Now, I went to Catholic school too. Didn't go back then. Got yelled at by some nuns, but never smacked. However, I am struck (no pun intended) by how...well...whiny this guy is. Check out this part at the end:
The use of physical violence against children in school may or may not create order and improve test scores, but it certainly teaches kids about humiliation and fear. And what fifth grader needs to learn about things like that?
Heh. I can think of quite a few. I suppose it never crossed this guy's mind that a little humiliation and fear can be good for a fifth-grade boy, especially he is anything like I was.
I honestly wonder if Mr. Noonan has kids. If he does, my heart goes out to their teachers. I used to teach a music class at a little Catholic grade school for a couple of years, and I remember that there were some kids that disrupted the entire class and made it impossible for anyone to learn. They talked back. They whined. They didn't even make the pretense of listening. Finally I had enough. I gave half of the class detention - they had to stay after school and write. And I remember when the parents came to pick up the kids, the ones that gave me the most trouble were (guess what?) the parents of the ringleaders. These people just couldn't understand how I was so heartless as to deprive their precious little angels of some after school time.
Humiliation and fear, despite Mr. Noonan's assertions, are not the most evil things a kid can experience. Worse by far, in my opinion is lax parenting, neglect and spoiling. They lead directly to pride, unhappiness and failure in life.