Mar 29, 2011, 10:49 AM EST
Thirteen-year-old Donell Dixon was running through the halls and slamming lockers shut, as kids are sometimes wont to do, at The David Ellis Academy in Detroit. After he was busted, he was given the choice: detention, or 60 pushups? Ellis chose the pushups. But it was all too much for the kid, who ended up in the hospital due to the workout (diagnosis: Rhabdomyolysis, which is a breakdown of the muscles, often caused by over exertion.) No one is suing anyone yet, but the boy’s mother isn’t happy, and the school is in damage control mode. The question is, I guess; should corporal punishment be used in an academic setting?
I suppose the answer is that physical punishment should be confined to after school sports. As much as a teacher might like to make students run laps who have been talking back in class, it’s not practical. If you go out for sports, there’s an expectation of physical activity, and kids get doctor’s clearances, etc. That doesn’t happen in English Lit. Ellis’ punishment should have been to read every Rick Reilly column from 2010. That’ll teach him.
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