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Chicken-Fried News: The thin wooden line



Oklahoma is one of 19 states in the country that still allows corporal punishment to be used to discipline school students, but when does a paddling become full-on child abuse?

We at Chicken-Fried News — call us hippies if you want — think it’s as soon as the paddle comes off the wall, but an elementary school principal in McAlester is facing child abuse charges after he swatted two children, ages 10 and 11, and allegedly left the students with welts and bruises.

Indianola Elementary School Principal Gary Gunckel is on administrative leave as he faces two counts of child abuse for using “unreasonable force” by spanking two students with a wooden paddle, according to McAlester News-Capital.

Corporal punishment is banned in most Oklahoma school districts, but Indianola Public Schools allows for action to be taken when parents approve it. According to the newspaper, Gunckel took action after parents of two students approved swats from the paddle because the two children were involved in an argument and included threats.

What better way to correct violent threats than with violent actions? We just had to clean up the mess in CFN World Headquarters when our sarcasm detector blew up.

Both sets of parents said the children had bruising after the walloping. Go figure! The principal reportedly apologized for “busting the boys,” according to court documents seen by the newspaper.

According to an affidavit, Gunckel told the children that the swats “were supposed to hurt so that he would remember not to do what he was doing anymore.”

Maybe instead of having law enforcement officials examine and re-examine photos of children’s private areas to determine whether or not a good old fashioned paddling constitutes abuse — and we’re just spitballing here — you ban the practice outright?

The same person who thinks paddling will produce the grit and toughness that defeated the Germans and “made America great” is the same person that will eat an entire birthday cake meant for their child’s birthday like Don Draper because they can’t effectively process their emotions.

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