing with human rights.

The issue is that people are messing up their kids. The adults responsible for it (as WELL as the victims) need to hear--probably over and over and over--that hurting and bullying children is wrong. Simply that it's wrong is a good start and maybe enough to make things go in the right direction. There are now books worth of reasons "why" it's wrong, along with strong data supporting all those reasons--and that helps win the long-term debate (historically necessary, apparently and unfortunately), but 'education' is pretty fruitless, at least according to the experience of the ACE study with regard to providing nutrition information to overweight women! And I could give less than half a crap about whatever the latest "news" regarding the dangers of smoking might be. So just the fact that teachers beating kids has reached a national political stage provides opportunity to at least make what could be eventually some important noise. The local paper is about to publish my opinion on this, they told me a couple days ago, in which I urge people to write to Washington. Might be printed now. I haven't checked.

The parents' rights thing is important. Given the fact that Democrats unabashedly regard government (when run by them) as a manipulative, totalitarian parent ... r_toys.jpg (the idea of "little democrats" is as nauseating as "little this religion or little that religion"--and while we're at it ask Zoe Redhead what she thought about Ofsted under the Blair-run Labour government), Republicans are right to suspect the left of scheming to wrestle their children's rights away, using some sweet-smelling "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child" BS cover excuse. The irony is that without question the best way Republicans could instill into children the values they esteem as adults (freedom, responsibility, individualism) is to treat them with respect NOW. And that means to not beat them, for starters, and to not allow anyone to do it "in loco parentis". It's nuts to think you can teach people to be free or resist government authority by practicing totalitarianism on them for their first eighteen years!

Speaking of blind social denial, and though perhaps somewhat off-topic, here's a term I think really needs introduced here. (A search here didn't find it): "Semmelweis Reflex". If that gets your attention I bet you'll be more intrigued by the fact that Semmelweis eventually was forcibly committed to an insane asylum. (Some say he likely deserved it, either because he became a jerk regarding his position or because maybe he had Alzheimer's, what with him being in his forties and all...) Here's a not bad 17 minute movie about the basics of it:
Remember these are scientists, not that scientists are worse this way than regular people. This page details the history of antiseptic surgery, pointing out that American surgeons were the last in the world to accept it (HEY! We gots PRIDE here!): ... epsis.html
Even after Pasteur (do we maybe have one of those in the ACE study?), it looks to me like the process required at least half dozen other people and nearly fifty years. But it happened.

Beatings in Bangladeshi schools were "widespread" up to the moment of this recent High Court order. It's a top-down command. I'll take it, definitely it's a relief, though I worry and suspect that top-down commands without the support of at least the majority don't do more than just provide the appearance of health. People at all levels need to realize that beating children is nothing short of morally bankrupt, and then just simple quit.

Re: Note to Americans

Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:37 pm
by Bernard
Steve wrote:The local paper is about to publish my opinion on this, they told me a couple days ago, in which I urge people to write to Washington. Might be printed now. I haven't checked.
Good. Please publish it here when it appears.

If you want more ammunition there is a report by Human Rights Watch about corporal punishment in American schools. It's called "A Violent Education". The accompanying PDF document contains a couple of photos of 'paddles' used in schools. ... -education

If I have understood the procedures of the U.S. Congress correctly, the "Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools" bill cannot be presented to Congress unless the committee which is evaluating the bill recommends that it is sent to the House of Representatives. Here is the list committee members:
It has a Democrat majority, but only three Republican committee members haven't co-sponsored the House Resolution on "Parental Rights"....

Michael N. Castle (DE-At Large)
Vernon J. Ehlers (MI-03)
Judy Biggert (IL-13)

Maybe these are the people to target. The mid-term elections are coming up in November. Most often, the opposition party gains seats in mid-term elections, and resolutions have been tabled in both the House and the Senate which have almost enough republican co-sponsors to defeat the Convention on the Rights of the Child. I can provide links to the bills on the Library of Congress website if you want.

I hadn't heard of the "Semmelweis Reflex" before.... something useful to know.

