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‘The Strap’

Voice of the Kingfisher speaks out  …from a different perspective

                                                          by Elinor Montgomery

February 22, 2014

There are a few of us left who can remember the days when just about the worst thing that could happen to you in school was to be sent to the principal’s office for ‘the strap’. The word still conjures up horror in my mind, not so much about the pain it could inflict, but rather about the terrible shame of it all. Perhaps the worst part was returning to your classroom from the office only to have to face the staring and questioning eyes as you enter the room, with your own eyes perhaps a little red from tears.

Then, there were always the ‘sing-songy’ voices that spread the word like wildfire at recess, accusing little ‘so-and-so’ of having gotten ‘the strap’, and perhaps for a day or so the same little ‘so-and-so’ remained slightly apart from the other students as he/she nursed his/her wounded pride. Then, it was pretty well over as the event was soon forgotten but, on occasion, it could still resurface as the other students would casually recall the day when ‘so-and-so’ got ‘the strap’. The longer the shame remained, the less likely you were to repeat the action that caused it.

Now I was grateful for having been one of the ones who never had to go to the principal’s office for that dreaded strap, although I never remember anyone returning from having gotten ‘the strap’ anywhere except on his/her outstretched hand. I don’t remember anyone having any sign of action taken on any other part of the body except to the hands, where one would be hard pressed to find even a red mark or a bruise.

However, I do remember that they usually were the unruly kids in class who had to go to the office. They often insisted upon defying the teacher to the point their behavior was no longer tolerable. Some were hard to shame by ‘the strap’, but it broke the rebellious streak in others. And, I suppose, that had a lot to do with what would happen when you got home and had to report the news to your parents.

I happened to have four, older brothers, and well do I remember that what was equal to being sent to the principal’s office for ‘the strap’ at school, was the same as being sent up to the bathroom to receive ‘the strap’ with which my father sharpened his straight razor for shaving. It always hung menacingly on the wall in case any of us should decide we knew a little better than our parents did as to what was acceptable or unacceptable behavior. It was just as shameful a thing to be sent up to the bathroom with your father for ‘the strap’ as it was to be sent to the principal’s office for it.

This would be followed by the taunting looks of siblings who would point the shameful finger at you, which was perhaps the hardest punishment of all to endure. Again, I never really remember any physical scars to the hands, only a little bruising of the egos until the next time would come around. I managed, also, to escape the upper bathroom discipline, I would guess, mainly because it was beyond my father to strap the hands of his precious, little daughter. It was easier for my mother to give me a well-deserved spanking on occasion. She probably knew it was useless to send me upstairs with my father. The boys seemed to quite regularly live a little closer to the edge than I would ever dare to do.

And what was the effect of all this corporal punishment, which did little more damage than that which was done to growing egos? I can safely say that, in all my years at school, I never remember one random shooting throughout the entire country where a student killed other students and teachers. It has become common-place in our society today, which is being led, again by a liberal media, to believe that corporal punishment is a terrible thing for children. Yet, where is the evidence, when there is so much evidence pointing to the contrary?

It would seem that our liberal law-makers believe it is better to spare ‘the strap’ even though it results in ruining generations to come by turning them into spoiled, angry, even violent children who are now crying out to society for the injustice, which the lack of corporal discipline has caused. It would appear that society is happier accepting the inevitable chaos, which springs forth from an undisciplined generation of youths who have been victims to the teaching of modern secularists. It literally tells them that whatever feels good and whatever one wants to do over-rides the results of their actions, which will inevitably end in the killing of other people.

At the same time that it is not okay to harm the little darlings’ egos, it is okay to create a nation of youth gone wild. In fact, it is enforced by the laws of the land. We stupidly ask why young boys are attacking seniors and physically harming them, just for the fun of it, with little being done about it. We certainly would not want to inflict a little pain for the sake of a whole lot of gain.

Do you not know that it is tantamount to abusing the little darlings, to apply that which we used to call corporal discipline? Are we not creating a society of young terrorists when what was really needed back in their youth was the terror of ‘the strap’, which had the potential to correct the bad seed before it grew into a very bad tree upon which nothing can grow but rotten fruit?

What is it that puzzles our Ph.D.’s in psychology who, with all their studying of the human mind, fail to recognize the obvious? Suppose one in a million teachers might physically abuse a child, then the parents have the right to take immediate recourse to protect their child. Now this is only true, provided we don’t create bodies of teachers’ unions, which insist that teachers who abuse children in any way still have the right to be in the classroom.

The latest abuse of our youngest children has been for unions to insist that teachers be allowed to remain teaching in the classrooms, while using needles for drugs in the teachers’ washrooms between classes. Where is the protection for the children instead of endorsing the slimy behavior of the teachers? These are the same unions who say “No” to ‘the strap’ of discipline and “Yes” to the dangers of drugs. Can you see the idiocy of our society for allowing such potential, even life-threatening damage to our children’s lives rather than to their pride?

Where are our heads that we muzzle the teachers’ right to discipline the children corporally if necessary, just as parents find it necessary to do so at home? Instead, we allow the real abusers to remain in the classrooms because of tenure, and, if the truth be known, because of the destructive forces of liberalism bent on destroying this country.

We are sitting back in the filth of Political Correctness allowing a hostile generation to grow into adult hostility, all because of lack of real and necessary discipline needed in the classrooms as well as in many of the homes. As the laws stand now, the best-meaning parents can have their children taken from them and put into the hands of the state, with the parents possibly being dragged off to jail for carrying out their moral duty of disciplining their children without sparing the rod or ‘the strap’.

I would not want my child to get away with bad behavior in the classroom any more than I would want it to happen at home. We used to have school inspectors who regularly visited classrooms, along with the Parent-Teacher Home and School Association, which kept an eye on teacher/child relations. Perhaps, it partly boils down to being a society of parents who have little time for the children, with both working and no one home to care enough to find out what is going on at school between the teachers and the children.

How many parents of the classroom, random shooters have declared that they had no idea that their child was capable of such a thing? Yet, it is later discovered that all the signs were there, if they had only made it a priority to know what was going on in their child’s life. There needs to be a constant check on what they are watching on the web and with whom they are associating in their social lives.

It would appear these children crave love and the firm discipline that comes with it. Children thrive when they have regulations and moral values to give structure to the borders and limitations of their behavior. This is the biblical way. Take that away, and you place them on the broad road leading to destruction. One is the way of God and the other is of the devil.

We, as the parents, get what we collectively choose, with the results of our choices leading to generational blessing or cursing. The choice is ours, as to which we will choose. Whatever it is, it will affect not only us but all of the future generations to follow. The difference will be between remaining a peaceful society under God’s rule or becoming a violent one where secularism and liberalism are the flavor of the day. How would you say it is working for us so far? Then why not do something about it and stop being politically correct long enough to act on conviction coupled with plain, good, old, common sense?

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him (Proverbs 22:15).

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).