I am writing in response to the letters supporting spanking in the parking lot and chastising the person who reported this incident. Having worked in the public schools for nearly 30 years, I have been saddened by far too many children whose "bare-hand spankings" have become beatings, burns, black eyes, and emotional damage to the point of hospitalization and life-long inability to function.
I cannot support the use of physical force to punish a child. When an adult tries to control a child's behavior by physical punishment he/she sends two messages: (1) one needs to obey only if one is afraid and somebody is watching and (2) the way to solve problems with other people is through physical force. Once a child ceases to be afraid of adults, either because of age or size, or because they've been spanked so many times, it will be virtually impossible to control their behavior, which may include violence toward others.