In historical terms, the Children's Rights movement has evolved in a similar way to the abolition of slavery. In 1787, the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was founded in Britain. Before the end of the American Civil war, in 1865, Abraham Lincoln had ratified a treaty with Britain to cooperate on naval enforcement of the slave trade ban - which by that time had been agreed by all the European colonial powers. Several Latin American countries had abolished slavery altogether before the start of the American civil war. Unfortunately, resistance to equal rights continued in the U.S. Bible Belt for more than 100 years after the civil war. Martin Luther King - the African-American Civil Rights leader - was shot dead in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968. The United States is the only country in the world where a large proportion of political party members are opposed to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Steve wrote:Beatings in Bangladeshi schools were "widespread" up to the moment of this recent High Court order. It's a top-down command. I'll take it, definitely it's a relief, though I worry and suspect that top-down commands without the support of at least the majority don't do more than just provide the appearance of health.
According to the Global Initiative prevalence reports, corporal punishment by teachers continues to occur in many countries where there is a law or Ministry of Education directive against it. I've seen an explanation for third world countries. The Child Rights Convention requires that free primary education is available to all children. The result is a huge increase in class sizes while teachers receive a meager salary. At training college they weren't taught how to maintain discipline without corporal punishment, so not only are they overworked, they are highly stressed. Of course, that's no excuse for developed countries with first-class training colleges and where teachers are adequately paid.

Until Benjamin Spock came along the bestselling child-rearing manual in America was "The Psychological Care of Infant and Child" by J.B.Watson. Raised as a Southern Baptist, J.B.Watson's parenting advice had no basis other than a single experiment with only one subject.... an infant he called "Little Albert". One unreplicated experiment with one subject doesn't count as science. It reflects very badly on the standards of pre-war American academic psychology that he was taken seriously by his peers. His advice was no less poisonous than Schreber's child rearing manuals that Alice Miller wrote about. One of J.B.Watson's sons committed suicide.

Re: Note to Americans

Posted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:09 pm
by Steve
We're not doing very well here. I'm unaware of no ongoing public debate about school corporal punishment or HR5628, especially on any nationwide level. Frustrating since according to the survey Bernard cites, there are only four states in which any sort of majority sanction the idea of school beatings, all those only by slim margins.

I don't know if my own 'opinion' published locally this August drew any response, I didn't look for it until last night--the online page has been archived and is unavailable without paying a fee. I used "HR5628" as my search term and just now tried "corporal punishment" as an alternative. In the entire paper my letter came up as the single reference to either of them. My own copy (strikes me that I can do better):

"Arguments that cruelty directed toward any human is in any way “good” for its victim, or for society as a whole, have been fully debunked now for a long time. Empirical evidence strongly indicating that in fact the exact opposite is true continues to pile up at what should be an 'alarming' rate, given the extent to which the corporal punishment of children and youth is still sanctioned by authority and regularly practiced in the U.S.

Anyone hoping to leave the world a profoundly better place than they found it may investigate, and tell their federal representative to fully support the Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act, HR 5628, now being considered by the House Committee on Education and Labor."

The silence on all fronts has been so deafening that Paula Flowe has finally resorted to a "stunt". Pastes of her last two mails:

Dear Family, Friends, Associates And Anyone Who Cares About The Safety Needs of Children Whether They Are Yours Or Not,

October 20, 2010

Children attending schools throughout the US and its territories are being beaten, sexually molested and even murdered with no prosecution being had by the US educators who commit such crimes against them. US Governing Officials are aware of these facts.

The bill for protecting American school children from these crimes, "Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act," HR 5628 is in danger of "dying" due to lack of American Government and US Citizen support.

I have decided to arrive here in Austin, Texas, the nation's capitol for US school beatings and other forms of "school corporal punishment," to hold signs outside of the Texas State Capitol Bldg. in order to draw the media attention to this matter that it deserves. I will be outside of the Capitol building 24 hours a day, 7 days a week indefinitely.

The seriousness of my choice to remain in this position is understood, however, I know not what else to do in face of an unresponsive America to the protective needs of American school children waiting for judicial relief--the same relief granted lynch-mob victims and battered wives in early 20th century America.

America's poor, disadvantaged and special needs children attending schools in districts that sanction abuse, like slaves, have no place to turn for attention on this US social-ill.

Please take time to learn more about this campaign for having our children protected from uninformed, unstable and sadistic American school educators.

If you want to see this dark chapter of American history brought to a close, I hope you will support the efforts of The Hitting Stops Here! during the time of this campaign.

Please go to our Message Board at to learn how.

If you would, please tell Rep. Carolyn McCarthy that I am out here: Wash. DC: 202.225.5516, Long Island, NY: 516.739.3008.

Thank you,

Paula Flowe, Exec. Director
The Hitting Stops Here!
A campaign for teaching kindness and respect in schools everywhere.

The first night sleeping outside the Capitol:‏

A man came and slapped my sign saying, "Beat 'em, Beat 'em, Beat 'em,"
continued walking and shouted, "yeeehooooooo!"

