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gender & sexuality | human & civil rights

"Unilateral Action" -- A Euphemism for Violence Against Children

Yes, Ms. Malkin, some of America's schools are "Abu Ghraib-like torture chambers."
Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union recently issued a report titled "A Violent Education: Corporal Punishment of Children in US Public Schools." That report documented the case of a 16-year-old pregnant schoolgirl who was assaulted by a high school principal. The principal used a board to violently beat the pregnant schoolgirl on her buttocks, thereby sending shock-waves into her body and into the body of her unborn child. The principal was legally entitled to perpetrate that assault, even if it caused a miscarriage and the death of the child.

Kajsa Monemi is a pediatrician. She works at Uppsala University in the Department of Women's and Children's Health. She recently reported that women who are violently assaulted during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to children who have low birth weights. She also reported that the children of women who are violently assaulted during pregnancy are more likely to become sick and that those children are more likely to die before the age of five (  link to www.biologynews.net ).

A columnist named Michelle Malkin has asserted that Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union are trying "to paint a horrifying portrait of the nation's classrooms as Abu Ghraib-like torture chambers." Malkin concludes that, "America's problem isn't that we're too tough and cruel in the classroom. It's that we've become too soft and placative, too ashamed and timid to assert authority and take unilateral action to guarantee a secure environment" (  http://michellemalkin.com/2008/08/22/abu-ghraib-i-fying-americas-schools/ ).

Should "unilateral action" include violently assaulting a pregnant schoolgirl for something as trivial as being late to class? Should America allow public officials to condemn unborn children to lives of poor health and early death? Ms. Malkin, is that the kind of America you want to live in?

The public officials of 29 states cannot legally assault schoolchildren. In the other 21 states, the children (and in some cases adults) who are enrolled in public schools can legally be violently assaulted by school officials. Where such assaults are legal, public officials can literally beat a student bloody and cause severe injuries. Those injuries are sometimes serious enough to require hospitalization.

Ms. Malkin, do you want to live in a country where a school's principal can use a four-foot-long board to beat a woman so severely that she cannot walk? Is that the kind of "unilateral action" that you want America to be world-famous for?