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This item originally appeared in the April 8, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.

I'll tell you what the problem is with kids these days (I've always wanted to say that): they don't get beat enough. That's right, I said beat. Too many rods have been spared.

Gone are the days when spankings were common, when any old object could be used as a potential beating weapon: a wooden spoon, a fly swatter, a plastic bat, a hairbrush (my brother never had a chance, poor bastard) and, of course, the classic belt.

When the words, "Wait till your father gets home," was enough to make you drop to your knees and repent of every sin you had ever committed or thought of committing.

My younger brother is so spoiled; he hardly even gets a slap because as my parents say being on their fourth child, "they're all spanked out."

Why are more and more kids acting out at schools? Because children don't know the meaning of not being able to sit down for a week.

I still fondly recall the nights when we were up past our bedtime dancing in the halls, and we heard the sound of change rattling around in pockets, which meant our dad was on his way downstairs to pass out beatings.

Even when he came down clad only in his underwear, I swear I heard that change rattling.

Outdated methods of avoiding beatings still linger today because children have yet to update them.

Methods like the tuck-and-run, the underwear layering illusion, the squirm-and-dodge, the hand-over-your-butt method and the cry-out-in-agony-after-one-lick-even-if-it-was-your-mom-and-it-didn't-really-hurt-and-you-wanted-to-laugh-but-didn't-want-to-hurt-her-feelings act.

Regular beatings should be given out at school just so children know what could happen if they misbehave. Let them know that the paddle with the holes in it (so the meat will come out) in the principal's third desk drawer is no urban myth.

Sporting those belt and hand prints is like scars after a war, "See that? That's where the buckle hit, and that's where my mom broke her nail."

I say we take all the kids in juvenile detention centers, line 'em up and let the beatings commence.

Let's not get out of hand, if you see a child with a black eye from a "spanking," that's different; that's wrong.

What about those crazy risks you would take to avoid beatings?

One such mission involved me, my sister, a long piece of yarn, a blanket and some popcorn. Although I can't go into too much detail, I will say we didn't get spanked that night.

Speaking of discipline, whatever happened to getting your mouth washed out with soap?

I'll never forget downing those cocktails of Ivory Liquid and water for words that would probably seem tame today.

Overall, beatings instill discipline. They teach children what is right and what is wrong. It shows that you must suffer consequences for wrongdoings.

Getting spanked taught me to respect my elders. Getting spanked taught me not to smart off (too much). Getting spanked taught me not to take things that weren't mine. Getting spanked taught me that my parents really loved me.

Forget the "groundings" and "no TV." What happened to, "Sorry guys I can't sit down, my ass is on fire?"

Rhiannon Weber is a senior journalism major from Prairieville and serves as senior news editor for The Tech Talk. E-mail comments to rfw001@latech.edu.


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