Two men came and sat on the trunk of a nearby car screaming at the top
of their lungs about something I couldn't understand. They were clearly
inebriated. After 20 minutes they left in loud laughter and speech.

I had to use the restroom all night but nothing is open till 6am around

My daughter is very uncomfortable about the campaign but understands.

The urgency of this matter:

The bill for ending US school beatings and other forms of "school corporal
punishment, HR 5628, for which we worked four nonstop years to have produced,
is in danger of dying.

Congress will meet a few days between the end of the elections and Thanksgiving.

The bill must move to the House floor in that time, as they will not
convene again till January, at which time if no action for the bill has
been taken it will die.

Congress is waiting for the bill to die. Their victory will come as long
as they are successful at what they are presently doing, as follows:

1) Keeping this issue off of major network media like CNN and newspapers.
Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. of MS, said, to a 24 year old black American MAN who
was beaten and sexually molested by teachers in MS schools on more than 40
occasions, "BOY, when I get in office we will have a week of celebrating
keeping corporal punishment in schools" (see "Evidence of United States'
Hypocrisy…" document on our Message Board).

2) Ill-informing Americans by telling them that they are "working to solve
the 'school bullying' problem," while in fact the hard earned federal
tax-dollars of US citizens pay the salaries of unstable and sadistic
American educators who lead the way in perpetuating "school bullying"
in American schools. US school teachers are protected by teacher
"immunity laws" when they injure or fatally harm US school children
as young as pre-school through senior year in high school.


16 of 24 MANDATORY Education Committee members have signed HR 5628.
EIGHT more signatories of this committee are needed for the bill to
advance to the House floor. Additionally, one Republican signatory is
mandatory or the bill will never reach the House floor. Zero have signed
thus far (see news article on our Message Board: "Harm for American school
children Desired by Republicans").

Familiar with the "Super-mega criminals" that will be terrorizing society at
home and abroad within the next ten years? Research this matter.

Many will come from the breed of neglected abused American school children,
many of whom, without the protection of HR 5628, will be well cultured to
sign up for this "team of American terrorists against Americans," compounded
by the dangerous work of a Rev. Michael Farris, a menace to American children
and children abroad (campaigning presently to add a new amendment to the US
Constitution with the deceptive title, "Parental Rights," designed to leave
children unprotected by law from parental abuse in like-manner that they are
left unprotected in American schools. See Message Board, "Rev. Michael Farris…").

Please, take a stand. Call the people who can end American school beatings
TODAY. Protect our disadvantaged and special education students from further
abuse by telling US Dept of Education Chairman George Miller, State Secretary
of Education Arne Duncan, and Jesse Jackson Jr. to support having the Eight
needed Education Committee members and single Republican Signatories added to
HR 5628, NY Rep McCarthy's "Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act."

placed on our Message Board at See title,"Contact list…"

The message systems of each Congressional leader are available 24 hours 7 days
a week. It will take many calls to help this primarily disadvantaged and
special needs population of American school children.

Please won't you help today.

I look forward to seeing the children to safety and to seeing my bed again.

Thank you,

Paula Flowe, Exec. Director,

The Hitting Stops Here!

A campaign for teaching kindness and respect in schools everywhere. (Please contact me at this email address only.)


It is important to the safety of the children and to myself that these leaders
know there ARE concerned US citizens out there.

For your convenience here are two numbers to start with:

Chairman of Education George Miller: 202.225.2095
US Repreentative Jesse Jackson Jr.: 202.225.0773


"President Barack Hussein Obama", "US State Sect. of Education Arne Duncan" <>, "US Dept. of Education Chairman George Miller" <>, "Government Accountability Office Forensic Leader Gregory Kutz" <>, "Children's Defense Leader Marian Edelman Wright" <>, "NAACP National Leader Mr. Julian Bond" <>, "William Barber II NAACP" <>, "Mr. Jesse Jackson Sr." <>, "Mr. Al Sharpton" <>, "Mr. Newt Gingrich" <>, "Safe and Drug-free Schools Deputy Asst." Kevin Jennings" <>, "Asst. to Deputy Jennings" Martin Schubert" <>, "USA Today" <>, "NY Times" <>, "Lynn Woolsey" <>, "Fox News" <>, "Mr. Bill Cosby" <>, NAACP Leader Braggs <>, "Black News Talk" <>, "Children Are Not For Hitting" <>, "Minority Issue Radio Talk Plus" <>, "WPFW", "Washington Hispanic" <>, "Global Report" <>, "Global Report" <>, "Statue of Liberty For You" <>, "Wes Johnson" <>, "Positive Discipline" <>,, "The Lawrences" <>, "DC Voice of the Hill" <>,


Re: Note to Americans

Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:52 pm
by Steve
I will quit posting Paula's messages here when she is done in Austin. Public discussion of this issue really has been quashed, however, I was unable to find a single mention of HR 5628 anywhere in the news. It seems no one else is talking about it, or doing anything at all.

