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JFK Not a Fan of Corporal Punishment

May 22, 1963 - President Kennedy suggested today that public schools should spare the rod, but he cautioned parents not to spoil the child. Entering the District of Columbia’s controversy on corporal punishment of schoolchildren, Mr. Kennedy came out against the idea. “I think when we talk about corporal punishment, we have to think about our own children,” he said. “We are rather reluctant to see other people administering punishment to our own children. Because we are reluctant, it puts a special obligation on us to maintain order and to send children out from our homes who accept the idea of discipline. So, I would not be for corporal punishment in the school, but I would be for very strong discipline at home, so we don’t place an unfair burden on our teachers.” The District School Superintendent, Carl Hansen, has proposed corporal punishment in schools in D.C. The District School Board rejected the idea, but the House of Representatives has passed a bill permitting such disciplinary action.

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