"I started to notice how every time he paddled someone my heart rate started to rise. I'd get a strange feeling watching someone getting swatted. At the time I didn't understand how something that could be causing someone some discomfort could be causing me some sort of excitement."
--Effect on a 4th grade "Nikki" when she witnessed paddlings in class
Opening remarks, by Jeff Charles
This woman "fell through the cracks," but in doing so she was spared a great deal of physical and sexual abuse. She "dropped out of school," so to speak, in the 7th grade, back in the late 1970s. She never attended any since the day a male principal threatened to paddle her when she was a young teen girl and, in my opinion, is better off for that choice. Even then, she had already been harmed for life by her school’s systematized child abuse, which they called, “paddling.”
I very much believe that children would literally be better off attending no school at all than attending a paddling school. I fully realize the value of school, but I also fully realize the harm from physically and sexually abusing children, which paddling is one violent and abusive form of. Usually when I comment that kids would be better off with no school than a paddling school, however, it is rhetorical since I generally assume the parent would home school or something, but "Nikki" is a literal case in point.
Of course these days many parents might consider home schooling, and there are many excellent programs to help parents do that. High paddling states, especially, tend to have liberal laws on home schooling. Although it is a lot of work, and is sad that school tax dollars become effectively useless, I do believe that paddling is such a threat to children's lifetime psychological and sexual well being that it is worth any cost to prevent it. The good news is that test results of home-schooled children are generally better than public schooled children. Although I very strongly believe in the value of public education, both for the children as well as for society, paddling is a "fly in the ointment" that is so harmful in hidden psychological ways that it causes the whole educational process to do more harm than good.
The funny thing with "Nikki's" story is that she literally did not attend any school when she ran away from a man who tried to paddle her. Although her family helped her with some school type learning here and there, they did not "home school" by our modern understanding. Home school programs at the time were rare or nonexistant. The funny thing is she turned out "ok" academically, and probably about as ok as she would have been had she attended school all the way through.
It is interesting too that she was already sexualized to paddling in the 7th grade. In fact she was sexualized to it, as nearly all humans would innately be I believe, when she witnessed it being done to her peers in the fourth grade. Although teachers now try to hide paddlings more, they are still no secret. They are often done in the hall, in view or hearing of peers, sometimes with a door open, or the child's red buttocks or legs might be seen below a skirt or shorts, or when changing clothes in gym. The psychological damage to peer witnesses is not much reduced in paddling schools today. Paddling had thus already harmed "Nikki" for life, as it does with many children, before she was ever struck with one. As we'll see in chapter 12, the Stockholm Syndrome, as well as sexualization to paddling, and many other psychological, lifetime harms, can occur in children just by living under the continuous threat of this type of abuse, even if it never occurs to them.
Although her family, like most, had used spanking, they were fairly enlightened for the time, and they were as supportive of her as they knew how to be. Nevertheless her sexualization to spanking probably started at home, before she entered school, and was deeply reinforced and solidified there. Her paddling school, with tax dollars and "educated professionals," was actually more abusive and backward than her relatively uneducated home was. Nevertheless I am positive her home was a much more nurturing and supportive environment overall than her school was. She escaped from much deeper psychological damage than she already had suffered by running away from school that day, and her mom's support for her was crucial. Her parents, when we consider her lifetime psychological and sexual health, literally did a better job educating her by accident than her paddling school, with tax funding and years of training, did on purpose.
With that, here is "Nikki's" Letter and Interview