If You Are Down With Making A Difference For Our American School Children: Final Call!‏

The “Master Plan” for having HR 5628 gain the remaining 8 plus 1 Signatures BEFORE it’s ToO Late!

If you are down with making the difference that our American school children need for safe schools, please CHOOSE to take the following 3 steps and post this request everywhere!:

1) Listen to a compelling informative radio show containing censored facts on regular major network news regarding American school beatings, schoolyard bullying and the safety of “protected” children entitled: HR 5628: What Passing Or Failing Will Mean To America at: ... to-america


2) Call the following list of Congressional leaders WHOSE SIGNATURES ARE VITAL for having HR 5628 advance to the House floor leaving the following message 3 to 7 times a week, until November 18, 2010:

“As a concerned citizen for the safety needs of American school children, I request that you sign HR 5628. Thank you.”

Pedro Pierluisi: 202.225.2615

John Kline: 202.225.2271 (Republican)

Charles Djou: 202.225.2726 (Republican)


3) On Tuesday, please contact the news media listed below informing of the following:

Paula Flowe, Executive Director of The Hitting Stops Here! will be performing in front of the Texas State Capitol building on Thurs, October 28 for evening rush-hour traffic from 3-6pm on Congress St. She will be performing a variety of dances including African, ballet and hip-hop. Please go to to find out about the Friday, October 29 event at the State Capitol Bldg. entitled “HR 5628 NutCracker Campaign-Rally 2010” that she will be advertising that day.

Austin Chronicle -- Headquarters: (512) 545-5766


Thank you!

Paula Flowe, Exec. Director

The Hitting Stops Here!

A campaign for teaching kindness and respect in schools everywhere.


Re: Note to Americans

Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:17 am
by Steve

Re: Note to Americans

Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:32 pm
by Dennis
Thank you for posting all this Steve! Sounds like something that could occur in a third-world country and not the US of A. How can people even find any rational arguments in favor of corporate punishment? I also liked the interviewer addressing the euphemism of spanking and called it what is really is: beating. These are 19th century childrearing methods that are proven to be absolutely destructive for the human spirit. The only reason to continue these "laws" is to give power to the bullies (perpetrators) and letting them having it their way.


Re: Note to Americans

Posted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:52 pm
by Steve
Thank you for providing a place to post it, Dennis. I actually came to the site in hopes of locating some old information I may have left here on psychiatry and have nothing to add to this thread, but your response is appreciated. The interviewer is Paula Flowe. Nobody works any harder or gets in people's faces more. And I don't think I've ever heard anyone speak so well as Niko did in that clip.

Why is the US like it is? I like Americans and I'm not going to apologize for us or put us down. We may look funny but our national product is still the grossest of anybody's.

Seriously, I'm not sure trying to guess answers to that question is important. I'd rather wonder 'How can people be persuaded that often to stay silent, to "mind your own business" and even to "accommodate differences" can be to lie?' So long as kids are regarded as property--and that means by anyone, any authority--the world will remain a bunch of twisted up fun house mirrors that no one will figure out.

Re: Note to Americans

Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:26 pm
by Steve

Re: Note to Americans

Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:51 pm
by Steve

Re: Note to Americans

Posted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:35 am
by Steve

Re: Note to Americans

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:34 pm
by Steve

Re: Note to Americans

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:37 pm
by Steve

Re: Note to Americans

Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:53 pm
by Bernard
Steve, in response to my post about the corporal punishment ban in Khartoum's primary schools you wrote:
All we're talking about is the fact that one plus one is two. If the rights of children were recognized the rights of adults would take care of themselves.
This is something Eleanor Roosevelt emphasized in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly....
"Where after all, do human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world." (source)
She was the first chairperson of the UN Human Rights Commission and the United States delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from 1946-1952. President Kennedy reappointed her to the United Nations from 1961–1962. I was surprised to find that the White House website section on First Ladies dismissed her contribution in two short sentences: "Within a year, however, she began her service as American spokesman [sic] in the United Nations. She continued a vigorous career until her strength began to wane in 1962." It's as if they're playing down her role to placate the hostility of right-wing conservatives towards the UN.