Congresswoman Proposes Banning Paddling at Schools


Rep. McCarthy (D-NY) is proposing that congress pass a law banning paddling in schools. (link)

I’m looking at the constitution, and I can’t find the clause that allows congress to pass such a law. Can someone help me? I mean, unless these students are counterfeiting currency or committing piracies on the high seas, I don’t see where congress gets to decide what appropriate punishment is.

Here’s the text in case you don’t have your constitution handy (Article 1 Section 8):

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

As for this particular issue, I believe the decision should be made by the schools. Parents should be free to have their children attend whatever school they like, whether the school allows paddling or not. Let parents and schools decide what to do with the kids they are responsible for, and keep government out of it.

Paddling a child’s bum isn’t a crime, and is quite effective at correcting the misbehavior. I know other methods exist, and they may be even more effective than paddling. The fact that there are options more or less effective means we cannot make a blanket decision for everyone about how best to deal with each individual child, and we shouldn’t be asked to do so. Let the parents and schools decide.

But back to the original point, perhaps it’s time we added a clause to the constitution to punish congressmen who propose laws that are unconstitutional. I propose they be removed from office and prevented from ever holding any official job in the federal government, and the offending law be immediately stricken from the books. Yes, we’d throw a whole lot of congressmen out of office, but at least congressmen would at least look at the constitution from time to time.


2 Responses to “Congresswoman Proposes Banning Paddling at Schools”

  1. demo kid Says:

    Schools can paddle all they like as allowed by state governments, but for schools to get federal money, they need to comply.

    And by the way, paddling is battery on a child.

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      Where does the federal government get the authority to spend money on schools? Is that one of the items in Article 1 section 8 I missed?

      The law is different in different states, so blanket statements that paddling is battery is foolishness.

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