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David Persson: Stop Selling Hard, Wooden Paddles In All of The School Box Stores and Online

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The School Box sells hard, wooden paddles, along with children’s educational materials, including toys.  The hard, wooden paddles are known as "dry erase paddles" for writing on. 

Hard, wooden paddles are used to paddle children. While some teachers may distribute hard wood paddles to Middle School age children for the children to hold up written answers in class, most would not do so with younger children, since some may hit other children with them.  The School Box also sells dry erase boards for children which are laminated sheets of paper, and are more appropriate for children to hold up with answers during a class question and answer period.  Also, other retailers sell light plastic paddles, which seem to be more "child friendly" than are the approximately 1/4 inch thick wooden paddles. 

The issue with hard, wooden paddles is that they seem less suitable for children, but that they offer a disguised way to sell paddles.  Paddling a child and threatening to paddle a child can cause serious emotional harm (as will as physical harm) that could greatly impair a child's ability to learn, etc. Children must feel safe in their educational environment and must not be afraid that they will be paddled. Therefore, paddling should not be done, nor encouraged, period, and certainly not in an educational setting.

When I saw the paddles in The School Box store, I thought of corporal punishment immediately, not dry erase boards.  Many others would do the same, and, unfortunately, some adults would purchase the paddles for that very reason.

I do not know whether the School Box purchased the paddles with any dual intention in mind.  However, I do know that the paddles quite likely, at some point, if they have not been already, will be used for other than writing boards.  Also, please try to understand how disturbing the sight of wooden paddles in a store for children is to both adults and children. 

I urge you, then, to stop selling wooden paddles, in the form of dry erase boards, or in any other form, in all The School Box stores and online.






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