Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Watkins: Stop the spankophobia

“Pick On Someone Your Own Size!” says Herb Gura (Observer-American opinion letter not too long ago). The Konocti Unified School District board member assails Darrell Watkins for writing about “bottom of the barrel” test scores of his KUSD kids. Watkins said test scores will go up when more students do their home work and pay attention in class. Gura disagrees. Watkins also said, spanking delinquent kids and sending them back to class is better than suspensions and expulsions. Punishing kids by keeping them out of school is the nastiest kind of child abuse. Again, Gura disagrees. He wants to expel and suspend kids but never spank. He’d like to see Watkins arrested and put in jail.


Watkins would like to see Gura get out of the teaching business. He can’t teach kids to read, write and do arithmetic. He won’t answer questions about the test scores of his students. His letters are filled with typical Gurarian propaganda. He also has a bad case of spankophobia. Spanking is “violence,” Gura writes, with the connotation that violence is evil (apparently, it’s not violence when they send out swat teams to shoot down delinquent kids grown up). He also says spanking is “children smacked around” and describes spanking as “daily beatings.”


Gura’s rhetoric is good. Unfortunately, he watches too many Hollywood movies. A Hollywood spanking is a 6-foot, 6-inch six lumberjack (without shirt or shoes) holding a beer can in one hand, clutching a huge belt in the other and going after a trembling child praying by his bed. Hollywood never shows a terrified mother swatting kids who made a campfire under the house when she taught them not to play with fire.


Spanking is the “Gospel according to Watkins,” Gura writes. Spanking, however, is not Watkins’ gospel at all. Spanking is a 400-year-old American tradition taught by wise men and still, thank God, widely practiced. Wise men say, “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him.“ Gura’s Hollywood ideas don’t educate children and provide discipline for Konocti classrooms.


Darrell Watkins lives in Kelseyville.


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