O’Reilly’s Warriors: Culturally Illiterate?

Gretchen & Margaret: No spanking alllowed! Really? O’Reilly Factor “Culture Warriors” Gretchen Carlson and Margaret Hoover went to war woefully unprepared Thursday. During their segment, both Gretchen and Margaret did know the facts of their lead story (about a Connecticut high school teacher who had been charged with sexual assault for purportedly spanking an obstreperous female student) but not the applicable law.

When host Bill O’Reilly had introduced the spanking story and his blond battling beauties had recited the relevant facts, host Bill O’Reilly asked, “Do we know in Connecticut public schools whether corporal punishment is allowed?* Emphatically, Gretchen asserted, “Corporal punishment is not allowed in any school system anymore. No way!” Equally confident, a beaming Margaret declared, “Corporal punishment is not allowed. No, not allowed! Not allowed.”

Unconvinced by their bluster, O’Reilly replied, “In some school systems, it is.” Rendered uncertain, Gretchen responded, “Seriously?” Smiling, Margaret scoffed, “No, no, no. Bill O’Reilly, when you taught in Miami, they allowed you to hit children.”

Losing his own certitude, O’Reilly answered, “I could be wrong on this but I don’t think I am: in some school districts, corporal punishment is allowed. I can’t imagine it’s allowed in Connecticut but it is allowed in some school districts. So, we don’t know that: we don’t know whether it’s allowed or not.”

Subsequently, when O’Reilly and Gretchen tried to move on to discuss the particular Connecticut case, Margaret persisted, “Let’s be very clear. It is very unlikely that anyone anywhere in the United States teachers are allowed to beat children in the classroom. Unallowed. Corporal punishment is probably not allowed.” She continued, “The most that a teacher should ever be able to do is grab a kid by the wrist and take them to the principal’s office. This is totally unacceptable.”

Realizing that Margaret was merely opining, O’Reilly remarked, “We’ll clarify tomorrow. I’ll clarify tomorrow about the corporal punishment.”

Unfortunately, both O’Reilly and his “Culture Warriors” were unprepared to clarify the most salient issue of the story, i.e., the legality of corporal punishment in the Connecticut school system. If they had merely Googled the matter, they would have quickly learned that 20 states allow corporal punishment but Connecticut does not. To make matters worse, their negligence was all the more acute since the topic has come to the fore with the recent introduction (June 29, 2010) of the “Ending of Corporal Punishment Act” by U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY).

O’Reilly’s “Culture Warriors” Thursday: Unread and unarmed.

*O’Reilly Factor – 08/05/10 (@8:30 p.m. ET)

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2 Responses to “O’Reilly’s Warriors: Culturally Illiterate?”

  1. M. Davey Says:

    I wondered how many states still allowed corporal punishment, so I looked it up and it’s 20+. I would suspect that each school board is allowed to determine whether or not to spank and I imagine parents would be aware via the orientation booklet given each year.

    I’m not sure where I stand on corporal punishment, but I would think that if you have a student 6 feet or over and you’re less than that, it would be impossible. Parents now are complicit in their children’s misbehavior and think the teachers are always wrong and their “babies” are always right.

    Laws need to be re-written for today’s “children”.

  2. C.S. Lewis Says:

    Oh, I despise corporal punishment in schools and believe also that it should be banned.

    My old elementary school teacher, Oldie, once flogged poor P**** by making him bend down and at one end of the schoolroom and then taking a run of the room’s length at each stroke of his cane. No sound escaped P**** until, toward the end of the torture, there came a noise quite unlike a human utterance.

    Corporal punishment in school? Just say no!

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